Pastoral Letters, Etc.

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 [...]

Receiving the Gift of Divine Life

To the faithful in Christ Jesus in the Diocese of Springfield, In the collect for the Second Sunday after Christmas Day--just two days ago as this letter is made public--we offer the petition that we may "share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity." This is the personal and practical [...]

While I generally enjoy my work, there are certainly aspects that are unpleasantly challenging. But making Sunday visitations is not one of them. Sunday is the highlight of my week, every week. The privilege of sharing in Word and Sacrament with the baptized faithful of the diocese is, of course, a singular joy in its [...]

Bishop’s Address to Synod, 2015

This is now my fifth address to Synod as the 11th Bishop of Springfield, and the sixth Synod I have attended. If I can hijack and repurpose some of the language from the blessing of the water in the baptismal liturgy, I do this as a matter of "joyful obedience." It is a burden that [...]