Bishop Eric Menees
Alleluia Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
In this, the fifth week in Eastertide, we continue our examination of our Diocesan Strategic Goals. As I write this Bishop's Note, I am at our conference center in the Sierra's - ECCO. Fr. Craig Isaacs and Fr. Scott Mitchell are leading the Clergy Conference on the subject of Protecting the Sheep - Physically, Emotionally & Spiritually.
How appropriate then that the strategic goal for this week's Note is: "To regularly offer training and development opportunities for clergy and lay leaders."
Why is this so important? Because Jesus' life and interaction with the disciples demonstrates that training and developing disciples for ministry is of the utmost importance to the breaking in of the Kingdom of God: “35And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
Your Diocesan Leadership - Bishop, Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, and Rural Deans - are committed to providing learning opportunities to equip and empower people go out into the harvest as the laborers of the Lord.
This last Saturday, it was my pleasure to meet with the deacons and ordinands prior to the diaconal ordinations to review the primary ministries of deacons: Leading Public Worship, Evangelism, and Discipleship; and Equipping the People of God to serve the sick, the poor, the lost, and the lonely.
What are our specific goals?
S3[a]: Conduct 1 Clergy Conference with at least 70% of Diocesan clergy in attendance. .
S3[d]: Conduct 1 Clergy Retreat with at least 70% of Diocesan clergy in attendance.
S3[b]: Conduct 4 Deacon Days with at least 30% participation at each meeting.
S3[c]: Offer 6 online training courses for clergy and lay leaders.
S3[e]: Complete development of a process for licensing of lay Chaplains in the Diocese.
I am pleased to say that we are well along the way to completing these goals. However, I am most excited about the establishment of the Diocesan School for Chaplains. It is my desire, hope, and prayer that this coming Fall we will offer our first class for the School for Chaplains. This will be a specific training course to train and license lay men and women to serve in the community -with my endorsement - at schools, hospitals, prisons/jails, etc., etc. With this training, brothers and sisters will be empowered and commissioned to represent the church and to maintain accountability and continued training. In time, it is my desire to establish three centers for this training throughout the diocese. Please keep this in your prayers, and keep an eye out for more news and announcements about the School for Chaplains.
May the Lord bless you and keep you this week!
Catechism Questions 103 - 105
103. How should you receive the sacraments?
I should receive the sacraments by faith in Christ, with repentance and thanksgiving. Faith in Christ is necessary to receive grace, and obedience to Christ is necessary for the benefits of the sacraments to bear fruit in my life. (1662 Catechism; Articles of Religion, 28)
104. What are the sacraments of the Gospel?
The two sacraments ordained by Christ, which are generally necessary for our salvation, are Baptism and Holy Communion, which is also known as the Lord’s Supper or the Holy Eucharist. (Articles of Religion, 25)
105. What is the outward and visible sign in Baptism?
The outward and visible sign is water, in which candidates are baptized “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” – the name of the Triune God to whom the candidate is being committed. (1662 Catechism, 1 Peter 3:21; Matthew 28:19)