Pastoral Letters, Etc.

Developing a Hermeneutic of Ecumenism

The eight-day period each January between the feasts of the Confession of St Peter (the 18th) and the Conversion of St Paul (the 25th) has been observed across various Christian traditions for more than a century as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. If you're readings this after January 25--no worries, ecumenism is important [...]

Annual Address to Synod, 2017

Bloomington, Illinois--13 October 2017 This is the seventh annual synod of the Diocese of Springfield over which I have presided as Bishop, and the eighth that I have attended. Serving you, serving our Lord Jesus with you, continues to be among the greatest joys of my life. Thank-you. I continue to be supported by a [...]

As I sit down to write this at the end of August, two massive societal earthquakes continue to dominate the news cycle: the deadly demonstration and counter-demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia that unmasked a shocking vein of white supremacy in our country, and the once-in-a-millennium rainfall, produced by Hurricane Harvey, that has wreaked havoc on the [...]

Ite, Missa Est!

"Ite, missa est!" That's Latin for, "Go, you are dismissed." For hundreds and hundreds of years, in the Latin rite, this is how the Deacon tells the people that their liturgy--their solemn duty and joyful privilege--has been successfully performed, and they are free to go. Indeed, they are not just free to go, they need [...]

On the Ministry of All the Baptized 1.0     As the Body of Christ, the Church is an organism. Biological metaphors often enable us to see the nature and life of the Church most clearly. 1.1     As an organism, the Church is also organized. The God whom we serve is a God of order, [...]

An Advent Meditation on the General Thanksgiving

... or, one part thereof, at any rate. This is a refined-for-written-form version of three meditations I delivered a year ago at an Advent quiet day given at St Stephen's Church in Providence, Rhode Island.    The Redemption of the World Although I am firmly committed to the Prayer Book norm that the Holy Eucharist [...]

Stepping Back to Refresh & Renew

When I was elected Bishop of Springfield in 2010, my Letter of Agreement with the Standing Committee specified that I take a three-month sabbatical after five years of service. Believe it or not (and I, for one, have trouble believing it), five years have elapsed since my consecration as of this past March 19. So [...]

A Call to (a Wave of) Prayer

Wednesday in Holy Week Beloved in Christ, For some years now, one of my regular petitions in prayer has been for an unmistakable and powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit on and in the Diocese of Springfield--indeed, a disruptive outpouring, one that might tempt us to regret having asked for it in the first place! [...]

New Wine, New Wineskins

You may be aware that there is a working group, under the leadership of Diocesan Chancellor Kevin Babb, trying to rather thoroughly rewrite the canons of the Diocese of Springfield. This is in follow-up to their effort in the months prior to last October's annual synod to revise our constitution. Their proposed draft, with some [...]

Living in the Bonds of (Tough) Love

Beloved in Christ, As you are probably aware, the Primates (senior bishops) of the 38 provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion met last week in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral, the symbolic "ground zero" of our life together as Christians in the Anglican way. While there were a number of topics worthy of their deep [...]