Live Webcast of the Consecration

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus in the Diocese of Northern Indiana,

The Consecration of the Eighth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana will be webcast live on Saturday, June 25th at 11:00 EDT.

To view the webcast, please visit the diocesan website at The service bulletin is available there for download.

The webcast will begin a few minutes before the liturgy begins to give you time in advance.

Blessings to you,
The Transition Committee

Five Candidates for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana

November 15, 2015

Dear Friends in Christ Jesus in the Diocese of Northern Indiana,

Last week the Search Committee concluded its work and presented a list of five candidates for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana to the Standing Committee. On behalf of the Standing Committee, I am grateful to co-chairs Fr. Mike Dwyer and Mrs. Linda Buskirk and to all members of the Search Committee who labored tirelessly in this ministry. Their thorough, faithful, and prayerful discernment and diligence over the last six months has richly blessed us to reach this stage in our process.

With great prayer we present to you the five candidates for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana:

The Rev. Canon Lynn Carter-Edmands
The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns
The Rev. Susan B. Haynes
The Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Sparks
The Very Rev. Raymond J. Waldon

Please look for their initial biographies on the search website. Fuller biographies will be released in the coming days.

Even as we celebrate the conclusion of the Search Committee’s work the ministry of the Transition Committee now begins in earnest. Under the leadership of the Fr. Jim Warnock of Gethsemane, Marion, they will be guiding the diocese through the introduction of our candidates as well as the election and transition process of our new bishop.

The candidates will come to the diocese for the Walk-Abouts on January 15-17. The locations for getting to know our candidates are:

January 16th – Session 1 – St. John of the Cross, Bristol
January 16th – Session 2 – St. Timothy’s, Griffith
January 17th – Gethsemane, Marion

Please look for the publication of the Walk-About informational booklet very soon.

Everyone is welcome to attend these sessions. We expect delegates who will vote for our new bishop to attend a session near them to better acquaint themselves with our candidates. Please remember that if your parish is expecting to certify new delegates other than those who were registered at last month’s Diocesan Convention their names must be registered with the diocesan office by February 1, 2016.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we labor together for our beloved diocese and for the kingdom of God in our midst.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

The Rev. Matthew D. Cowden, President of the Standing Committee
The Search Committee for the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana

A Pastoral Letter from our Bishop on the Charleston Tragedy

June 19, 2015

Dear brothers and sisters,

Shortly after the devastating news of the mass murders at Emmanuel AME Church began to spread, a deacon of our diocese wrote to me.  “Why?” he asked.  “How could such a thing happen in a sacred place?  What can I say to people who are looking for an explanation?”  I have pondered those questions for a day and still am unable to answer.  The “Why?” and the “How?” are unfathomable in the face of overwhelming evil.  Nine people are dead, brothers and sisters in Christ.  They were cut down solely because of their race.  How could one human being inflict such a thing on another?  How can we hear God’s voice in the midst of the storm of emotions – from fear to anger to bewilderment – that sweep over us?

In the end, we are reduced to silence and prayer.  I find myself seeking to be still in the presence of the Lord.  I find myself gazing at the cross, and into the face of the One who suffered immeasurably on our behalf.  I find myself allowing the questions simply to be, now and perhaps forever unanswered.  Meanwhile, we can seek comfort in the familiar and oft-prayed words of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer – words that themselves were written by people who asked the same questions and struggled with their own version of the same pain.

Here are some texts that have seared themselves into my heart.  Perhaps they will touch yours as well.  In the first, the Psalmist – like us – pleads for understanding, and then slowly, tentatively, recognizes the Lord presence, without “explaining away” the evil.

O God, why have you utterly cast us off?
Why is your wrath so hot against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation that purchased long ago,
and the tribe you redeemed to be your inheritance,
and Mount Zion where you dwell.
Turn your steps toward the endless ruins;
the enemy has laid waste everything in your sanctuary.
Your adversaries roared in your holy place;
they set up banners as tokens of victory.
Yet God is my King from ancient times,
victorious in the midst of the earth.
(Psalm 74:1-4,11)

In the second, the author of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus himself suffered our sufferings and prayed our prayers (indeed, his Prayer Book was the Book of Psalms).  He walked the way of the Cross not only to rescue us from sin, but also to drink to the dregs the pain of human life.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.  Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.
(Hebrews 5:7-8)

And finally, two prayers from the Book of Common Prayer.

Lord Jesus Christ, we commend to you our brothers and sisters Cynthia, Sharonda, Ethel, Tywanza, Clementa, Myra, DePayne, Daniel, and Susie, who were reborn by water and the Spirit in Holy Baptism. Grant that their death may recall to us your victory over death, and be an occasion for us to renew our trust in your Father’s love.  Give us, we pray, the faith to follow where you have led the way, and where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, to the ages of ages.  Amen.
(BCP, p. 498)

O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son:  Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
(BCP, p. 815)

I ask that this Sunday, in all the parishes of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, prayer be offered for the victims, for their families, for the city of Charleston and all touched by this tragedy, and for our nation.  With all blessings I am

Yours in Christ,