Bishop’s Report to Diocesan Council – February 18, 2018
(1) Taylor Vaughn has announced that she is leaving Vermont for the warmer climes of Virginia, and hence her position as P/T Administrative Assistant in the Diocesan Office, effective February 23rd. We will miss her and wish her well.
(2) The following congregations are in some phase of transition (mostly with respect to calling new clergy leadership): St. Thomas & Grace, Brandon, Supply Clergy; St. Andrew’s, Colchester, Supply Clergy, while seeking Interim; St. Luke’s, Fair Haven, Forming Local ministry Support Team in Formation, the Rev. Richard Brewer, Regular Supply; Christ Church, Island Pond: Supply Clergy; St. Peter’s, Lyndonville: Supply Clergy; Saint Mark’s, Newport: The Rev. Jane Butterfield, Interim; Gethsemane, Proctorsville: Supply Clergy; Saint John’s, Randolph: The Rev. Angela Emerson, Interim; Saint Luke’s, St. Albans: Supply Clergy; Saint Andrew’s, St. Johnsbury: Supply Clergy; St. Mark’s, Springfield: Supply Clergy; Calvary, Underhill: Supply Clergy; St. Paul’s Windsor, Supply Clergy; St. Mary’s, Wilmington: The Rev. Nicholas Porter, Interim; Saint James, Woodstock: the Rev. Lisa Ransom, Interim
(3) We are in the final stages of interviews with Candidates for the position of Financial Administrator. Julie’s last day in the office is February 23rd. She will be greatly missed!
(4) The Rock Point Partnership Campaign continues its progress towards our $1.7 million-dollar goal. At last count, all but 8 congregations have made a financial commitment to the effort. We are less than $25,000 away from meeting our goal. We have the potential of going over the top any day now!
(5) We received a $6,000 Grant from The Episcopal Church as part of the Evangelism Grants program. This was the largest grant made to a Domestic US Diocese and will help fund our participation in the Evangelism Matters Conference and the emerging ministry of the Green Mountain Witness effort.
(6) We are going to move the date of the 2018 Convention to October 26-27, because of venue challenges in the Burlington area on November 2-3. The Hilton Hotel in Burlington will be the venue for Convention. Fortunately, our special guest, the Rev. Stephanie Spellers, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Creation, can adjust to this new date.
(7) I participated in several events featuring Dr. John Armstrong, to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 25-29), sponsored by Vermont Ecumenical Council Network of Christian Cooperation. Thanks to Council member Fred Moser for organizing most of this.
(8) I participated in the Annual Province One Chancellors and Bishops Conference in Newport Rhode Island, January 25-27. Out Chancellor, Tom Little is the Senior Chancellor in the Province and the Convener of this gathering.
(9) On February 3rd, I presided at the wonderful Celebration of the Life and Ministry of Elaine Little, mother of our Chancellor, Tom Little, who died on January 28th. The liturgy was held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
(10) I attended the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors of Cristosal, in El Salvador from February 8-12. Cristosal is a leading Human Rights Organization in El Salvador, with strong ties to the Episcopal Church. Cristosal is incorporated in the State of Vermont, and the Bishop of Vermont serves as an ex officio member of the Board, per the incorporation papers and the bylaws. You can learn more about Cristosal here: http://www.cristosal.org
(11) I attended the Funeral Mass for Tony Pomerleau, a well-known, generous and ecumenically minded person in Vermont, who died recently at the age of 100! The Roman Catholic liturgy was held at St. Michael’s College in Colchester.
(12) On Friday (2/16) I will preside at the Celebration of the life and ministry of the Rev. Beverly St. Germain, a Deacon of our Diocese who died on February 5th. The liturgy will be held at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
(13) The Standing Committee continues to oversee the process related to Episcopal Transition in the Diocese of Vermont. Next up will be the announcement of the Chair and membership of the Bishop’s Discernment and Nominating Committee. Information continues to be offered on the website and in each edition of The Mountain.
(14) I presided at Ash Wednesday liturgies at the Cathedral, where we had a welcome, but unexpected visit from a local TV reporter (Jennifer from Channel 5 WPTZ) who interviewed the Dean and me and videoed the entire 12:15 liturgy. Her report aired on Wednesday night and is posted on our Twitter and Facebook sites. Here is the link: http://www.mynbc5.com/article/ash-wednesday-and-valentine-s-day-fall-on-same-day/18153840
(15) My Visitations since our last Council meeting included weekday visitations with Christ Church, Island Pond, on January 24th, Saint Paul’s, Burlington on January 31st, and a Sunday Visit with Saint Paul’s, Windsor on February 4th. In addition, I paid a special visit to Saint Dunstan’s, Waitsfield on January 21st to bless their new Worship Space at the Valley Arts Art Gallery in Village Square Shopping Center, Waitsfield, VT.
(16) Ann and I will enjoy a week’s vacation (February 22- March 1st). Yes, it is in a very warm place!