ASt the 152nd Annual Convention of our link diocese of Albany held on Saturday past, 24th day of October 2020, Bishop Bill Love announced his resignation as bishop of the Diocese of Albany which will become effective from February 1st, the 14th anniversary of his becoming Bishop Diocesan.
The full content of Bishop Bill’s address to the convention on Saturday past is available at this link: https://bit.ly/2TqF5sg
It was with immense personal sadness that I received this news. Our link with the diocese of Albany stretches back to 1999 following the Lambeth Conference in 1998 and the connection and the friendship established then between Bishop Dan Herzog and Bishop Harold Miller. Many of us both laity and clergy have been blessed by the rich catholicity, the emphasis on the ministry of Word and Spirit, the sacramental life, and the emphasis on compassion for those on the margins of society that characterises the life, work, mission and ministry of the diocese of Albany and the leadership of Bishop Bill. I myself have visited the diocese on numerous occasions, and indeed if it had not been for the current COVID–19 pandemic I was committed to be a guest speaker at this year’s 152nd convention in the diocese. Together we in Down and Dromore along with the Diocese of Albany have been committed to a partnership with the Diocese of Maridi in South Sudan for years and prior to COVID –19 Bishop Bill and I had talked about the possibility of further joint visits to Maridi diocese.
Hilary and I consider Bill and Karen Love as dear friends, as partners together in the work of serving the church of Jesus Christ, protecting its unity and faithfully proclaiming the good news of Jesus in our respective dioceses and to the world. It was a source of personal joy and gratitude that Bishop Bill travelled to Ireland to take part in my ordination earlier this year.
My overwhelming feeling at this time is one of both gratitude and sadness; gratitude to God for the privilege of friendship and partnership with this giant of a leader who is among the most humble and godly leaders that I know or have known to date, but also very great sadness at his resignation and the now clear reality that the Episcopal Church’s (United States) teaching on marriage could no longer make space for Bishop Bill or for his understanding of the teaching of God’s word on marriage.
I would ask you to join with me in praying over the coming weeks for Bishop Bill, his wife Karen and their family, for the Diocese of Albany, its Standing Committee as they oversee the election of a new bishop to the Diocese of Albany and for the Episcopal Church (United States).
Remember, O Lord, that which thou hast wrought in us and not what we deserve; and as thou hast called us to thy service, make us worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord.