Episcopal visit in North Carolina

July 27th 2014

The Presiding Bishop officiated and preached at Morning Prayer at All Saints’ Anglican Church, Barracks Road, Hillsborough, NC.  This was his first visit to the parish since the retirement of Bishop Stephen Reber who had been the Rector of All Saints’ since 1994.  Bishop Robinson was assisted by the Rev. Paul Kelly and the Rev. Stephen Reeves.

Missionary Diocese of the East 2014 Convocation

July 26th 2014

The Convocation of the Missionary District of the East met at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Huntersville, NC on Saturday July 26th.  Canons were approved for the governance of the Missionary District, and a Council of Advice and Board of Examining Chaplains were elected.  The former Bishop of the Missionary District, the Rt. Rev. Joseph H. Dobson, was voted Bishop Emeritus.  The day had opened at 9.45am with Morning Prayer and Communion at which the Presiding Bishop celebrated; and closed with Evening Prayer and Sermon at 3pm.

Diocese of the Great Lakes joins UECNA

July 19th 2014

The Diocese of the Great Lakes joins the UECNA.  More information in the August ‘Glad Tidings’

North Carolina parish relocates

July 13th 2014

Christ the King Anglican Church, Lexington, NC is now holding services in its new location at 4789 Old Linwood Road, Linwood, NC.  Bishop Murrell was present to help the Canon Richard Desroches, and the parish celebrate this significant milestone in its history as it moves into a rented building which it can use full-time as a Church. 

Parish celebrates rector’s ordination anniversary

July 6th 2014

St Paul’s Anglican Church celebrated the 20th anniversary of their Rector’s ordination with an indoor picnic organized by the Parish Guild.  Bishop Robinson was ordained Deacon on 3rd July 1994 by the Rt. Rev. Leslie Hamlett, Bishop of the Missionary Diocese of England and Wales at St Mary and St John’s Anglican Catholic Church, Madeley Heath, Cheshire, UK

New pastoral appointments in North Carolina and Maryland

June 22nd 2014

The Very Rev. Richard Desroches has been appointed Priest in Charge of Christ the King Anglican Church, Lexington, NC effective immediately.  The letter of appointment was read by the Rev. Canon Keith Bernarducci, the outgoing priest-in-charge of the congregation.

The Rev. Canon Ordice Gallups has been appointed Priest-in-Charge of St John’s Anglican Church, Mechanicsville, MD effective immediately.  He succeeds the Rt. Rev. Joseph H. Dobson, IV, who retired as rector of the parish on March 31st.

Episcopal visit in Arizona

June 8th 2014

The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Peter D. Robinson, visited St Jude’s Anglican Church, Tucson, AZ this past Sunday and administered the rite of confirmation.  The also officiated as the Rev. George Parrish, and his wife Mary renewed their marriage vows.

New mission in California

May 30th 2014 – New Mission – Fremont, Ca.

Littlewood Chapel will soon be commencing services in Fremont, Calif., at 5pm on Sunday afternoons, and 7pm on Friday evenings.  The Mission is avowedly in the Low to Broad Church tradition of Anglicanism, and is a lay led initiative.  For more information see their website https://littlewooduecna.weebly.com

Missionary Diocese of the East 2014 Convocation

May 25th 2014

The Presiding Bishop has called the organising Convocation of the Missionary District of the East for July 26th 2014.  It will meet at the Huntersville Arts and Cultural Center, 119 S. Old Statesville Road, Huntersville. 

Every clergyman in the Eastern District is entitled to be present and voting at the meeting.  Lay delegates are apportioned three to a parish; two to a mission; and one to an authorized place of public worship such as an oratory or chapel.

General Convention 2014

May 13th to 15th 2014 – General Convention

The 11th General Convention of the United Episcopal Church of North America met at the Hotel St Michael, W. Gurley St., Prescott, AZ.  The business meetings were organised to all occur on the 14th, and the following is a summary of what occurred.  Please note that an official Convention Journal will be available later in the year, so this account must be regarded as Provisional.

The General Convention was called to order at 11.00am, and Morning Prayer, led by the Presiding Bishop and the Very Rev. Richard Desroches followed.

A roll call then followed which showed that there were lay and clerical delegates from a majority of the UECNA’s were present. 

The election of General Convention Officers then followed with the Very Rev. Richard Desroches being elected president, and the Rev. Patrick Maclean being elected Recorder.

