Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In his Address to the Convention of the Diocese of Albany on October 24, 2020, Bishop Love announced his intention to retire as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, effective February 1, 2021. The rationale for his decision, and the context in which he has made it, is set forth in the text of his address.[Found Here]
We, the members of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Albany, are dismayed that Bishop Love was left with no acceptable options that would have allowed him to continue with a sense of integrity the ministry entrusted to him as a bishop. With many, both within and beyond our diocese, we await, with keen sadness, the impending retirement from leadership of a courageous leader and brother, a “contender for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), who continues to prioritize, unstintingly, the spiritual health of our diocese over every personal consideration.
Bishop Love remains our Bishop Diocesan until February 1, 2020. On that date, the Standing Committee will become, by operation of the Canons of the Episcopal Church, the “Ecclesiastical Authority” of the Diocese of Albany until such time as his successor is elected, confirmed, and assumes leadership of the diocese. This means that the Standing Committee will corporately assume responsibility for all of the functions of a diocesan bishop except for sacramental acts reserved to a bishop, such as confirmation, ordination, and the consecration of churches. Until that date, the Standing Committee remains the Bishop’s “Council of Advice.” No other changes in the structures, authority, staffing, or conduct of diocesan affairs follow automatically upon the Bishop’s retirement.
We are writing to you today to assure you that we are already learning and preparing to assume those functions. Members of the Standing Committee are studying every aspect of diocesan operations to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted transition, so that we can begin planning for the nomination and election of Bishop Love’s successor, on a timetable yet to be determined.
Our earnest prayer is that we be guided by the Holy Spirit in both the organization and execution of the tasks before us. We commit to do all in our power to continue to support, encourage, and serve you, and all of the Episcopal parishes, people, and clergy of northeastern upstate New York in our ongoing work of worship, discipleship, and evangelism.
You will hear more from us from time to time as our work progresses and circumstances develop. Many of you no doubt already have both general and specific questions and concerns. As we tackle issues systematically and with prayerful deliberation, we will keep you abreast of developments. It is our hope that you will find your own questions and concerns addressed in due course in communications from us. Visit this page frequently to find the latest news. Be assured, though, that you may contact us by sending an e-mail to SCPresident@albanydiocese.org.
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). Let us pray as individuals and communities. Pray for Bishop Love, Karen, and their whole family. Pray for us. Pray for the person God will eventually identify to be the tenth Bishop of Albany. Pray for everyone involved in the daily work of running our diocese and its missionary outposts. The prayer below distills our hopes for the future. We encourage its regular and frequent use, publicly and privately, by individuals, groups, and parishes, as an expression of our unity in the Spirit.
There is much to do. Were we left to our own devices, it would be impossible. With God, however, all things are possible, and in this lies our hope.
May God’s mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.
The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany:
The Rev. Scott Garno, President
Janet Papa, Secretary
The Rev. Kathy Alonge-Coons
Jean Stevens Lauria
The Rev. Tom Malionek
The Rev. David Ousley
The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Papazoglakis
The Rev. Derik Roy
Sue Ellen Ruetsch