December 13, 2018
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Lk. 2:14 ESV).
A Special Prayer Request From Bishop Howard

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I wanted to make you aware that I will be having surgery at Baptist Hospital here in Jacksonville on December 19 to repair a sports-related hernia.  
I expect all to go well, but until then I will be working on a reduced schedule. I’m told the post-surgery recovery is extensive and could be up to a month long.
I will keep you advised of my recovery and progress and ask that you keep me and my family in your prayers in the coming weeks.

The Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard
Celebrating A Silent Night
Join Us On Wednesday, December 19
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the beloved Christmas carol, Silent Night. This cherished song has close ties to the Episcopal Diocese of Florida as it was translated by Bishop John Freeman Young, the second Bishop of Florida. In 1859, the Rev. Young published a 16-page pamphlet titled Carols for Christmas Tide . The first of the seven carols in this pamphlet was his definitive English translation of the great Lower Austrian hymn Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! under the title Silent Night, Holy Night .

To celebrate this treasured carol, the Diocese of Florida invites you to attend a special gathering at Bishop Young's grave on Wednesday, December 19 at 5:00pm in the Old City Cemetery (located on E. Union Street in Downtown Jacksonville). The Rev. Canon Douglas Dupree will give a brief tribute to Bishop John Freeman Young and musicians from Saint John's Cathedral will lead us in singing Christmas carols. The event is free, but registration is required. Click here to register!
2019 Annual Convention Registration Deadline is December 15
Please be aware that the registration deadline for our 2019 Annual Convention has been extended until Saturday, December 15. All clergy, visitors and convention delegates must be registered in order to attend. This year's Convention will be on Saturday, January 26 at Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center in Live Oak, Florida.

Engaged in Ministry Far and Near
Lucinda Mosher is the Organist and Choir Director of St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Green Cove Springs. Visit St Mary’s most any Sunday morning at 10.30 a.m. and you will hear what the choir of a small church is capable of under the leadership of a gifted musician and director. But Lucinda’s gift to the Church extends further and literally from a geographical perspective—it covers the four corners of the globe.

Dr. Mosher has recently received a significant recognition and responsibility in The Episcopal Church. She has been appointed to the Task Force to Coordinate Ecumenical and Interreligious Work, a newly formed body mandated by the 79 th General Convention of the Church (2018) that consists of three bishops; three priests or deacons and three laypersons. Lucinda is one of the three laypersons. To translate: this means Lucinda is a key advisor to our Church in matters that have ecumenical or interreligious significance. She will also play a significant role in strengthening our Church’s ability to address multi-faith concerns.

Lucinda’s letter of appointment says that this appointment “recognizes your gifts, experience and commitment to the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church”. And she is very well equipped for this responsibility. Her doctoral studies at the General Seminary focused on Christian-Muslim understanding. She was instrumental in developing a pioneering chaplaincy training program at Hartford Seminary designed to better enable ministers of various religious traditions to minister effectively in our schools, colleges and armed forces. Lucinda has authored a goodly number of books and essays both academic and pastoral on multi-faith concerns. She has been a first -hand observer of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the peace process in the Middle East. She has served for many years the Anglican Communion’s Network of Inter Faith Concerns and on the Diocese of New York Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission. More recently the Virginia Theological Seminary has named Lucinda the Center for Anglican Communion Studies Fellow. She makes an active contribution to several significant academic projects at VTS.

May the Lord continue to bless this theologian in her many-faceted and challenging educational work in the life and mission of our Church.
Communication's Survey!
Communicating with you is very important to us! Please take a moment to participate in our brief survey all about communications! We value your feedback and hope to enhance some of our communication tools in the coming weeks and months! Click here to take the survey!
Bishop's Institute News and Events
Lay Ministry School Beginning in January
We are thrilled to announce the beginning of the Lay Ministry School for Licensed Lay Worship Leaders (LLWL) and Licensed Lay Catechists (LLC) this January. This course is to prepare lay leaders in our churches to lead public worship and to be properly trained catechists (teachers of the Christian faith) to assist with preparing candidates for baptism and confirmation. Candidates who complete the course will receive a license from the Bishop for their ministry.