The Presiding Bishop then gave his “State of the Church” address which pointed to modest growth over the past three years, especially in the Eastern and Western Missionary Dioceses.  He also noted with approval that he had been called upon to dedicate new or relocated church buildings in Branson, MO, and Boaz, AL both in the South and Ozarks Missionary Diocese.  He also gave an overview of both inter-jurisdiction and ecumenical relations, noting that whilst moves towards closer relations with the Anglican Catholic Church and the Anglican Province of Christ the King were stalled, old friendships with the Diocese of the Great Lakes, and the Anglican Episcopal Church had been renewed.

Bishop Stephen Murrell then reported on the situation in the Eastern Missionary Diocese, noting that several new works had been established in the last few years, and that there were a healthy number of ordinations within the diocese.

Bishop Robinson then delivered the report for the South and Ozarks Missionary Diocese on behalf of Bishop Glen Hartley, who had been prevented from attending by being involved in a collision with a deer on the way.  Bishop Hartley’s report noted the changes within the Missionary Diocese, including the closure of one church – St Matthew’s, Rogers, AR – and the accession of two missions to the diocese in western KY.

Bishop David Hustwick of the Diocese of the Great Lakes then addressed the Convention about his jurisdiction’s work in Michigan and Ohio, and was warmly received.

In the remaining half hour before lunch, the General Convention looked at the proposed changes to the Constitution and Canons.

The first item was a proposed constitutional amendment to require that those consecrated Bishop have been in priest’s orders at least six years by the time of their proposed consecration.  This is intended to be both a fulfilment of the New Testament injunction to lay hands suddenly on no man, and also incorporates a traditional requirement enshrined in the 1604 Canons of the Church of England.  This proposed amendment was carried by the required 75% majority, and will return for a final vote at the 12th General Convention which, God willing, will occur in May 2017.

Next came two Canon changes relating to Episcopal Visitors.  The first, and additional to Canon 13, allows the Standing Committee of a vacant diocese to request the appointment of an Episcopal Visitor by the House of Bishops.  The second, an amendment to Canon 46, defined the terms under which an Episcopal Visitor may be appointed.

A further amendment to the Canons, to allow Bishops to serve as Ordinaries on a year-by-year basis at the request of their diocesan Convocations was amended, and returned to the House of Bishops for further consideration.

A new Canon – 69 – essentially creates a “grammar committee” to correct the text of the Constitution and Canons without the whole process having to be submitted to the General Convention.

The House then rose for lunch, reconvening at 1.15pm

Mrs. Eileen Grant, the treasurer of the UECNA then gave a financial report, which showed that the financial position of the UECNA had improved considerably since the last General Convention in 2011.  Particularly gratifying is the 10.3% return on the Church’s investments, which has been used to compensate for some budget shortfalls in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  Mrs. Grant’s report was accepted by the General Convention, and a vote of thanks was spontaneously proposed by several members of the House.

The election of the treasurer to the 11th General Convention to cover 2014-2017 was then made, and Mrs Grant was re-elected for another 3 year term.

The budgets for 2015, 2016, and 2017 were then presented to the House and accepted un-amended.

The House then recessed for the nomination of three clergy and six lay members for the National Council.  A slate was produced and proposed to the House and accepted.

This was followed by a brief discussion of the Church’s publicity efforts.  The Rev. Mike McDonald was tasked with investigating ways of overhauling the Provincial website and giving it more eye-appeal.  The General Convention was also warmly supportive of a proposal to drop the ‘Trinitarian’ as the UECNA’s joint journal with the ACC, and revive “Glad Tidings” as a quarterly publication from August 2014.  The Presiding Bishop also suggested that in future the UECNA would be printing its own liturgical calendar, and the clergy delegates approved this notion.

The Presiding Bishop then gave his charge in which he highlighted three urgent priorities.  A greater commitment to Home Mission and Evangelism by the whole Church; the establishment of a Missionary Society, and the re-establishment of Latimer Seminary (initially founded in 1985 by Bishop Knight) as the theological institute for the UECNA as an adequate supply of clergy is essential for the growth of the Church.

The House then adjourned.

Meetings for the United Episcopal Churchwomen, and the clergy then followed at St Paul’s Anglican Church.  The focus of the clergy’s discussion was the effects of the marriage redefinition campaign on the Church, and how to protect the Christian Character of Matrimony.

Evening Prayer followed at 5.10pm, and the Lord’s Supper at 5.30pm.

The Convention Dinner followed at 7pm at the Hotel St Michael.  The after dinner speaker was Bishop Hustwick, and there was a short music programme given by Mr. Tom Flowers, the organist of St Paul’s Anglican Church, who is also a talented harpsichordist, and it was the harpsichord that took centre stage on this occasion.

The Presiding Bishop then formally prorogued the House of Delegates, and gave the gathering his blessing.