A passion for Jesus graced the 44th Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, which met Jan. 26 at All Saints Episcopal Church, Winter Park.
“Good things are happening here in the Diocese of Central Florida!” said Bishop Gregory Brewer in his Convention Address. “Many of our congregations are places of deep pastoral care and spiritual growth.”
Opening Eucharist began at 9:15 a.m., with Bishop Brewer as celebrant and the Rev. Dr. Peter Walker preacher. Dr. Walker, who teaches at Trinity School for Ministry, holds both a Ph.D. in New Testament from Cambridge University, UK, and a D.Phil. from Oxford University, UK. He has taught for many years at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, UK. He has written many books including In the Steps of Jesus and In the Steps of Paul, both of which are illustrated guides to the places mentioned in the Bible.
“Passion for Jesus is the main thing we are looking at today,” Dr. Walker said. Quoting from the hymn, “Come Down O Love Divine,” Dr. Walker said he prayed that at the convention, the Holy Spirit “would be kindling us, and warming us and igniting us, setting our hearts on fire with love for Jesus. That’s my prayer, and I hope that it is your prayer, too.”
It sometimes seems that, “Jesus is the best-kept secret of the Church, but Jesus is that which it is all about. Jesus should be center stage,” Dr. Walker said.
He lauded Bishop Brewer for his courage in making A Passion for Jesus the theme of the convention, and, by doing so, “nailing his colors to the mast. This is a diocese that is nailed to the cross of Jesus ... a diocese that loves and loves again the person of Christ.”
After Eucharist, the convention named Mrs. Marilyn Lang as Secretary to Convention, Mr. Council Wooten as Chancellor and Parliamentarian, and Mr. William A. Grimm As Vice-Chancellor
Bishop Brewer made special mention of Cindy Muldoon as his new administrative assistant, and introduced Erick Perez as Receptionist & Database Manager, presenting each with gag gifts.
The Rev. Rob Lord welcomed the convention to his parish, and Judge Bill Gridley, chairman of the Credentials Committee, reported that 265 clergy were entitled to vote in this convention. Of that number 169 were registered and 89 were needed for a quorum. He also said 260 lay persons were entitled to vote in this convention. Of that number, 242 were registered and 87 are needed for a quorum.
A special feature of the convention was a set of brief talks by selected guests of the convention, telling of their walk with Christ and their spiritual growth.
The Convention heard from:
- Kay Ruhle, All Saints, Lakeland
- Christopher Wells, Executive Director of The Living Church Foundation.
- Lucas Brandenburg, St. Gabriel’s, Titusville
- Christin Hill, Camp Wingmann
- Joshua Joseph, known to friends as “JJ,” youth minister at Holy Trinity, Melbourne.
- The Rev. Stephen Dass. Bishop Brewer is sending the Dasses as missionaries from the diocese to the street children of Sao Paolo and asked members to encourage their congregations to support them.
Elections to diocesan offices
Southeast Deanery – Anneke Bertsch (Holy Trinity, Melbourne), President (one-year term);
Southeast Deanery – Dave Newhart (Rector – St. Elizabeth’s, Sebastian’s), Dean (three-year term);
Northwest Deanery – Gene Reuman (Rector – St. Margaret’s, Inverness), Dean (three-year term);
Central Deanery – James Waters (Ascension – Orlando), President (three-year term).
Mrs. Patricia "Patty" L. Tew was elected to a three-year term, lay order. The Reverend Robert Jonathan Davis was elected to a four-year term; the Rev. Jonathan French was elected to a two-year term.
Dr. Thomas Bates and Mr. Charles Dunlap were elected to two-year terms, lay order. The Rev. Edward Bartle was elected to a two-year term, and the Rev. James Harris was elected to a three-year term.
In other elections, Mr. Frank Gummey was elected to a three-year term as trustee, University of the South.