February 1, 2019
A Special Message From Bishop Howard
Dear friends,
Marie and our entire family join me in thanking you from the depths of our hearts for your prayers and encouraging words over the past several weeks. My surgery was deemed successful and I have returned to work on a reduced schedule as I continue to recuperate. Upon my return I found a Diocesan staff busily preparing for the New Year and I trust that 2019 has begun as well for you, too!
As we start fresh in a new year, we give thanks and glory to God for all He has done in and through our Diocese in 2018. We have much to look forward to in 2019 as well. Our Annual Convention was this past Saturday and we had a wonderful time at Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center where we looked ahead and also reflected on some of the important work being done in and around our Diocese. Our theme this year was “Living in the Spirit” and I shared my heart with you about how it is that the Holy Spirit is alive amongst us and inspiring the mission and ministry which we share. A full video of my Convention Address can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcmeE54KDts&feature=youtu.be
Thank you again for your continued prayers and words of love and support. I look forward to further spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ with you in the coming year.

The Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard
A Pilgrimage to Sicily
There are still a few spots available on our upcoming pilgrimage to Sicily from October 1-11, 2019. We have worked hard to plan the trip for a limited number of pilgrims from the Diocese of Florida. We will be praying and worshiping together, and experiencing all that Sicily has to offer. More than that, though, we will be learning about a fascinating land—its history, people, art and architecture.
Please review the itinerary and join us. Please return the enclosed registration form and deposit to Karen La Rosa (whose name and address are shown on the registration form) as soon as possible if you wish to join us on this wonderful trip.

176th Annual Convention Wrap-Up
2019 Election Results
Congratulations to the following individuals for being elected to serve on the following Diocesan Councils, Committees and Boards:

  • Diocesan Council - Clergy:
  • Rev. Ronnie Willerer

  • Diocesan Council - Apalachee Region - Lay:
  • Mr. Byron Greene

  • Diocesan Council - River Region - Lay:
  • Ms. Courtney Carter

  • Disciplinary Board - Clergy:
  • Rev. Bert Daly

  • Disciplinary Board - Lay:
  • Mr. Charlie Clark

  • Standing Committee - Clergy:
  • Rev. Cn. Dr. Miguel Rosada

  • Standing Committee - Lay:
  • Ms. Rhonda Masters

  • Sewanee Board:
  • Mr. Byron Greene

Please visit the Convention Website to read biographies about each member.
2019 Passed Resolutions
The following Resolutions passed at Convention:
  • Resolution 2019-01: Submitted As: Diocesan Council Title: Appointment of Chair of General Convention Deputation-Canon 27
  • Resolution 2019-02: Submitted As: Diocesan Council and Standing Committee Title: To Honor the 15th Year of The Right Reverend Samuel Johnson Howard as Our Diocesan Bishop 

Please visit the Convention Website to read both Resolutions in detail.
2019 Budget Information
The 2018 and 2019 budget presentations can be viewed in the pre-convention meeting video . A brief narrative to accompany the 2019 budget will also be posted in the next few days on the Convention Website .
2019 Bishop's Cross Award Honorees
Congratulations to the 2019 Bishop's Cross Award recipients!

This year's recipients are:

  • Ms. Dee Dugger, Holy Trinity Gainesville
  • Mr. L. Kinder "Kin" Cannon, Redeemer Jacksonville
  • Mr. Benjamin Hill, St. Bartholomew's, High Springs
  • Mr. Kevin Gay, St. Paul's by the Sea

The Bishop's Cross Awards are presented annually at our diocesan convention honoring those in the Episcopal Diocese of Florida who have given most generously of their God-given time, talent or treasure toward the support, up building and strengthening of the life of the Diocese. 

Biographies on all the recipients can be found on the Convention Website . Congratulations again to this year's award recipients!
Procession: Unified in Mission
As a fundamental unit of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Florida has acted as a steward of Good News and Episcopal Doctrine since our founding in 1838. Since our founding as Florida’s first diocese, we’ve embraced 25 counties, formed 67 congregations and welcomed more than 30,000 members through our offerings of sacraments, planting of churches and missions, and recruitment of clergy and lay members. These tremendous achievements would not have been possible without the devotion and support of each of you and so many others.
This year, we will be making history in our Diocese by launching the public phase of our capital campaign, Procession – Unified In Mission: A Campaign for Growth . Since the campaign was introduced in 2013, more than $13,000,000 has been generously gifted from the hearts of so many in our Diocese. Now that we’ve reached this milestone, it’s time to extend the call to even more.

While we have accomplished much, there is still so much more to do. Jesus calls us to grow closer to God and share the Gospel with others. This requires all of us to take bold steps toward supporting our collective work in discipleship and evangelism. We can do this through a strong endorsement of our shared ministries and making a financial commitment to growing these ministries. The Holy Spirit is certainly at work in our Diocese, specifically in helping us realize that all of our earthly treasures belong to God and that He will continue to multiply these blessings through all of us who continue to give generously. 

