12/16/2013: The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts today sent the following update to clergy, wardens, Diocesan Convention deputies and leadership of the diocese.
“The Night Is Far Gone; The Day Is Near.
Let Us Then Lay Aside The Works Of Darkness
And Put On The Armor Of Light.” Romans 13:12
Dear People of the Diocese:
Your Standing Committee is pleased to provide this update on the discernment of, and transition to, new episcopal leadership in this diocese.
First, I write with confidence solely as a consequence of the example shown by your Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, diocesan staff, and the clergy and laity of this diocese pursuing an election and transition at this particular time in the life of our diocese. It is hard enough to be seeking a successor to our beloved Bishop Shaw; doing so in the context of his current illness is especially hard. Nevertheless, I am buoyed by the grace and spirit that Bishop Shaw and those in this diocese have shown in the face of this adversity. While uncertainty and even some measure of anxiety can be expected at a time of significant transition, we know also that Christ is with us, using our uncertainties and anxieties as tools to transform our spirits.
Second, I am grateful to be able to report that the election Discernment Committee will, as charged, discern by January 15 a slate of four or five candidates to stand for election on April 5 as your next bishop. We are greatly indebted to this committee, ably led by Dr. David Urion and the Rev. Laurel Deery, for their hundreds of hours of time, spent in dozens of meetings and in over one hundred interviews, to discern candidates appropriate for this diocese.
Third, I feel fortunate to have worked with a committed Transition Committee, already laying plans for an election, transition, and consecration of a new diocesan bishop. While many members of this committee are experienced diocesan volunteers, others are newcomers to work on the diocesan level. Yet, they have shown the tenacity and savvy of diocesan veterans.
Lastly, I ask for your prayers and thanksgiving for these committees, the diocesan staff, diocesan clergy, and the whole of our diocesan community through this period of transition. I pray that we all find peace and strength to embrace the road ahead, wherever it leads.
Yours In Christ,
THE STANDING COMMITTEE
BY: James Gray Wagner, Esq., its President
James Gray Wagner, Esq.
The Rev. Mark McKone-Sweet
The Rev. Marya DeCarlen
The Hon. Judith Nelson Dilday (ret.)
Dr. Colin Johnstone
The Rev. Amy McCreath
Prof. Blanca G. Silvestrini
The Rev. Pamela L. Werntz