Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bishop Ted's engaging visit last Sunday

We had a wonderful visit this past Sunday from Ted Gulick, the newest bishop in the Diocese of Virginia.

He baptized three babies, confirmed, affirmed and affirmed another 15
people, and then welcomed another dozen people as new members of St. Paul's. All the while, we had children seated up front right where they could see everything, and he had the kids try on his hat.

After the service, Bishop Ted answered questions for about 45 minutes, and then we took him to lunch at Canterbury House where he met with our University students for another hour.

We gave the bishop quite a work out last Sunday, but it evident he clearly enjoyed every minute of it. I heard many comments afterwards about how grateful people were at his warmth and how he engaged people of all ages.

For those who might be a bit confused by how many bishops we have, here's the scoop: Shannon Johnston is the diocesan bishop, and he was elected by the diocese five years ago. He holds all of the canonical authority of the bishop.

Next comes David Jones, the suffragan bishop, who has held that post for 17 years and will soon retire. He holds only whatever authority the diocesan bishop gives him, and in his tenure he has overseen church planting and evangelism. We will be electing his replacement in April 2012.

Ted Gulick is the assistant bishop, and was appointed by Shannon Johnston. Bishop Ted is the retired diocesan bishop from Kentucky and is being paid half-time by our diocese to assist with confirmations and pastoral care of the clergy. As Bishop Ted put it, "Shannon got to pick his best friend." With 180 congregations, the bishops are sometimes visiting more than one church each Sunday to perform confirmations and other episcopal functions.

Here are a few photos taken by Diane Wakat. Don't you think Ann Willms carries that crozier well? (he asked her to). Hmmm.

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