February 2, 2021
Feast of the Presentation
To the faithful of the Diocese of Springfield,
Happy are the people whose strength is in you! *
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way. Ps. 84:4
We find ourselves on the pilgrims’ way in the midst of a season of change. Vaccines are being administered in response to the Covid pandemic. The season of revelation after the Epiphany will soon give way to Lenten devotions and Easter preparations. And life in the Diocese of Springfield enters a new phase as well.
Let us begin by noting that the search for the 12th Bishop of Springfield is making strides thanks to the diligent work of the Election Committee under the leadership of Mo. Sherry Black (chair) and Rod Matthews (co-chair). A full timeline of that process is available online.
While we certainly commend the whole timeline to you for your reference, we do want to highlight a few key dates that will be of particular importance:
- October 15-16, 2021 – Diocesan and Nominating Synod, Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Springfield)
- December 11, 2021 – Electing Synod, Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Springfield)
- May 21, 2022 – Consecration of the 12th Bishop of Springfield, Location TBD
The last year brought much that was unexpected, and we are pleased to be at the point of having a timeline that allows for careful listening to the whole diocese, adequate intervals for the work required between each synod and the consecration, and the presence of our Presiding Bishop as chief consecrator. We hope that you will mark these dates on your calendar, cover them in prayer that God will lead our Diocese in choosing the right person for the next season of our life together, and join us along with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for the consecration of the 12th Bishop of Springfield.
Yet, even as we look ahead to these dates, there is much happening in the intervening months including some changes at the present time. Bishop Martins began his transitional sabbatical on February 1. Over the next five months, the Bishop continues to oversee the ordination process, clergy discipline, and, in consultation with the Standing Committee, clergy deployment. He also has a few select dates open on his calendar to preside and preach during this period. We pray for Bishop Daniel and for Brenda as we commend them to your prayers in this season of transition leading to retirement at the end of June.
As of February 1st, and in conjunction with the Bishop’s sabbatical, the Standing Committee began its role as the Ecclesiastical Authority except in those areas under Bishop Martins’ continued supervision outlined above. Those Committee members who are serving as liaisons are:
- Administration and daily operations – Mo. Beth Maynard
- Communications – Kevin Babb
- Department of Finance – Fr. Shawn Denney
- Department of Mission – Gerry Smith
- Trustees – Randy Winn
Additionally, we appreciate the good work being done by all those who minister in various capacities across the Diocese, and we offer particular thanks for the faithful ministries of Canon Mark Evans, Sue Spring, and Hannah Dallman.
Finally, we share with you that Bishop Paul Lambert, retired Suffragan of Dallas, will be available in the coming months for episcopal consultations and visitations as necessary. Bp. Lambert currently resides in Monteagle, TN with his wife Sally, and they have three children and six grandchildren. More details will be made available, but in the meantime, please address questions or requests to Mo. Beth Maynard.
In closing, we ask that you continue to pray for the Diocese that our strength may be found in the Lord and that we may set our hearts on the pilgrims’ way together, fixing our eyes ever on the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Springfield