Tuesday, November 27th, 2018
I would like to thank you for an extraordinary 235th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. "Let us turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh."
Our time together began with driving rain and a glorious Eucharist. We gave thanks and offered our lives to the Lord. Our convention and our Diocese are living into its extraordinary promise thanks to your love and trust. You make it holy.
During this time, we worked, laughed, sang, shared fellowship and took part in the councils of the church. We also uplifted all our ministries as a light for the world to see. And, in spite of a few technology glitches with voting on Saturday, we were successful in moving forward, together, as one body. ( Thank you to all who were patient with us during our learning curve.)
During this time together we passed incorporation, the budget, and critical resolutions. We also emphasized the collective call to holiness, our commitment to mission and embraced our sacred union as a church to one another and the broader Church. We are now living into the fruits of transparency, a place of openness with space to speak in Christian love. In short, sacred transformation. The Church, our church, is moving differently through the world; not as a mere business but as the Body of Christ. We are being called to the heart of Jesus, and this is the place in which we shall find life.
Together, we have laid out a course for the future and my reaffirmation that "a shepherd should smell like the sheep." Together we reaffirming the work of proclaiming the Gospel, empowering our congregations and touching the pain of the world. As a people of God, let us know Jesus and change the world.
Thank each one of you who took part in making the day beautiful. The list is far too extensive to name -- the workers, singers, those who worked on committees throughout the year, the presentations. This is your holy work in your holy Diocese. I keep each you in my prayers and know my prayers for each one of you. I am blessed to serve you as your Bishop.
May God bless you always; I am confident that Christ the Good Shepherd will answer our prayers and bless our work.
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutiérrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania