Message Following General Convention

A Message From Bishop Love Concerning
the 79th General Convention
July 18, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As most of you are well aware, the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church ended this past Friday afternoon, July 13th in Austin, Texas. While it officially began on July 5th, in actuality, it started on July 3rd with registration and the first of multiple Committee Hearings.
All together over 400 resolutions were presented during the 10 days of General Convention, most of which will have little to no impact on the Diocese of Albany or the world around us. With that said, there were a few resolutions of great significance that will greatly impact the Diocese of Albany and the wider Episcopal Church. Some of which were positive and others I see as greatly problematic.
On a positive note, an amended version of A068 was passed, thus preserving the 1979 Book of Common Prayer for at least the near term. There had been an attempt to change the 1979 BCP at this convention in ways that would have been unacceptable to those who maintain a traditional understanding of marriage. Resolution A068 not only preserved the 1979 BCP marriage rite and preamble, but also preserved the current psalter and liturgies; the Trinitarian formularies; the Lambeth Quadrilateral; and the Historic Documents. The resolution does allow for Dioceses under the direction and approval of their Bishop, to develop new rites and new language for trial use.
There had been an attempt at the 79th General Convention to radically change the bishop election process for each diocese by including the involvement of surrounding dioceses and the Presiding Bishop’s Office in unprecedented ways. While presented in a positive light, the potential for abuse led to the overwhelming defeat of the resolution.
One other potentially positive development coming out of the 79th General Convention was the passage of A227 which calls for the commission of a Task Force on “Communion Across Differences.” The Task Force (equally manned by traditionalists and progressives), is asked to find ways that both traditionalists and progressives can work together, to the extent possible, with a sense of integrity in The Episcopal Church. Time will tell how effective this will be.
Unfortunately with the passage of B012, authorizing same-sex marriages in parishes (regardless of the Bishop’s views and diocesan policies), the Task Force’s work has become much more difficult if not impossible. Of all the actions taken at the 79th General Convention, the passage of B012, is from my perspective as Bishop, the most problematic and potentially damaging within the Diocese of Albany as well as the wider Anglican Communion.
While I know there are some in the Diocese of Albany who applaud the passage of B012, the vast majority of the clergy and people of the Diocese, to include myself, are greatly troubled by it. There is much I need to say about B012 and how it will be handled in the Diocese of Albany, but before doing so, I need more time to think and pray, as well as consult with the Standing Committee and other trusted advisors.
What is being called for in B012, not only goes against the Marriage Canons of the Diocese of Albany, but also attempts to severely limit the bishop’s role and ministry as chief pastor, priest and teacher of all the people and parishes entrusted to his or her care regarding the sacrament of marriage. More importantly, it goes against my understanding of what God has revealed through Holy Scripture and over 2000 years of Church teaching about marriage.
I hope to meet with all the clergy of the Diocese to discuss their concerns and the potential impact of B012 on the clergy and parishes of the Diocese. In an effort to accommodate for that discussion, a special Clergy Day is scheduled for Thursday September 6th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Christ the King Center. Lunch will be provided. I am asking all the clergy (priests and deacons) to RSVP by Sunday, August 26th by emailing Lay Canon Jerry Carroll by clinking one of the following options:Attending or Regrets ; or by calling him at the Diocesan Office, at 518-692-3350, x501.
Please note that none of the actions of the 79th General Convention (to include B012), go into effect until the First Sunday of Advent 2018. With that said, I am taking a few days to rest, pray and think. I am currently in Colorado visiting family and will be back in Albany on this Friday, July 20th. I pray each of you have an opportunity to rest and relax, enjoying the remainder of the summer before the business of the fall starts up.
In closing, I want to commend our Diocesan Deputation. They worked incredibly hard, putting in very long hours faithfully representing the Diocese of Albany and serving our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church, often in a very difficult, trying and less than favorable environment. Despite the many challenges and frustrations, the Albany Deputation remained positive, as they testified at various Committee Hearings and spoke on the floor of the House of Deputies. Several bishops commented to me on how professional, well prepared and well-spoken Albany’s Deputies were. They upheld and faithfully proclaimed the Gospel, speaking God’s truth in love.
Faithfully Your Brother in Christ,
+Bill

Please click here to watch Bishop Love’s address at Convention to the House of Bishops. He speaks beginning at 28:00 and ends around 37:00.

