A PUBLICATION OF THE ANGLICAN DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH • VOL. 37, NO. 4
In This Issue... Church Planting in Bellevue Ten Years of Grace with St. Stephen’s, Sewickley Anglican, Slippery Rock Page 8
Diocesan Convention 2016 Page 20
PA R T N E R S I N T H E G O S P E L
Advent Reflection By The Rev. James Lafeyette Hobby, Jr., Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh
f all of the Church’s seasons, Advent is the most out of synch with the world around us. We start singing Christmas carols just as radio stations cease to play them. But, the real issue isn’t really temporal synchronization. The real issue goes deep into our hearts. As the Church enters into the season of Advent, the culture around us is already full-swing in the season of Avarice. As we look up to the heavens awaiting a coming Savior, the culture looks to a chimney awaiting a coming benefactor. As we look into a manger marveling at a new-born child, our culture looks under a tree marveling at gadgets and gizmos. For our culture the Christmas (or holiday) season
is about grasping. For us it is about humiliation. Advent (like our faith in general) is a holy paradox. On the one hand, we prepare for the coming of a King in glory. On the other hand, we prepare for the remembrance of the coming of a helpless baby. St. Paul puts it this way: Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11). As for Jesus, so for us, exaltation comes through humiliation. The only path to glory is the cross. Christmas and Good Friday mark the path of Christ’s humiliation. They show the depths of His love toward us. Paul commands us to “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.” Our paths must be paths of humility. Advent, then, reminds us that our hands are meant for reaching out in love, rather than grasping for stuff. It teaches us to renounce power as a means of getting our way, and to embrace humility as a way of showing love. Advent is a very counter-cultural season; and, perhaps, one of the clearest invitations to share in Christ’s life. n Your brother in Christ and partner in the gospel,
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By The Rev. James Lafeyette Hobby, Jr., Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh
In This Issue... On the Cover: Bishop Hobby participates in the annual Blessing of the Crèche in downtown Pittsburgh on November 18.
Learn about Redeemer North Boroughs, St. Stephen’s new church plant located in Bellevue.
Grace Anglican Church in Slippery Rock recently celebrated its 10th anniversary as a congregation. In the face of uncertainty, Grace flourished as an example of the growth and success church plants can find.
20 See some of the highlights from this year’s annual Diocesan Convention: “Partners in the Gospel.”
FEATURES 4 • ARDF: Advent Peace by Christine Jones 8 • Church Planting with St. Stephen’s in Sewickley by Nancy Lee Cochran 12 • Archbishop Duncan Legacy Fund Update 14 • 10 Years of Grace by Ian Mikrut 17 • The Ven. Mark Stevenson Transitions Out of Work as Academic Dean by the Rev. Christopher Klukas 18 • Hearing God’s Call by the Rev. David Trautman 20 • 2016 Diocesan Convention: Partners in the Gospel 22 • Diocesan Calendar | Clergy Milestones 24 • Discovering the New Testament is Now Available
2 • Partners in the Gospel: Advent Reflection The Rev. James Lafeyette Hobby, Jr., Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh
Editor Ian Mikrut Design Kostilnik & Associates Graphics, Inc. Columnists Bishop-Elect Jim Hobby The Rev. Shari Hobby Contributors Nancy Lee Cochran Christine Jones Chris Klukas David Trautman CONTACT INFORMATION Communications Director Ian Mikrut Phone: (412) 281-6131 Email: email@example.com Web site: www.pitanglican.org Fax: (412) 322-4505 SUBMISSION INFORMATION Fax: (412) 322-4505 TRINITY is a quarterly publication of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Submissions for the next issue of Trinity must arrive at the diocesan offices by February 13 to be considered for publication. Documents that are not created in MS Word should be sent as text documents. Photos should be minimum 300 dpi and include photo credit when necessary. If physical photos are sent and must be returned they must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope with proprietary information on the back of each photo.
23 • Advent Amazement by the Rev. Shari Hobby Advent 2016
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ARDF: 4 | TRINITY Advent 2016
Advent eace P By Christine Jones
hese words from John summarize Jesus’s call to bring peace into the world. While we know that everlasting peace will never be found in this earthly life, we do know that as followers of Christ we have been empowered to bring peace where we can. We are not to despair at the lack of peace we see around the world this
The Rev. Papias Masengesho of Burundi explains how peace is spreading through his parish of Ruyenzi. “It is with great pleasure that I see Christians from the parish of Ruyenzi getting clean water from the spring constructed by the Diocese of Buye,” he says. “Praise the Lord! I pray that the same activity will be extended to other parishes in order to improve the health of God’s people. I really testify that (Continued on page 6)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. - John 14:27
Advent. In small ways, we each can bring peace to the world at large - even as we wait for God’s everlasting peace to reign on earth. This Advent, we want to share a few stories of how ARDF is bringing peace to real people in hard situations all across the world. Sometimes this peace comes through having important basic human needs met, like access to clean water or community health training. Advent 2016
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incredible. Thanks to the peace and reconciliation programs held at a newly built community center in Butembo, North Kivu, “people who never used to talk to each other because of suspicion of wrongdoing have started to meet and talk.”
