Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA
 3717  Chestnut Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19104
 (215) 627-6434 ∙  Fax: (267) 900-2928 www.diopa.org
A Letter to the People of the Diocese of Pennsylvania from
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutierrez, Bishop Diocesan, and the Standing Committee

August 10, 2016

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

This past weekend, August 5-6, the Standing Committee and Bishop Gutierrez shared a time of retreat that included breaking bread together at meals and Holy Eucharist, praying for the Diocese of Pennsylvania and that our work might best reflect God's intentions for mission and ministry, sharing our stories that have prepared and called us to serve in the Episcopal Church, and identifying our priorities for the upcoming months.  It was a time of blessing, hope, and renewal.

We wish to share with you a number of issues that we discussed and agreed upon.  As you will see, most of these things are in their nascent stages and will be subject to expanded conversations with others in the Diocese and the creative input of the Holy Spirit! However, we wish to begin this new work together with transparency, openness to broad and differing points of view, and an invitation for all members of the Diocese to participate in new and renewed ministries. In this spirit, we commit to:

* Proclaim the Gospel, love God, and love one another as we embody a "theology of hope and abundance" in terms of ministries, congregational development, service to others, deepening relationships, and spiritual formation.
* Deepen relationships with and between the various committees, commissions, leadership groups, staff, and affiliates of the Diocese.
* Work in collaboration with Diocesan leadership and staff to develop a "Congregational Life and Development Team" that will help us to build up parish ministries, pursue lively outreach and programs, and seek creative, hope-filled action in parishes where there are struggles and need.
* Encourage the creation of serious and committed partnership relationships between parishes and missions in the Diocese.
* Model healthy, authentic, transparent, and respectful interactions and communications.
* Strive in all ways to be servant leaders and to uplift this model of mutual ministry in all aspects of diocesan life.
* Focus on solutions to vexing problems as opposed to dwelling on obstacles.
* Invite our whole diocesan family to join us in living out a shared "theology of hope and abundance".

We are honored to be part of the new work that is beginning in our diocese-it is a holy endeavor that will embrace the richness of our history and traditions while, at the same time, set our eyes and feet firmly on the new path to which Jesus Christ calls us.

Faithfully yours in Christ:
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. Gutierrez, Bishop Diocesan

The Standing Committee
The Rev. Kathryn Andonian, President
Mr. Mac McCausland, Vice President
The Rev. Hillary Raining, Secretary
Ms. Deborah Brown
The Rev. Elizabeth Colton
Ms. Jane Cosby
The Rev. Sean Mullen
Ms. Patricia Smith
Mr. George Vosburgh
The Rev. Deidre Whitfield


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