Response Following Clergy Meeting on B012

September 7, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I met with the clergy of the Diocese of Albany on Thursday, September 6th, to discuss the recently passed General Convention Resolution B012. In order to provide a “safe setting,” enabling all the clergy to speak freely without fear of being quoted in the local newspaper, or by other clergy, the meeting was held within the context of an Executive Session. Approximately 130 clergy were able to attend.

I invited the clergy to reflect and share their thoughts regarding B012, particularly as it impacts them individually and their ministry as deacons and priests; the potential impact on their parishes; and the potential impact on the Diocese as a whole. I also asked what they would like to see from the Bishop prior to December 2nd (the first Sunday of Advent and the effective date of all General Convention Resolutions).

Overall, I found the day to be positive and helpful as I continue to discern how I, as the Bishop, will respond to B012 and lead the Diocese in the days to come. A wide variety of diverse thoughts and opinions were offered by the clergy regarding B012. All were shared in good faith.

As I mentioned in my letter of invitation to the clergy, the purpose of the meeting was NOT for me to issue a proclamation at that time on how B012 will be carried out in the Diocese of Albany, but rather for me to share with them some of my thoughts regarding B012; to clarify my understanding of what it does and doesn’t say; and to give me a chance to listen to the thoughts and concerns of the clergy.

Ultimately, as the Bishop, I will make a decision regarding my response to B012 and how it will be dealt with in the Diocese of Albany. That decision will be made thoughtfully and prayerfully and will be openly shared with the whole Diocese prior to December 2nd.

While, I know there are some who would like me to simply say today what I am going to do, it is not simply a matter of being for or against same-sex marriage. As a result of the complexity of B012, there are a multitude of implications not only for same-sex couples wishing to be married in their home parish, but also for the clergy and parishes involved; for my role and ministry as Bishop; for the Diocese of Albany and its relationship with the wider Anglican Communion and body of Christ.

Whatever decision I and or the rest of the Church make regarding B012, there will be consequences. There is no escaping that. My ultimate desire as your Bishop, is to be faithful and obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ, discerning not my will, but His will in knowing how best to lead the Diocese of Albany in such a way that He will be glorified and His Church and people be blessed. Please keep me and our Diocese in your prayers.

Faithfully Your Brother in Christ,

+William H. Love

Bishop of Albany

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

A few days ago, I went for an early morning walk at Christ the King Center, before the start of a very busy day of meetings and appointments.  As I walked breathing in the cool crisp morning air, looking out over the beauty of the surrounding country side with its tree covered hills and open meadows and the sunrise glistening off the water of the pond near the Barry House Library, I couldn’t help but give thanks to God for the beauty of His creation and the very real presence of the Holy Spirit.  It was one of those “special God moments” where I felt engulfed in the Lord’s love, mercy and grace.  Perhaps you or someone you know has had a similar experience while walking the grounds of Christ the King Center, or praying in one of its many beautiful chapels.  The grounds of CTK are truly holy and sacred.

This December will mark the 16th anniversary of the Diocese’s purchase of this 600+ acre property in Greenwich, NY.  Over those years, by God’s grace and the faithful prayers, hard work and extreme generosity of countless individuals, the property has been transformed into what is now Christ the King Center – a first rate Christian Camp, Conference and Retreat Center for people of all ages – kids and adults alike.

At our Annual Diocesan Convention in June, I stated that the one thing that has greatly hampered and limited the ministry at Christ the King Center from the very beginning is the lack of operating capital.  We can have the most beautiful grounds and some of the greatest Christian programs and ministry around, but if we don’t have the funds to pay the bills and the staff during the slow months, we find ourselves constantly trying to catch up and financially stressed.

