July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
The Rt. Rev. Pierre W. Whalon
Bishop Pierre's latest (fourth) snippet in the video series, via 'Voice.'
I have been to 14 conventions of the CECE; this is the fourteenth. The closing Eucharist, to me, has always been a mixture of gladness and happiness...happiness that Convention is over, and sadness, as well, that it is over, because Convention is the only time when others who belong to our scattered jurisdiction can see what I, as Bishop, get to see on a regular basis: the energy, the vitality, the intelligence...and the sheer talent that our churches are blessed with. Faithfulness, outstanding outreach ministries…it is all here, and yet, the Convocation is still very much under construction, and it always will be. But today is a day to celebrate who we are, and to celebrate that we are able to be with our brother and colleague, Bishop Jorge Cabral, bishop of the Lustianian Church – the Portuguese-Anglican church, and with all of the clergy assembled here.
[Anglicans Online] All Episcopalians belong to the Domestic & Foreign Missionary Society. Since its founding, the Society in its “foreign mission” has sought to help people in other nations to establish their own autonomous Church. Altogether, we have founded seven provinces or “national churches” of the thirty-eight churches of the Anglican Communion. Today we have eleven dioceses outside the United States, plus the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. We are continuing to develop them in mind of that eventual autonomy.
Dear People of God in the Convocation of Church in Europe, I am writing to you as we begin our annual convention. It is an obligation, as the canon law of The Episcopal Church requires bishops to make an annual Address to their conventions and synods. But for six years now, since the Waterloo Convention in 2008, I have refrained from reading the address to the delegates, in favor of a Pastoral Letter to be distributed to all the members of the Episcopal Churches in Europe.
It is a great pleasure and privilege to preach the Gospel here with you today, and to share in this wonderful celebration of the Holy Eucharist. As I was thinking about this --I was told that I had nine minutes maximum -- I thought that I would preach on something that I have never preached on before today. In the middle of the Gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, ‘Truly, I say to you, what you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ We normally call this the power of the keys – remember St. Peter was given the power of the keys – and every bishop’s shield, including mine, has a pair of crossed keys in it. It is the power to loose and to bind.
On July 29, 1974, at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, three retired bishops ordained eleven women to the priesthood. There had been a great deal of debate leading up to what was, at the time, an "irregular" action by the said bishops. There were already a very few women priests in other churches of the Anglican Communion, in Hong Kong and Canada. The Lambeth Conference, a meeting every decade or so of the bishops of the Communion, had in 1968 found no theological argument against ordaining women.
[The American Cathedral] The baptism of Karim and Isabella. Baptism is, of course, is always a new beginning – a new creation, in fact. Paul says, "If anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creation." "The old has passed away, behold the new has come," he wrote to the Corinthians. Looking at today’s Epistle from the Romans, if you will look right in the middle of the text, you will see this quotation from Psalm 44. "We are as sheep being led to the slaughter. We are being killed all the day long"…and so, on this day of baptism, there is a new creation at the same time that there is killing going on.
The triennial synod of the Anglican Diocese of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau took place from June 26 to 29, 2014. It was the first synod presided by the Right Reverend Jacques Boston, diocesan Bishop since 2012. He chose for the synod the site of the first church built in 1856 by missionaries, St. James, in Fallanghia, province of Boffa. This little village is also the birthplace of the previous Bishop, the Right Reverend Albert Gomez, who was happy to show it off to the guests.
Le synode triennale du Diocèse anglican de Guinée et Guinée-Bissau s'est déroulé du 26 au 29 juin 2014. C'était le premier synode sous l'égide de Mgr Jacques Boston, depuis 2012 Évêque du Diocèse. Il a choisi pour le synode le site de la première église construite par les missionnaires, en 1856, St. James (sic), à Fallanghia, dans la province de Boffa. Ce petit village est aussi le lieu de naissance du précédent évêque, Mgr Albert Gomez, qui s'est donné plaisir de le faire découvrir aux invités.