FROM THE BISHOP
When asked by friends, family and colleagues how they may assist in my transition from parish priest to your Diocesan Bishop, I answered, “Please pray that I may have wisdom and courage to meet the days ahead.” Well, those prayers were and are being answered in the people God has put before me as Diocesan staff and leadership. The widsom that was truly given me came with names, generous smiles, patient hearts and a love for this Diocese that truly brings honor and glory to God. All transitions are turbulent. They are filled with the unknown. What met me at the threshold of my being with you is a model of Christian charity and is to be emulated throughout the Church.
Many of you know that Mark Dirksen long-ago agreed to step in as Interim Diocesan Administrator until such time as a full-time hire could be properly brought on board. Due to many circumstances beyond anyone’s control, that date of Mark taking professional leave of us kept getting moved further and further away from the intended goal. Our full-time professional was identified literally within the beginning of my second week of being on site and her concern over leaving her current employer with enough notice was laudable. Again, schedules had to be changed and desired expectation modified on behalf of each and every one of us and the mission of the Diocese.
In addition to seeing us through many transitions, small and large, Mark also responded to the death of his father-in-law, orchestrated and conducted the entire musical offering for the Mass of Ordination, and he even provided very knowledgeable advice to me and Denise when it came to the local real-estate market. He assisted in travel arrangements for those attending General Convention in Baltimore this summer and ensured that all was moving forward as it needs to in interest of the 2022 Lambeth Conference in England and the 2022 Annual Diocesan Synod. I have witnessed his patient leadership on many occasions to include making sure our full-time Executive Assistant to the Bishop has as smooth of a landing as possible. Did I mention his overseeing quite a handful of Diocesan Center renovations and upgrades that had to be approved, scheduled and supervised in the right way? If gargoyles and grotesques were to be commissioned for our cathedral, I would ask that one be carved in the image of Mark Dirksen in honor his consecrated life and ministry among us.
Likewise so it is with our treasurer Rod Matthews. I first met Rod back in November when it was this Diocese conducted the walk-about sessions with the three candidates. Rod is magnetic in his joy, he is bold in his witness, and his outward vesture is one of humility. I personally witnessed him treating our shuttle bus driver, the hotel house keepers and those at the front-desk with the greatest of respect and human dignity. I knew then how special he was and how blessed the Diocese that he serves happens to be.
Rod has remained available and present for staff meetings, Diocesan Council meetings, Investment Trust trustee meeting and simply to orient me as to the financial ways and means of our Diocese while having moved to Florida in his retirement. No question or concern is too small for him to address or provide his most knowledgeable insight. Rod’s reassuring manner has gone a long way to ensure that my landing in Springfield was gentle with plenty of runway out ahead of me.
Canon Mark Evans, Dean Andrew Hook, Father Ben Hankinson, Hannah Dallman, and Chancellor Kevin Babb have all been equally as beneficial, helpful, and patient. Their reverence, humor, and honesty make it a pleasure to get to work each and every day because I have benefit of their passion for you and this particular portion of God’s vineyard that we call the Diocese of Springfield. These holy people will continue to sanctify life, time, and space by their continued offerings on behalf of what promises to be a very bright future for our Diocese.
Please keep our Diocesan staff and leadership in your prayer of thanksgiving and please remember them with an occasional word or note of appreciation. We are truly blessed and rightly served by those who strive daily to be made into the image and likeness of Christ our Lord. Their purpose is to constantly refresh us while on the pilgrim’s way.
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
– Psalm 46:3-4 *KJV
In the peace of God, which passeth all understanding;
AROUND THE DIOCESE
Visit the Consecration Page of the website to read a letter of thanksgiving from Kevin Babb, Chair of the Transition Committee. The recording of the livestream of the service is also available, and there will soon be a slideshow of photos from the day.
General Convention will take place in Baltimore, MD July 8-11. Please keep our delegation in your prayers” Bishop Brian Burgess, Father Zachary Brooks, Canon Mark Evans, Dean Andrew Hook, Mother Sherry Black, Randy Winn, Gerry Smith, Kevin Babb, and Cindy Lynk.