If Christ the King Center — a major ministry and blessing of this Diocese, is ever to truly tap into its potential, and become the ministry resource that I believe the Lord wants it to be for the building up of His Kingdom – the financial situation has to change.  This year, we need to raise $500,000 above and beyond the regular level of giving, in order to create the breathing space needed to help Christ the King Center take the next several steps needed to bring about greater financial health and sustainability.  New marketing efforts are underway, but they take time.  For far too long Christ the King Center has been one of the best kept secrets around.  We are working hard to change that, but in the meantime, we need your help.  If we can find 500 people who are able to give $1,000 or more, that could make all the difference.  I ask you to please pray about what you can do.

Are you one of the 500 willing to help ensure the future of Christ the King Center and its many ministries such as:

  • The Beaver Cross Summer Camp Program which annually helps hundreds of kids from all walks of life around the Diocese and the surrounding communities grow stronger in their Christian faith in a safe, loving, Christ-centered environment, surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation.  When asked what made Christ the King Center and Beaver Cross so special, the most common responses were:  the sense of community; the loving and caring staff; and the overall welcome they received.  For many of the kids, Beaver Cross is their first real exposure to the true love and Good News of Jesus Christ. 
  • Christian Conferences  such as the upcoming two day “Inner Healing” conference entitled “Transformed” (October 19-20), with keynote speaker Judith MacNutt, a world renowned leader in Christian Healing Ministry.  Judith and her husband Francis MacNutt have taught and ministered to thousands of people around the world.  I count myself as one of those richly blessed by their teaching and healing prayer ministry. 
  • The Welcome Home Initiative, a special three day healing ministry retreat in November for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress that is completely free for the veterans. 

 

These are just a few of the many ministry programs occurring at CTK.  People come year round for retreats, conferences, and various other ministry opportunities and community events.

Earlier this summer, Karen and I gave $5,000 to support the ministry at CTK.  In a few days, we will be giving an additional $5,000.  I share this, not to brag, but rather to let you know that Karen and I truly believe in what the Lord is doing at Christ the King Center, and the potential of what can be done, given the necessary resources.  God has blessed us richly in our lives and we want to share that blessing with others through the ministry of Christ the King.  Please join us and others from around the Diocese in supporting this vitally important ministry by investing in the future of Christ the King Center through the “Friends of the King Appeal.” 

I am very aware that not everyone is able to give at the same level.  For some, a $1,000 gift is beyond their current financial abilities, but a lesser amount is doable.  There are others in a position to give far more than the requested $1,000.  Whatever your financial circumstances, I pray that you will consider doing all that you can to help us meet the current goal of raising $500,000 over the next couple of months in support of the ministry of Christ the King Center.  Your generous gift is greatly needed and most appreciated.  You can make the difference!

Faithfully Your Brother in Christ,
William H. Love
Bishop of Albany

 

To donate online with a credit card, click here
To donate by check mail your contribution to:
Christ the King Center
575 Burton Road
Greenwich, NY 12834
Memo: Friends of the King Appeal

Annual Clergy Retreats Planned

The annual retreats for Deacons and Priests are set and registration is now open. The Deacons will gather first on the weekend of October 26-28. The Priests will meet November 7-10. Both retreats will be held at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center.

The Priests’ retreat will conclude on November 10th with a gathering of all the Clergy, both Deacons and Priests, at 10am in the Chapel of St. Michael and All Angels at Christ the King. At this gathering, Bishop Bill will outline and explain his response to B-012 and give each Deacon and Priest a copy of his Pastoral Letter to be read or distributed in churches.

 

October Issue of Albany Episcopalian Available

Image-1Check out this quarter’s issue of
the Albany Episcopalian! Complete with photos from convention, messages from Bishop Love, upcoming events and more. Click the link below for a pdf.

October 2018 issue

It is the intent of the Albany Episcopalian to offer articles and information both to foster individual spiritual growth and highlight activities throughout the Diocese, keeping in focus the Diocesan Mission of Disciples Making Disciples. We are truly 130 Missionary Outposts that must look to Christ for our direction and Salvation. The Albany Episcopalian should help us “Be a friend, bring a friend to Christ” by offering timely information that is pertinent to our parish and personal lives.

To e-mail Lay Canon George Marshall, Editor of the Albany Episcopalian, click here.

If you would like to receive copies of the Albany Episcopalian, send your name, address, and parish affiliation here, and you should start receiving your copies with the next mailing. The Albany Episcopalian is published 4 times per year.