Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ADOTS was forced to postpone a mission trip to the U.S.-Mexico border with Dr. Henry Baldwin. However, churches and individuals in the diocese have raised a significant amount of funds to allow local workers to complete the needed project at the Children’s Center! Dr. Henry gives the following update:
Let us give praise and thanks to God! Your interest in this mission trip to Me Quieres Ayudar, and your prayers and gifts, have borne fruit! I have today received a report that ADOTS will have gathered a total of $10,420 for the Children’s Center in Matamoros. This completes (or very nearly so) both levels of the project.
Thank you to each of you for “praying this through” and being with us in this project even though it didn’t turn out as originally conceived. God’s ways are not our ways, and are always best!
Work on the courtyard began this week with the funds we sent them two weeks ago. Here you can see the before and after. Work on repairing the walls begins on Monday.
The final gift we will send next week will allow Me Quieres Ayudar to put a cover/roof over the courtyard and fill it with play equipment, as well as do interior works on the bathrooms and learning center.
More pictures will follow soon. And praise God, the city authorities opened up the center this week, removing the previous COVID restrictions so the kids can play there.
The Reverend Dr. Henry S. Baldwin Chaplain Resident Valley Baptist Medical Center Harlingen, Texas
This year’s 10th Anniversary Synod will take place completely online.
Schedule of Events
Monday, October 26
6:30pm Practice Session for Delegates and Clergy
Friday, November 6
3:00pm Clergy Gathering with Bishops (Via Zoom)
4:00pm Clergy Convocation Gatherings (Via Zoom)
7:00pm Evening Prayer from around ADOTS, Streamed Online
Saturday, November 7
8:30am early login process for Zoom meeting begins
10:00am Synod Business Meeting (By Zoom and Streamed on Facebook)
We are also planning a Thursday Mission gathering via Zoom with Canon George Ivey and guests.
Friday Night Online Evening Prayer
Evening Prayer will be streamed at 7:00pm on Friday, November 6th. Join people from around the diocese in music, Scripture, testimony, prayer, and a sermon from Archbishop Beach. No registration required. Please join us and invite a friend!
Voting Delegates and Clergy
Zoom Business Meeting
Our business meeting will be held on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at 10:am Eastern via Zoom. This meeting will be for elected voting lay delegates and voting clergy only, but it will be livestreamed via our Facebook page.
Zoom Meeting Info
Saturday Morning Meeting Plan
Registration costs to cover packet and technical support will only be $25 per person
Each delegate and clergy person will have access to the documents folder online
Lay delegates and clergy will login during the hour before the meeting to accommodate the large number.
We will offer several Zoom practice sessions in the week leading up to the meeting
Each parish should email Candace the name and Zoom email address of each lay delegate by October 1 at the latest. Lay delegates will then be sent a registration link.
Clergy will receive a registration link as well by October 1.
Those who are not voting lay delegates or clergy will be able to watch the livestream on our public Facebook page.
We have contracted consultants to assist us before and during our zoom meeting. We are also building a volunteer team of tech support and meeting facilitation to best support a smooth and effective meeting.
If you are a zoom advanced or expert user, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join the team!
Today we would like to announce that Archbishop Beach has asked Canon Steven Saul to serve in clergy support through coaching and mentoring.
Since his ordination, pastoral care has been at the heart of Canon Steven’s ministry. His name may be new to some, but it was while he was Rector of Trinity Anglican Church in Douglasville, GA that he also served as the first Canon to the Ordinary of the newly-formed Anglican Diocese of the South. Under his care, the Diocese welcomed new parishes and clergy – and Trinity went from young church plant to a community active in worship, prayer and healing ministry, and local outreach.
In 2013 he left ADOTS and Trinity Anglican to serve as Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast, providing personal care to all clergy and lay leadership. Since then, he has also served a 3000-member church as the primary contact for pastoral and congregational care.
“During my last season of ministry, I found the Lord calling me to better understand one of the foundation calls of the church – the call to serve as Christ served,” he says. “In John 10, Jesus calls us to shepherd those who are entrusted to us. It is important to equip and disciple those who are in our church family, but the greatest lesson I have learned is that ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Loving those who enter our meeting spaces or gatherings for worship come with the wounds and scars from roads that they have traveled.”
He adds, “We need to be a people who welcome well but also love others beyond the surface of cordial weekly greetings. Relationships are strengthened when the Body of Christ, our church family and our guests, know the voices of those who are caring for and ministering to the greatest and the least in our churches.”
In an interview with ADOTS Communications Associate Rachel Moorman, he talks about the great need for clergy coaching and care, so clergy can in turn shepherd their congregation as Christ has called them.
Can you share a favorite story or experience that represents your ministry?