the Lord’s name is glorified and the church in my parish is growing through this water project. Generally, in the community, people’s health have improved a lot compared to the past when they used unclean water.” Sometimes ARDF brings peace through local leaders who use biblical teachings to end actual conflict. In Gambella, Ethiopia, an increased refugee population has created an atmosphere of conflict. Even the various denominations of Christianity were not getting along! But Peter Gak, a respected elder and minister is using
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training he received at the Gambella Anglican Center to encourage healthy ways of resolving conflicts among his people. Peter reports, “Since receiving training from the Anglican Center, I have seen a lot of change in our community. Through Christ’s teachings, we are learning how to meet and work together.” He continues, “The Christians meet and begin to work together saying, ‘let us allow the work of God to be done.’” In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), ARDF researcher Frederick Barasa witnessed something
ARDF works across multiple sectors, bringing peace to those right where they are—both a worldly peace as basic needs are met and opportunities to grow are given, and even more importantly, the eternal peace we have from knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Thanks to deep partnerships between North American churches and these churches in some of the poorest areas of the world, communities are experiencing the peace that comes from God’s radical love. You can learn more about ARDF’s desire to bring peace to all corners of the Anglican Communion at our website, ardf.org. n Photos: Peter Gak, Building in the Congo, Burundi water photo, smiling kids (Ethiopia)
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Planting the new Redeemer North Boroughs Anglican Church in Bellevue are Rev. Seth and Laura Zimmerman, Rev. Geoff Chapman, and Kim and Paul Hassell.
New Life Community Presbyterian Church in Bellevue has generously invited Redeemer North Boroughs Anglican Church to share their building
ChurchP with St. Stephen’s by Nancy Lee Cochran
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15
he Bible commands us to evangelize. In this sense Church planting is extremely important. We are being faithful to Scripture when we share the gospel. We bring the unchurched into our fellowship and into the heart of our Christian community. The Rev. Geoff Chapman, Rector of St. Stephens Church in Sewickley, understands the importance and the
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opportunities presented through planting new churches. “Church planting gives passionate new life in Christ, vitality and urgency to everyone who is involved,” he says. “A new church plant is totally oriented towards mission and the unchurched. They can bring about good relationships with everyone involved in the church. There is a cohesiveness, a partnership, a shared challenge, a winwin for the community and for all involved.”
Planting Church in Sewickley Chapman explains that church planting is a principal way to fulfill the Great Commission and to reach unreached people. “It’s the major activity in the New Testament and it’s very important for today.” He shares that previous church plants of St. Stephens have been successful. In the late 1980s the Rev. Stuart P. Boehmig was the Senior Associate Rector at St. Stephens Church. He had been an Area Director for Young Life before attending Gordon-Conwell Seminary in Boston. The Rev. Dr. John Guest, who was then the Rector, hired him at St. Stephens. Soon, God led St. Stephens in the planting of Orchard Hill Church in Pittsburgh. It became one of the largest churches in America. As an inter-denominational church, Orchard Hill has grown to thousands of people who are passionately serving Jesus.
Orchard Hill began with a core of 54 people. In 1989, when they opened their doors, over 400 people came to the opening. The growth of the church was
“Church planting gives passionate new life in Christ, vitality and urgency to everyone who is involved.” exponential. Within six months, an additional service was added to accommodate those who sought to hear the message of God’s love. Before they found this new church home, many people in the neighborhood had become disillusioned with church. In documenting its own history, Orchard Hill Church’s website explains (Continued on page 10)
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he has planted five new chapters for Intervarsity.