Almighty and everlasting Father, who has given the Holy Spirit to abide with us for ever: Bless, we beseech thee, with his grace and presence, the bishops and the other clergy and the laity soon to be assembled in thy Name, that thy Church, being preserved in true faith and godly discipline, may fulfill all the mind of him who loved it and gave himself for it, thy Son Jesus Christ our Savior; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Mark your calendars! Diocesan Synod 2022 will take place October 21 and 22 in Springfield, IL. More details will be announced as they are available, and delegates can expect their materials soon.
The most recent reports to Diocesan Council may be viewed on the reports page of the website here. These include the Standing Committee Report and the Deanery Reports.
Your presence and prayer is requested as Bishop Burgess ordains Robert Armidon and Jonathan Butcher to the Sacred Order of Deacons this Saturday, June 11 at the Cathedral.
Congratulations to our Nashotah Graduates! We can boast of five graduates this spring. Pictured beginning center rear, going clockwise: Fr. Christopher Ashmore (Master of Sacred Theology), Jonathan Butcher (Certificate in Anglican Studies), Dcn. Dante Anglin (Master of Divinity), Dcn. Mark Klamer (Master of Divinity), and Dcn. Michael Clark (Master of Ministry). Photo by Canon Mark Evans.
St Michael’s, O’Fallon invites you their Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 18 from 11:00 – 4:00 pm. 111 O’Fallon Troy Road in O’Fallon. Enjoy strawberry shortcake, scones with strawberries, a bounce house for the kids and more! Details may be found online here.
The St. George’s, Belleville Choristers performed their spring musical, Table for Five…Thousand by Tom S. Long and Allen Pote. A recounting of Jesus’ miracle of feeding the five thousand, the main message is that anyone, especially children, can do amazing things with God’s assistance. St. George’s is very lucky to have a children’s choir. The group was established by the late Ann Dunn in the 1970s and has remained an important part of worship life at St. George’s. The choristers usually sing every two weeks in church.
Fr. Jim Cravens and parishioners from St. Barnabas, Havana participated in The Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday, May 28. An annual event, it is typically held on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend and is jointly sponsored by Tall Timbers Marina and the Havana Boat Club. There is a brief liturgy, followed by blessing the marina and the boats with holy water and incense.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Diocesan Facebook and Instagram accounts. There you’ll find photos and updates of the Bishop’s visitations, as well as stories from around our Diocese. You may also find Bishop Burgess’ pastoral letters published on our website here.
MINISTRIES FAR AND NEAR
Episcopal Church Camp of Illinois will gather July 309 at East Bay Camp in Hudson, IL to encourage, empower, and equip students entering grades 2-12 in their faith journeys. If you have not yet registered, now is the time! Scholarships are available for first time campers. Be sure to check out the website for details.
As we celebrate the Fourth of July – a holiday dedicated to freedom – together in community, we will explore the Biblical concepts of freedom, salvation, and hope found only in Jesus. When the world feels as though it is in turmoil, how can we cling to the good news of freedom found in Jesus Christ? What does it really mean to be free? Join us this July as we learn more about freedom found in salvation and relationship with Jesus. Potential campers and counselors alike are encouraged to visit the ECC website or the diocesan website’s Church Camp page for information and resources.
Cursillo 38 is in the works! We need the help of all those who pray. That’s you! We have set up an online form that you can use to show your support for Cursillo. Please use this form to help by signing up for an hour of prayer for our weekend. You don’t have to have gone to Cursillo to pray for the success of this weekend. We are hoping to have someone praying each hour fro the entire 72 hours, July 28th-31st of this year. Thank you and God Bless!
If you are interested in this year’s retreat at Toddhall, visit the Cursillo page of the website for details and instructions on how to register.
THE CONFRATERNITY OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
All are invited to the Annual Meeting, Mass, and Luncheon of the Confraternity on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 16 at 11:00 am at St. Paul’s Parish, 60 Akenside Road, Riverside, IL 60546. Bishop Daniel Martins, Superior General will be the Celebrant and Homilist.