January 19, 2019
The Rediscovered Life of
St. Francis of Assisi
Facilitator: Prof. Timothy J. Johnson, Flagler College
St. John's Cathedral, Jacksonville, FL

The retreat will begin with a look at the second most ancient—yet very contemporary and accessible—biography of St. Francis-- lost for 800 years and rediscovered in 2004! Prof. Johnson is the author of the English translation of this groundbreaking discovery. It will look also at the development of St. Francis’ thought and spirituality in the writings of St. Bonaventure who was born within years of St. Francis’ death. Click here to register

October 1 - 11, 2019
A Pilgrimage to Sicily

This special trip is for a limited number of pilgrims from the Diocese of Florida. Reserve your seat soon if you wish to join us on this journey.

The Diocese of Florida is proud to announce an upcoming pilgrimage to the ancient island of Sicily from October 1 – 11, 2019. Sponsored by the Bishop’s Institute, this journey will explore the rich religious and artistic heritage of Sicily, including many of its churches, palazzos, archaeological treasures, and culinary delights. Coordinated by Karen La Rosa of La RosaWorks New York, a travel agency specializing in Sicily, this upscale tour will be fully guided and organized.

Diocesan Happenings
The Episcopal Chapel of the Incarnation at UF recently celebrated the baptism of two students! One of the students shares his heart below about the impact the ministry has made in his life over the past several years. Continue to pray for all of our college ministries as they evangelize and serve our local college campuses.

"It's almost impossible to describe the impact that U.F.'s Episcopal Ministries Chapel House has had on my personal growth. I came to university filled with nihilism and convinced that developing my faith in Christ would be a waste of time. All of this changed during the first week of school, when I first made contact with the Chapel House community and was welcomed into this community with open arms. In addition to exposing me to a diverse set of Christians, Chapel House has been a place where I could ask hard-pressing theological questions and, more importantly, grow spiritually as a Christian. It was after a long period of growth sustained by this ministry that I decided to become a baptized Christian and to continue a lifelong journey with a Christ. In closing, this Christian community has had an immeasurably positive effect on me, both as a Christian and a human being. I can only hope that more people seek out, discover, and find a place in Christian communities such as this one." Carlton Smith
Walking The Mourner’s Path
Christ's Church Ponte Vedra Beach is hosting a workshop on Tuesday's beginning January 8 from 3-4:30pm. This is an eight-session workshop designed to help overcome the loss of a loved one. It is based in the belief that grief over the death of a loved one is a natural part of living. By inviting God into the pain, healing occurs. Participants, facilitators and a member of the clergy meet weekly. The workshop is centered in prayer and focuses on a different concept each week. The group is kept intentionally small (10 participants maximum), allowing everyone the opportunity to share. It is important for participants to commit to attending all eight weeks. If interested, contact Virginia Carpenter at or learn more and  REGISTER HERE .
Upcoming Payroll Training Dates
New Payroll System Training Sessions: Attention Rectors, Parish Church Administrators and Financial Staff - To prepare for the upcoming changes in the payroll system, there will be 2 mandatory training sessions offered. Please make plans to attend one of the following dates:

  • Wednesday, December 19
  • 10am at Camp Weed (lunch will be provided)

  • Thursday, December 20
  • 1pm at the Diocesan Office (refreshments will be provided)

Please RSVP to Alina at and click here for more information.
Helpful Links
  • Looking for a job? Visit the employment page on our website for some of the current opportunities. Click here
  • Listing a job? Email with the job description and position contact information to be posted on the employment page.
Diocese of Florida | 325 N. Market Street | Jacksonville, FL 32202 | 904.356.1328