One of the most rewarding aspects of my most recent ministry opportunity was the gift of reaching out to those who were suffering, lonely, emotionally heartbroken, those dealing with addiction, men and women encountering brokenness in marriage and helping families transition and feel supported in the isolation of COVID-19. How we minister matters. How we pray for and draw near (even in isolated world) to those we encounter matters. I began to think after hours and hours on the phone and on Zoom calls (during COVID-19 isolation), what a great opportunity I have (for Christ) to be present in the lives of those who are needing the Lord. The question was: Would I be really present for him?
There are conversations and times of listening to a member or visitor that I regretted not being fully present to hear from them. Missed opportunities to shepherd the flock are more common than we think and the greatest opportunity to show others that the Lord really cares about them.
Please tell me how you became passionate about clergy care and formation.
During the past years, I have had the great opportunity to work in the area of Church Revitalization with the American Anglican Council. During my time with the AAC, I encountered great opportunities to share ideas with churches in decline and those experiencing hardships. Providing strategies for renewal, growth and incline were key to build a way forward. But one of the common areas that I recognized consistently was the need of clergy lacking leadership support and the impact of debilitating isolation. As a former rector, I recognized these familiar challenges that could be encountered especially when seasons of ministry were toughest.
Serving as the first Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of the South, I had the opportunity to serve in the area of credentialing for ordination and saw how important the process for ordination is. Equipping our clergy for success in ministry was significant and sacred work for building a strong diocese. The passion for equipping solid and faithful clergy is the foundation for shepherding and growing churches and disciples for the Lord. Our clergy need strength and consistent support beyond ordination and beyond the first season of ministry. As our world changes so do the demands of clergy and gifted leaders serving in the church. I am concerned that there are clergy who are walking in desert seasons and they may feel as [if] they are walking the journey alone. In our Anglican structure, this should not be. My heart to join with brothers and sisters to walk alongside (especially in difficult seasons) is a great means for overcoming the isolation and destruction that the enemy would like to set forth – breaking down and seeking to destroy what God has intended for good.
Clergy Care provides a means to walk with a brother or sister on the journey especially when journey is challenging. The message to our diocesan clergy should always be: “You are not alone. We are a phone call away and we want to be there for you.”
What does it mean to “coach clergy” and why is it important?
The most important aspects of clergy coaching include:
The call of the coach to hear the needs expressed
Support the formulation of a mentoring plan
Invest in the clergy (professionally, personally)
Honor the Lord in every meeting – always seeking His direction and guidance.
Because the coaching relationship is not a counseling relationship, there is not a diagnosis or a prognosis to be determined. Instead, the relationship is one that calls the member of clergy to actively participate and in many ways direct the way forward. The clergy coach is called to prayerfully and professionally initiate efforts to move toward the objectives set in the mentoring plan. The meetings should guide and facilitate ways for the member of clergy to move forward in faith – living in obedience.
What have been your greatest joys in walking alongside other clergy?
Seeing the shepherd of a congregation “renew” pastoral ministry. To see new life and vitality come into the role of a shepherd is much like the joy of seeing a leader walk with new purpose and confidence. To know that the fellow clergy has a renewed sense of purpose and direction gives the best foundation for a church to thrive.
What are you excited about in this next chapter of your ministry?
Serving the Diocese of the South as a coach and mentor in Clergy Formation. I am thankful for the integrity and heart of our archbishop and the ingenuity of the diocesan staff who desire to serve the local parishes of ADOTS. I want to be a part of the team who serves to encourage and equip the local parish beginning with the clergy and lay leadership.
We’d like to remind everyone of a wonderful resource produced by Rev. Summer Joy Gross. She created her podcast, The Presence Project, last year and continues to offer tools for peace and hope in the midst of anxiety, stress, worry, loneliness, and suffering — combining prayer practices, scripture, and modern brain science.
Rev. Summer Joy Gross is offering a new resource for those desiring to know and draw on God’s peace in their lives: It’s called The Presence Project… offering 12 simple and repeatable spiritual practices to take followers from anxious to resting in God.
“A lot of people have trouble listening to God,” says Rev. Summer. “This creates space.”
Rev. Summer is a spiritual formation director, who started The Presence Project after ten years of teaching inner healing small groups. In those groups, she found that deep healing could not begin until people had developed a secure attachment to God, and she began incorporating the spiritual practices that she now shares in The Presence Project: tools from healing prayer ministry coupled with modern neuroscience on retraining the brain.
Though it began as a longer-form monthly webinar, The Presence Project is now available in a shorter podcast format of just 30 minutes each – which also allows anyone to join in on the 12-month learning process at any time.
“It’s geared toward the busy person who’s trying to find a way to practice the presence of God in their ordinary life,” she says, such as the parent in the car, those with a long commute, or anyone out for a short walk.
Though she says most people following along with The Presence Project are those who struggle with chronic anxiety, Rev. Summer says it’s appropriate for anyone curious about spiritual disciplines and needing an introduction to them… and also for help finding God’s peace in a tech-heavy, scattered world.
