We are now less than two weeks away from the consecration of the Right Reverend Brian K. Burgess as the twelfth Bishop of Springfield. The Transition Committee is pleased to report that arrangements are proceeding well, with all signs favorable for a glorious day of liturgy, music, and fellowship that occurs only very rarely in the life of a Diocese. We hope that all members of our Diocesan family can come together on May 21 — either in person, or by livestream — to celebrate the beginning of the next chapter of our shared life as disciples of Jesus Christ.Kevin Babb Chair, Transition Committee
If you have not yet submitted your RSVP to the Consecration on May 21 or need information about area hotels and parking for the event, visit the consecration webpage here.
FROM OUR BISHOP-ELECT
On the evening of Saturday, April 30th, Denise and I crossed over the Illinois State line into the Diocese of Springfield from Indiana on SR 36. The brilliant orange sun was setting far in the west as we approached a gentle as well as welcome rain shower. The fields to our left and to our right were being tilled for planting and our hearts leapt for joy. This is home. The Diocese of Springfield now is our voice, our vision, our priority, our definition, our joy and the inception of our song. It invites us into an embrace that expects we will be faithful, true and bold. And because it does, no more appropriate words came to mind than this prayerful proclamation: “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are all well able to overcome it.”
I look forward to living that mantra every day. I look forward to our encouraging one another and others to be strong, confident and noble in our faith. We have bread, we have wine, we have the Word of God and we have apostolic orders. What more could we possibly want or need? No, the physical will never prevail alone. Only who we are, and whose we are becoming before our altars will win the day for Christ Jesus. Only by the intentional means of Holy Eucharist will we be brought to that heavenly city where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting (The Book of Common Prayer, pg. 483).
There will always be challenging times and alarming news. There will always be giants, the descendants of Anak occupying the land that we are promised as sons and daughters of Christ Jesus our Lord. However, there is also the abundance of our sacramental faith that leads us through adversity, barrenness, and struggles that have been well placed by God to test us, to temper us, to strengthen us and to prepare us for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ in glorious Majesty and an eternal life of worshipping God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps the verse that is intended to strike steel at this moment of our collective exodus together is one that many simply overlook as incidental, transitory, fleeting or even unnecessary to the overall conversation being had between heaven and earth. But for those who constitute the Diocese of Springfield, these are often the very verses that give us clear indication of where it is we are headed on exodus together. Consider well the verse that completes the narrative of how Moses set apart and then sent spies into the land of promise in order to scout out all that lies ahead of the people of God: “Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.” (Numbers 13:20b)
This, too, is our season of growth and prosperity. I look forward to being with you in so many new, exciting, challenging and often unsettling ways as we make our way from deliverance toward promise together; this side of Easter. “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”
In the peace of God, which passeth all understanding;
FROM THE ASSISTING BISHOPBidding You a Fond Adieu
I have been told that in the Sioux Indian language there is no word for “goodbye”. Instead, their parting is more like “see you later”. It has to do with the idea that when they meet a new friend, they become intimately connected and responsible for one another. You got a real sense of this at the end of the movie “Dances with Wolves” as the character played by Kevin Costner rode down the canyon wall. “You are my brother” called out his friend in a powerful and rich scene.
As I close out my ministry among you, the good people of the Diocese of Springfield, I cannot bring myself to say goodbye but, “see you later”. Certainly, as Christians we believe that we are intimately connected through our Baptism and as such our lives within the Body of Christ, the Church, will continue to be bound together in this life and, in the life to come.
It has been and honor and a privilege to serve you these past eight months. I have been energized by being in your presence in our worship and in our work. The Diocese of Springfield has a great many valuable resources at their disposal, the most important being the people. As I visited the congregations around the diocese I was truly heartened by the love and commitment of the members of individual congregations extended to one another. It will be my hope and prayer that you will seek ways to use these valuable resources to build-up God’s kingdom and strengthen his Church.
I pray that you will do all in your power to support your new bishop in his ministry. I am certain you will be pleasantly surprised
by the charisms he brings into his ministry and your support will nurture these charisms for the benefit of the whole church. Pray for him and his family fervently and faithfully as he seeks God’s will for you and your diocese.
I want to close by thanking Fr. Ben Hankinson and the Standing Committee for their work and support during this transition. They have worked faithfully to navigate your way through this period of adjustment. Canon Mark Evans has been an asset to me as the Canon to the Ordinary and I appreciate his willingness to serve under difficult circumstances. Thank you, Canon. I would be remiss if I failed to thank from the bottom of my heart Mark Dirksen as the Interim Administrator. He is truly a gifted person and his support was so important to my ministry. Finally, Hannah, you’re the best, thank you and keep up the good work.
