6 June 2017
I have found our first month together as diocese and bishop to be an exhilarating ride. My excitement for what God is doing in our midst continues to grow. As we begin the season of Pentecost, I’m aware that this time in our church calendar that is also known as “ordinary time” feels anything but.
When I arrived as bishop-elect in February, two long-serving members of the bishop’s staff announced their desire to retire at the end of the calendar year—Marsha Gebuhr, the Canon for Administration, and Sally Cassidy, Executive Assistant to the Bishop. While I began listening and learning the needs of our diocese, it seemed important to move forward with discerning these positions right away. It gives me great joy to announce that I’ve called Mr. Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale to the position of Canon to the Ordinary for Administration and Evangelism. The title of this position makes explicit that all canons are “canons to the ordinary” with a particular ministry focus. The “ordinary” being the diocesan bishop.
Many of you will know Brendan as an active lay leader at his parish, the Episcopal Church of All Saints in Indianapolis, and by his roles on the bishop’s search committee, the Diocesan Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church, deputy to General Convention, and a member of the Acts 8 Movement. Brendan brings 16 years of experience with the Oxford Financial Group where he has had research and advisory responsibility for over $3 billion in assets. He has experience with endowments and pension plans as well as providing strategic counsel for organizational health. Brendan has a combination of financial acumen, experience in missional evangelism and a love for the Diocese of Indianapolis that makes him right for this role in this time.
As Canon to the Ordinary for Administration and Evangelism Brendan will provide the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure that the Diocese has the proper operational controls and administrative reporting procedures in place to ensure organizational strength and operating efficiency. The Canon will also support clergy and lay leaders in congregations in developing the evangelistic and missional strategy for reaching out beyond our parochial campuses.
The expansion of this position to include evangelism reflects the desire I’ve already heard from so many of you for resources and support to tend to the deep work of sharing the good news of the Gospel. It is my hope that all members of the bishop’s staff will have some aspect of this work in their portfolio. As the listening sessions begin later this week and through the fall, I hope to hear even more from you that will assist me in shaping a bishop’s staff that can support you in your ministries. This includes the position of executive assistant to the bishop—of which the ministry description is currently under review.
Anticipated beginning, pending clear background checks or other requirements, is October 1 giving Brendan and Marsha overlap until her retirement at the end of the calendar year. Details about our celebrations of retiring staff members will be forthcoming later this summer.
In this time of ongoing transition, I bid your prayers for your bishop’s staff and for Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale as he prepares to join us later this fall. May God continue to bless and keep you.
Ten listening sessions are being held across the diocese before Diocesan Convention and you’re invited to participate. Bishop Jennifer seeks to hear from as many people as possible about their hopes, dreams, and the challenges they see for our diocese.
Laity are invited to attend one of the sessions closest to them and other groupings for diocesan lay leaders, priests, deacons, spouse/partners, and youth have specific dates just for each group. Bishop Jennifer has been working with the Executive Council and Ms. Susan Czolgosz of Holy Cow! Consulting to develop the sessions with the following purpose:
- Provide opportunity to deepen relationship between Bishop Jennifer and members from around the diocese
- Dialogue about diocesan strengths and challenges as described in the diocesan profile
- Further define what members of the diocese need from their Bishop and the Bishop’s staff
Each session will include prayer, a meal, and ample time for you to share your thoughts. A full report of the sessions will be given to the diocese including a presentation with table discussions at Diocesan Convention in October.
|Clergy Spouses: NEW DATE!||Oct. 5, 2017||Thursday||6 p.m. EDST||St. Paul’s Columbus|
|Lay N. Central, S. Central, & MidCentral Regions||Sept. 7, 2017||Thursday||6 p.m. EDST||Trinity, Indianapolis|
|Lay Leadership||Sept. 9, 2017||Saturday||10 a.m. EDST||Waycross|
|Youth||Sept. 9, 2017||Saturday||1:30 p.m. EDST||Waycross|
|Priests||Sept, 13, 2017||Wednesday||10 a.m. EDST||InterChurch Ctr, Indianapolis|
|Deacons||Oct. 7, 2017||Saturday||9 a.m. EDST||Waycross|
|Lay SE Region||Oct. 15, 2017||Sunday||1 p.m. EDST||St. Paul’s, New Albany|
On the weekend of April 29, 2017, The Right Reverend Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows was ordained, consecrated and seated as the eleventh bishop of the diocese. This was a historic and joyful time for the diocese.
The Ordination and Consecration Service
A Video Retrospective on Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows’ Ordination and Consecration by The Rev. Canon Michael Hunn
Celebrating the ordination and consecration of Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows in the Diocese of Indianapolis!
Posted by Michael Hunn on Monday, May 15, 2017
Another first for Bishop Jennifer—her first deanery Confirmation, this one for the Southeast Region Deanery at St. Paul’s, Columbus.
I was saddened to learn this morning that the vandalism of St. David’s Church in Bean Blossom was committed by the church’s organist, Nathan Stang, who has admitted to police that he spray painted hateful graffiti on the church last November in the wake of the presidential election. This was a hurtful, dishonest, and profoundly misguided action that stands against the values of the people of this diocese and the Episcopal Church, and we will continue to cooperate with the authorities who are pursuing this case.
We are living now in a political climate that is so divisive and highly charged that people from all across the political spectrum are making thoughtless and hurtful choices that they believe are justified by the righteousness of their causes. As people who follow Jesus, we must find a different way.
Christians are called to hold one another accountable for our choices and actions, but also to offer one another love and forgiveness. I do not know Nathan, who is not a member of the diocese and has worked at the church for about a year, but media reports indicate that he felt frightened and alone in the wake of last year’s presidential election and that he was attempting to catalyze a movement by instilling a sense of fear in the congregation and community. Many people in our country, particularly members of sexual, religious and racial minorities, have well-founded reasons to be fearful in these difficult times, but this terrible situation illustrates why we must resist the temptation to play to those fears. Our job, as people of God, is to speak the truth in love, admit our own sins, and be ever mindful that seeking justice includes ending fear for all God’s people.
I know that this incident has been deeply painful for many people at St. David’s, in our diocese, in Bean Blossom and surrounding communities, and across the country. As bishop, I want to offer my sincere apology to those who have been hurt both by what happened in November and what is happening today. As this story unfolds in the media and in the courts, I hope that you will join me in praying for St. David’s and its leaders, for Bean Blossom, for Nathan, and for everyone who has found in this incident a reason to be afraid