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Dear people of the Episcopal Church in Vermont,
I cannot begin to adequately express how overjoyed I am that you have elected me to be your next bishop. I am absolutely humbled by the honor.
From the first time I read your profile, to the BDNC retreat and walkabouts, the many hours of discerning prayer, my election and to this day, I’ve been dreaming about what it might be like to be a follower of Jesus with you in Vermont. I’ve been dreaming of this moment and beyond for quite some time, when we would begin this adventure together. And so now it begins.
First of all, I’ve dreamt of getting to know you and about the places where you live and are important to you. I’m looking forward to learning how to be a citizen of Vermont. I’m counting on you to help me with that.
I’ve heard about the 251 Club. I’m not sure how long it will take me to get to all the cities, towns and villages of Vermont, but I’m going to start working on it, and hope that as I make my way through our state, I’ll meet you along the way, for conversation and that you’ll join me for a selfie, and be part of my travel journal.
I’m looking to connect with leaders in the interfaith community and government officials who are working together for the common good, and hope that you will help me make connections.
I’ve dreamt about how we will learn and grow into ministry together and discern the future of our diocese.
When I first started gardening, I planted columbine and bleeding heart. Some I bought, and some came from my mother’s garden. The next year, I waited for them to come back. They did, but some had changed colors, seeds started new plants, so they were in new places.
As I prepare to join you, I’m reminded of that garden. I’m not coming to untilled soil or a field of weeds. I’m coming to a lovely garden that is already established. I’m so grateful for the leadership of Bishop Ely and the ministry that you have already been doing here. That is part of what drew me to be here with you.
My leadership will be a new experience. We will all be changed by each other. And I am so glad that we are starting from a good place. I’m wondering and dreaming about what new colors we’ll see and what new plants we’ll add to our garden.
In these next few years, I invite you to dream with me, to adventure with me, to be a learner with me. I pray that we will allow the Holy Spirit to guide us as we begin this new adventure together.
Glory to God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. Glory to God from generation to generation, in the church and in Christ Jesus, for ever and ever. Amen.