I have truly been blessed to be among each you, thank you! My life has been enriched. May God bless and keep you and may the light of his countenance shine upon you always. I am faithfully
Yours in Christ,
AROUND THE DIOCESE
The good folks who together are the Stichin’ Bees of St. Matthew’s Bloomington have been busy.
This is the Stitching Bees accomplishments since Christmas. We sent about half of the blankets to Fill The Crib for the Critten Center and the rest are going to Foster Dignity throughout Illinois.
Congratulations and a fond farewell to Bp. Anthony Clavier! Bp Tony has served as Vicar of St. Bartholomew’s, Granite City and St. Thomas, Glen Carbon. His retirement mass on was May 1, and he is hopping back across the pond to Brecon, Wales, where his son and daughter-in-law live. We know he will be greatly missed by all those who have come to know and love him in the communities he’s served. Many blessings on the next part of your journey (and that long-haul flight!), Bp. Tony!
The Church School children helped with the Easter Sunday flowering of the Cross at The Chapel of St John the Divine, Champaign this year.
All are invited to attend the ordination of Robert Armidon and Jonathan Butcher to the Sacred Order of Deacons at the Cathedral, Springfield on the feast of St. Barnabas, Saturday, June 11 at 11:00 am.
Emmanuel, Champaign celebrated the ordination of their curate, Mother Marisa Crofts, on April 25.
Our clergy renewed their ordination vows at the annual Chrism Mass during Holy Week.
Congratulations to Deacon Tim Leighton (St. Matthew’s, Bloomington) on his recognition by State Bar Leaders for his pro-bono work! Leaders in the legal profession in Illinois and Virginia have recognized Bloomington, Illinois lawyer Tim Leighton, a deacon in Diocese of Springfield, for meaningful efforts to deliver legal services for lower income individuals and other people in need.
When the Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins ordained Tim to the Sacred Order of Deacons in 2017, he charged the new Deacon “to model your life upon” the Holy Scriptures, “to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship,” … and “[a]t all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ’s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.”
In Deacon Tim’s service as lawyer, he regularly devotes a substantial part of his practice to pro bono publico service, including to people of limited means who pay no fees for these services. In Illinois, Prairie State Legal Services honored Tim Leighton as the 2021 Outstanding Pro Bono Community Honoree for Prairie State’s Bloomington office.
Virginia Chief Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn as Co-Chair, Virginia Access to Justice Commission, recently wrote to Deacon Tim to “recognize the meaningful efforts you have undertaken to deliver legal services to those in need consistent with the professional obligations outlined in Rule 6.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct.” The Commission named Tim as a “Pro Bono Service Honor Roll” member for the last Bar year.
Leighton Legal Group, LLC is grateful for the continuing opportunity to help low-income, elderly, and vulnerable people in our community with ready access to legal services with personalized estate planning and other pro bono services.
Deacon Tim has expressed gratitude that he is able to continue his law services to Clients as an extension of his diaconal ministry.
MINISTRIES FAR AND NEAR
Episcopal Church Camp of Illinois will gather July 3-9 at East Bay Camp in Hudson, Illinois to encourage, empower, and equip students entering grades 2-12 in their faith journeys. 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 ling 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 for the entire 72 hours, July 28th-31st of this year. Thank you and God Bless!
Now that Easter has passed it is time to move on with UTO business. Congregations should select a date by June 5th for your Spring Ingatherings.
Information about the Spring Ingathering was sent out to UTO Congregational Coordinators late March.
Thanks to all for your support to this great ministry!
In Christ,Joyce C. Wright UTO Diocesean Coordinator
From Global Episcopal Mission Network
“Women in Mission” is theme of online Global Mission Conference, May 12-14 Registration is ongoing for the 2022 Global Mission Conference that will be held May 12-14 online on the theme of Women in Mission. Sign up now to join with people around the world to celebrate and reflect on the vital role of women’s participation in God’s mission.
Sponsored by the Global Episcopal Mission Network, the conference will meet for 3 hours via Zoom on each of the 3 days, 1-4 p.m. Eastern Time. Spanish-language translation will be available.
Visit the conference page here for more information. If you’re ready to register, you can go directly to the registration page here. The conference is free and open to the public, and donations are encouraged via PayPal on the GEMN donation page. Attendees will receive the Zoom connection information upon registration.
Conference plenary speakers will highlight the history of women in mission, Mothers Union work in Africa, women missionaries’ work today, and Anglican women’s work at the United Nations. Workshops will feature the mission work of women in Mozambique, Pakistan, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Colombia, India and Korea. The work of religious orders, Episcopal Relief & Development, Five Talents and the United Thank Offering will be featured, and Mission Spotlights will offer further insight into women’s global work.