that “these people chose to invest their lives to develop a contemporary Biblical community in the middle of a modern day world—a community that would be relevant in today’s culture while teaching the timeless truths of the Bible.” “Orchard Hill was our intended church plant. Today, it is a testament to God’s grace and His love. But we also had an accidental church plant,” says Chapman. He came to Pittsburgh in 1995. The church was at a pivotal point in its history. Several hundred people left and started what became Christ Church at Grove Farm. The former Rector at St. Stephens, the Rev. Dr. John Guest, became its Senior Pastor. “Today, Christ Church at Grove Farm is a vigorous church. The Lord spoke grace into the situation and again it was a win-win situation for God. Church plants can happen in all kinds of ways and they are a very effective evangelistic method,” says Chapman. He remembered when Anglican 1000 started. In 2009, when Bishop Robert Duncan became the first Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, he challenged the province to aggressively pursue the work of church planting by starting 1,000 churches in the first five years of our existence. “That was exciting and fruitful. Almost 500
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churches were planted. We were very supportive but we took our time. St. Stephens waited for the emergence of the right leadership over time.” In God’s great timing, He provided Seth Zimmerman and Paul Hassell to plan, engage the people of St. Stephens and to identify the neighborhood for a new church plant. Seth Zimmerman was one of five church planting interns of the Holy Cross Fellows, begun by Rebecca Chapman, wife of the Rev. Geoff Chapman. Seth graduated from Grove City College in 2010 and worked with youth at St. Stephens while also doing secular work to prepare himself for the road ahead. “I wanted to understand the culture and be ready to fully immerse myself in serving a neighborhood and its people. My preparation was challenging,” he says. “I love the friendship and fellowship. I love being a co-laborer in ministry, serving on a team and making a difference.” Paul Hassell has longtime experience with Intervarsity and evangelism. He is a graduate of Ohio State University. He did an internship with Intervarsity and ended up working for them for 25 years. He served the Ohio State University for three years, was area director in Western Ohio for eight years, and served in western PA for 14 years. He understands the intensity of planning something new since
“God has given us two godly men to lead this new endeavor. Both have children and are great parents. They love children and teenagers and relate well to them,” says Chapman. He understands well that new churches best reach the unchurched. Many studies have shown that the average new church gains most of its new members (60 to 80%) from people who are not attending any church. Also, children, teenagers and younger adults are typically disproportionately found in newer congregations. New churches best reach new generations, new residents and new people groups. “Both Seth and Paul are graduates of Trinity School for Ministry. They were well prepared there to urgently share the gospel with their neighbors and to do church planting,” says Chapman. “When God tells us the time is right, we will open the new church”, says Hassell. It will be in the nearby neighborhood of Bellevue. St. Stephens conducted market research to help them determine where a new church was needed and should be located. They focused their research on the Route 65 corridor. The church is named Redeemer North Boroughs and will be in the heart of the neighborhood. New Life Community Presbyterian Church in Bellevue has generously invited them to share their building. Zimmerman and Hassell are fully integrated into the life of St. Stephens. They are helping the entire church develop an emerging heart for the new endeavor. “The entire congregation is planting this new church. We’re all jumping in together. Our small groups are involved. We are all praying and
preparing. We want to do something special to give them a good start,” says Chapman. In preparation, he preached through the book of Acts to help them understand church planting. He pointed to the strategy of Paul. “The greatest missionary in history was St. Paul. He went into the largest city of the region. He met the people and he helped to plant a church there.” “Why is all this important?”, Chapman asks. “We want to do everything we can to help our neighbors find Jesus Christ. We are seeking a fresh mission field. Our culture continues to deteriorate. The level of pain and suffering is immense. We want the people of Bellevue and the people of St. Stephens to understand that Jesus Christ is the answer to their needs.” By taking the time to involve the whole church in the planning, the church has helped the congregation to find clarity about this commitment and to feel a sense of investment and ownership in this new church. “We all will be referring, praying, sometimes attending, helping with special events and supporting our neighbors in Bellevue in every way we can.
point of common interest to connect to people and grow relationships. They plan to have their first public worship Christmas Eve and begin public worship on January 8. The services will be at 5:30pm because there are no other local churches with evening services; this gives people with different working schedules another option for attending church.