“I think it’s one of the major spiritual issues of our day. Our phones have become so addictive, and it’s ruining our ability to focus and listen to God,” she says. “We need to mine our historical Christian practices that are body, mind, and spirit and connect us to communion with God.”
The Presence Project incorporates lectio divina readings, a practice of praying and absorbing Scripture that dates to St. Benedict in the 6th century – which is also the focus of Rev. Summer’s Slow Word Movement, a lectionary-based weekly lectio divina reading.
“I call it the second half… Bible study is great, but lectio divina brings what you know and brings it into prayer,” she says. “You’re allowing the word to master you instead of you mastering the word.”
The Presence Project will also eventually be discussing St. Ignatius’ Daily Examen as well as his exercises. And Rev. Summer often references her own story of spiritual growth, “so that I use my own vulnerability, in order to give people a touchstone to know that they’re not alone with their own growth.”
We have several clergy retiring from ministry in ADOTS this year: Rev. Bill Sharp, Rev. Robert Hart, Rev. Ray Kasch, and Rev. Mark Goldman. Today we would like to feature Rev. Mark and his ministry serving All Saints Anglican Church in Huntington, WV, and sincerely thank him for his shepherding and leadership.
“I guess you can say my greatest joy was serving God’s people.”
Fr. Mark’s path to ministry began in 2004 after his profession of vows as a third order Benedictine, under the direction of Fr. Andrew Counts. But he felt a strong call to continue on and pursue the Diaconate, and it was under Fr. Andrew’s guidance that he became ordained in 2005.
His profession of vows, the strong leading to pursue the Diaconate, and God’s plan culminated in the founding of All Saints Anglican Church in Huntington, WV, as “a small group of Anglicans from the Tri-State area of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio” – meeting for the first time on Sunday, October 1, 2006.
Beginning on Christmas Eve of 2008, they began worshiping at the Convent Chapel of St. Mary’s Hospital – “thanks to a collaborative effort with the Pallottine Sisters” – which would be the congregation’s home until 2020.
“Fr. Andrew Counts became the first rector and invited me to become his deacon,” says Fr. Mark. “In 2007, I was ordained an Anglican Presbyter.”
During his time at All Saints, his ministry progressively evolved from deacon to Assistant Rector. “Then in 2013, during a rector search, Archbishop Foley Beach contacted me and asked if I would be interested in the rector position.” He has served in that capacity for the past seven years.
“As a priest, I have experienced numerous joys. I enjoyed our liturgical, sacramental, and evangelical service structure along with blending of music. I have witnessed the move of the Holy Spirit many times with miracle healings. Baptisms were a favorite since it brought people into the kingdom,” he says.
“There were house blessings, welcoming visitors, hearing confessions, our yearly outreach to Marshall University incoming freshman, mid-week and monthly fellowship gatherings, and as a licensed professional counselor listening individually to the hearts of the saints. I especially enjoyed my role as a mentor supporting others in church ministry and those pursuing priesthood.”
One Sunday will always be an especially fond memory for him. That Sunday – which was also his birthday – he baptized his one-year-old granddaughter, “an association she will carry for life, and the picture of that moment is proudly displayed in our home.”
He has also had the honor of caring for families at the end of life. When a parishioner’s mother was hours from death, the family called him to lead the Ministration at the Time of Death. After conducting the Eucharist and using intinction, he offered for the parishioner to place the wafer on his mother’s tongue.
“Not only was this a moving moment for the family, but the parishioner was appreciative for this final interaction with his mother,” he says.
Fr. Mark was grateful for the support of his congregation and the Diocese of the South when his adopted daughter unexpectedly died at the age of 26.
“I cannot express enough my gratitude for the support I received from ADOTS, and especially to Fr. David Brannen, rector of St. Andrews Anglican Church, for his assistance in helping to develop and lead the funeral service,” he says. As a priest, “it was an honor to conduct the grave side services for both my father and daughter.”
Now after 14 years of ministry, he’s taking time to concentrate on spiritual renewal while in retirement.
“I refer to this season in my life as my ‘Inner Retreat Pilgrimage’ by praying the daily offices, focusing on the Psalms, reading spiritual classics on the saints, as well as incorporating centering and contemplative prayer,” he says. “It sounds like a lot, but easily done spaced throughout the day.”
Retirement has also reawakened his calling as a priest.
“On the day we officially disbanded All Saints and moved out of the Convent Chapel, I noticed the despair in the faces of our remaining congregants and sensed their anxiety of not being able to receive the Eucharist,” says Fr. Mark. “At that moment, I literally saw them as ‘sheep without a shepherd’ and knew instantly what God was calling me to do.”
So he now meets with them periodically throughout the month, continuing their Anglican worship in homes, “like the early church.”
“As a good friend of mine once said, ‘I am not retired, I am re-fired for the Lord,'” he says.
He offers up this quote from C.S. Lewis to express his association with ADOTS and “my sincere gratitude for the privilege to serve as a Presbyter”:
“It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.”