Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 07 19

Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit in this diocese.

a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor." Matthew 26:7-9 (NKJV)
     Father, set us free from indignation when we see the work of your Spirit.

But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her." Matthew 26:10-13 (NKJV)
     Help us, Lord, daily minister to the poor and the forgotten among us.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 (NKJV)
     Holy Spirit, please help me present my body to you as a living sacrifice.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
     Father, set me free from conformity to the world.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; Romans 12:9-10 (NKJV)
     Set me free from hypocrisy, Jesus.

Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan. Joshua 3:17 (NKJV)
     Holy Trinity, One God, help the priests of this diocese stand firm in the truth of the gospel.

that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?' Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever." Joshua 4:6-7 (NKJV)
     Jesus, please help us gather up spiritual memorial stones so that we recall your mighty deeds.

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. Psalm 16:1 (NKJV)
     Preserve me, LORD.

A Word Received: Keep looking to me for strength to endure.

Albany Intercessor

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

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