Christmas Letter From Bishop Sumner

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in Christ our incarnate Lord. What does the truth of the Gospel mean? It means, as a prime example, that what we hear this Christmas about the events of the nativity is real and historical, and that what they mean about who Jesus is can be trusted (though its full meaning is deeper than we can fathom). But the Word of God is so true that it can be so simultaneously and at several levels. It has a plenitude of meaning and truth. 

So this Christmas let us think about God's power to make real in each of us what we hear about Bethlehem and Nazareth long ago. In hearing this news, He is born and grows to maturity in our souls as well - so the early Fathers of the Church taught. The Word, true in the world, is also true “pro nobis,” for us. This does not domesticate Him, any more than being a baby, but makes His Lordship even greater.

May the coming year, whatever it brings in the world and in your life, be just such a birth in you, spiritually and anew.



The Strategic Plan

Dear Friends, 

Greetings in Christ. Please receive this strategic plan: read, pray over, consider for yourself and your parish! I am so grateful for those who worked hard to produce it. My hope is that we will find in it, by grace, a road for us as a dicocese to walk together.

The vision behind it all is a diocese which has claimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ yet more deeply and faithfully, which has been renewed in the Holy Spirit and so renews its own commitment to sharing that Gospel, which claims anew the rich tradition of the Episcopal prayer and worship, which reaches out to fellow Christians and those in need boldly.

I am also appreciative of the offering of a baseline and markers so we can have a sense of how we are doing.

I believe we are at a unique moment, which God is calling us to respond to. There are challenges for our Church in demographics and memory of our faith and theology. There is a great opportunity to share the faith in growing communities. Everything in this plan has in mind the future, the planting of seeds: young clergy, teaching materials for a new generation, and new congregations.

Find the niche where you can get involved, first of all in your own congregation, and together as well.