We have a new Bishop-elect!
This morning, The Rev. Chris Warner was overwhelmingly elected by the electing synod to be our next bishop. He will be our ‘bishop-elect’ until he is confirmed by the College of Bishops in January 2023 and then consecrated as bishop at The Falls Church Anglican in February 2023. Chris and his wife, Catherine, are wonderful. Laurel and I really enjoyed getting to know them during the ‘Walkabouts’ back in September. They bring maturity and wisdom to this calling. Chris has been the rector of his current church for 20 years. This is his second time as a finalist for bishop and it was so clear that this is his time to be called. I am so happy for our diocese. He will be ‘a faithful pastor, who will preach the Gospel, care for God’s people, equip us for ministry, and lead us in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.’ Just like we prayed.
SO I GET TO COME HOME TO RESTO!!!!!!!!!
For the last 10 months, Laurel and I have had our hands open to the Lord. I have said, almost every day, “I am willing to be called as bishop.” Today, the Lord answered so clearly: I am called to stay at Restoration.
And so I shall! With great joy.
You may be wondering how I am feeling- I feel great love for our parish; great gratitude for our staff and vestry who have gone deep into the emotion and hard work to be ready, should I have been elected; and great joy that God has chosen to keep me at Restoration for another season of ministry. So when you see me tomorrow, no caveats needed, just give me a high five, a big smile, and let’s seek the Lord together for what He has next for our parish.
I know that some of you may be wondering… are we going to have to go through this again? Soon? Quick answer- no. Longer answer- the last 2 years have been an intense surge of transition for our province, the ACNA, with 5 bishop elections. I was a nominee in 4 of them and a finalist in this one that just concluded for DOMA. At this time, there are no ACNA bishop elections on the horizon. The turbulence of change will be settling for our province. I have no plans to look at any other opportunities. Today was really a binary choice regarding my next season of ministry- bishop of DOMA or rector of Restoration. The Lord was very clear that my next season will be at Restoration and I am thrilled.
Tomorrow, as a part of our worship at both services, we will have a brief liturgy of ‘reaffirmation’ for me as rector. We will do it before the kids leave for their small groups so that our whole parish family can embrace and move through the door the Lord opened for another season of ministry together. I am looking forward to it.
Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement. Join me in thanking God for our new bishop-elect and see you tomorrow as we rejoice in the Lord, who is our strength.