We invite you to watch this exciting video which features a snapshot of some of our ministries that the campaign supports and an invitation to learn more about how you can participate with your generosity. In the next few weeks, everyone in our Diocesan community will receive details about the campaign and ways to give. This is a call for greater generosity - generosity beyond your gifts to your local parish. We ask that you first give to your parish, and then to your Diocese. For those who have already contributed, thank you. We hope you will consider another gift in support of our collective vision. And for those of you who have yet to contribute, we ask you to prayerfully and generously respond to our call for support.
A Special Invitation
The Sidney B. Parker Chapter of Union of Black Episcopalians and The Diocese of Florida cordially invites you to attend a special event in honor of Absalom Jones,
the first African American to be ordained an Episcopal minister.

March 2, 2019
1 – 3pm
St. Philips Episcopal Church
321 W Union Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall

This year’s theme is Conversation + Prayer + Love = Healing and the event will feature a panel discussion with clergy and lay persons. We hope you can attend and be part of this important discussion.

If you would like to attend this important event, please RSVP by February 19 to Ms. Linda Belton at 904-725-5657 or email at candylamb43@gmail.com
Bishop's Institute News and Events

A Quiet Garden Morning: St. Francis: A Life in Songs
February 19
A Quiet Garden Morning: St Francis: A Life in Songs . Canon Douglas Dupree will present a series of poems on the life of St Francis of Assisi by the poet and author Ann Wroe on February 9, 2019 from 9.30 a.m. – 12 noon at St. Margaret’s Church, Hibernia on Fleming Island.
Registration is not required. All are welcome (including your friends from other churches) to simply show up on the Saturday.
Ann Wroe is a distinguished biographer and journalist (she is obituaries editor for the Economist UK) who has last year written an exceptional book about the life of St Francis of Assisi. In it she divides each section of Francis’s life into four parts: biographical information, a poem about Francis’s life, and then a companion poem somehow linked to whatever aspect of his life already covered and, finally, a handful of lines linking one section to the next. Each piece is in a four-beat rhythm, like the troubadour songs of Francis’s time.
The most remarkable aspect of this little devotional book must be Ann Wroe’s poems in each section. This is, as far as I know, her first foray into poetry. Truly amazing. As one newspaper reviewer of Wroe’s work has observed: [The book] does what poetry is meant to do, and seldom does: it takes you to another place while making you reflect on what it is to be here. The Cathedral Book Store has a few copies in stock of Ann Wroe’s Francis: A Life in Songs and is, of course, willing to order more on request.
I believe these devotional poems by Wroe will assist us in doing what I understand a ‘quiet garden morning’ is intended to allow us to do: to be quiet, thoughtful and prayerful and after only a couple of hours apart ‘whilst the busy world is hushed’—to emerge renewed and stronger in spirit.
The old chapel of St Margaret’s Church, Hibernia, now normally closed, is an ideal setting for our garden morning. As you approach the church, and walk through the churchyard and cemetery, you will have an immediate recollection of ‘Old Florida’ and the silent call of the beauty of holiness. Come join us.

Spring Clergy Retreat: March 7-8
The annual Spring clergy retreat starts with lunch at 12 noon in Varn Hall at Camp Weed on Thursday, March 7th and closes with lunch on Friday, March 8th.
The keynote speaker on Thursday afternoon 1.30 – 4p.m. (with a break) is Timothy Johnson, Professor of History at Flagler College, St. Augustine. Professor Johnson is a distinguished scholar of the medieval period specializing in the theology of Bonaventure and the Franciscans. He is the English translator of an important life of St Francis from the period shortly after Francis’s death--- considered lost for centuries and only recently discovered in the Vatican Library. He will present some aspect of Franciscan theology that has contemporary relevance to us in our ministry today. He is a brilliant teacher, lecturer and a lay Franciscan.
On Friday March 8th Bishop Howard will speak to us for an hour after breakfast and then he will celebrate the Eucharist and preach in Mandi’s Chapel at 10.30 a.m. The clergy will be invited to renew their vows and invited to bring their oil stocks for sacramental use for the Bishop to bless.
There will be the usual good food that Chef Ed and his team provide and plenty of time for informal fellowship. The registration link will be posted on Camp Weed's website in the coming days.
February 16th Event Cancelled
Please note that the previously scheduled Bible Study with Bishop Howard and David Crabtree scheduled for February 16 has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconveniences and hope to reschedule a similar event in the near future.
Diocesan Happenings
Members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Quincy, FL recently hosted a luncheon for the congregation of Faith Heritage Church. A tragic fire destroyed the church sanctuary earlier this month. God calls all of us to care for those in need and this story is a picture of the gospel in action. You can watch the local news story here .
Bishop Howard recently visited the Episcopal Chapel of the Incarnation in Gainesville, Fl. God is doing great things in and through these students at UF and Santa Fe College! Continue to pray for all of our college ministries as our students spread the gospel of Christ in and around their campuses.
Helpful Links
  • Diocesan Website Updates: Find an error or need something updated on our website? Please email our Director of Communications at estimler@diocesefl.org with any updates and include the URL of the page where the changes are needed.
  • Looking for a job? Visit the employment page on our website for some of the current opportunities. Click here
  • Listing a job? Email estimler@diocesefl.org with the job description and position contact information to be posted on the employment page.
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