“To all new church plants in the Diocese, we offer our prayers, gratitude and support for your faithfulness, creativity, joy and love.” Zimmerman and Hassell are grateful for the start–up funds that they have received from the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, who pledged $50,000 over three years to help support this new church plant. Hassell is excited as he remembers the most recent group of Deacons who were ordained in the Diocese. “All of us were from new church plants. We
all had a heart for mission and shared with each other about the vitality and the excitement in our congregations,” he says. “Our prayer is that all congregations in the Diocese would know that joy and growth.” Hassell and the other Deacons were thrilled when Bishop Hobby came to their retreat. “He understands church planting and what it means to evangelism. He will guide us in being faithful to the Great Commission.” May it be so. To all new church plants in the Diocese, we offer our prayers, gratitude and support for your faithfulness, creativity, joy and love. May you help us bring renewal to the whole body of Christ. Keep bringing your new ideas to the whole body and keep equipping and preparing strong, creative leaders for the whole church. As individuals and as established churches, challenge us to examine our own identity, vision and commitment to evangelism. May all of us, following the example of Jesus Christ, continue to serve our neighbors with love as we share and live the good news. Go into all the world! n
In that process, there is an open opportunity for St. Stephens to be renewed and to see love, mercy, strength, and beauty in action.” Zimmerman hopes to have 15-20 leaders from St. Stephens to help seed the congregation. They are actively meeting their new neighbors and attending community events. Zimmerman and Hassell have hosted open mic nights, brew clubs, house blessings, trash pick-up and spirituality groups at the local drop-in center to relate with the community. Zimmerman regularly uses his bike as Advent 2016
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ARCHBISHOP DUNCAN LEGACY FUND
Archbishop Duncan Legacy Fund Report A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
hank you for all that you have done to “refresh” the Congregations and Clergy of this Diocese through the Archbishop Duncan Legacy Fund. We have a bright future in Jesus Christ in our region. This Legacy Fund was developed at the retirement of Archbishop Duncan and provides funding so that Bishop Hobby and our Board of Trustees are able to direct these funds where and when needed in support of our Congregations and Clergy for now and well into the future. We praise God for all of you and thank you for your generous and prayerful support. Our work with the Legacy Fund began in April 2016. Our active cultivation ceased on September 2016 after six months of service. However, we are confident that many Congregations and individuals are processing or still considering gifts with the help of financial advisors, family members and others. From April, 2016 through November 1, 2016, we Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes have received gifts and pledges for: $1,016,652 Church of the Ascension Christ the Redeemer Parish A. IMMEDIATE GIFTS: Christ’s Church Greensburg Church of the Savior 1. Gifts Already Paid Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and Deposited...............................$239,858 Harvest Anglican Church Additional Gifts Pledged...............$291,794 Holy Trinity Church of Raleigh, NC TOTAL to date of Mosaic Anglican Immediate Gifts............................ $531,652 North Pittsburgh Anglican 2. Sources of Gifts Prince of Peace Anglican Individuals (102) Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh Parishes and other Religious Groups (22): St. Elizabeth’s Anglican Mission St. Stephen’s Church in Sewickley All Saints Anglican St. Thomas Church in the Fields Anglican Church of the Incarnation
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Somerset Anglican Fellowship South Side Anglican Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship Trinity Washington Women Alive in Christ Together, in a short period of time, we have planted seeds and believe that God will continue to multiply these for His use and glory. B. Estate Gifts: Six donors shared their plans. Gifts and Commitments for the Diocese..................................$410,000 Gifts for the Congregations................ $75,000 TOTAL Estate Gifts Shared............. $485,000 We are confident that many additional donors have named the Diocese or their Congregation in their Estate Plans and have not previously shared this with the Diocese. We are grateful that God has used this Legacy Fund for this purpose. Even if we do not know these details, we are confident that God does. The Archbishop Duncan Legacy Fund is administered by the Board of Trustees of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Resources gathered into the Archbishop Duncan Legacy Fund is being committed by the Trustees through: • The Congregational Growth Fund (Grants and Loans) • The Church Planning Fund (Chiefly Grants) • The Clergy Sabbatical and Well-Being Fund (Grants) and • Other means to support Congregations and Clergy as opportunities arise.
independently. Moreover, common resources are being applied strategically and renewably for the use of Bishop Hobby and with the approval and support of the Board of Trustees. On your behalf, I send a very special thank you to the members of the Cabinet who so generously gave of their time and talents to lead this effort. Our Cabinet included: Brad Root, Chair Michael Shiner, Vice Chair Bill and Linda Roemer, Honorary Chairs Shawn Reed, Board of Trustees President Rev. Don Bushyager, Treasurer Rev. Michael Wurschmidt, Prayer Chair Robert Devlin, Esq., Legal Counsel Rebecca Chapman Tim McLaughlin The Rev. Jonathan Millard The Rev. Karen Stevenson Nick Storm Mary Thompson Robert Wasko (deceased) We are grateful to have served. Thank you for your prayers and for your support. For generations to come, we trust that these funds will continue to bear fruit and will provide much needed support to our Congregations and Clergy. Blessings! Brad Root Chair
Beginning now, Congregations and Clergy will have access to resources that they could not have Advent 2016
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Grace 10 Years of
By Ian Mikrut | Photos by Charles Treichler
For obvious reasons, it’s easy to use the metaphor of a garden in relation to church planting. And while the work of the gardener never truly ends and the importance of nurturing new growth remains ever-important in the life of the garden, it’s equally important to stop, reflect and praise God in celebration of those plants that have not only grown, but flourished.
aving recently celebrated its tenth anniversary as a congregation, Grace Anglican Church in Slippery Rock provides a shining example for the potential of future church plant efforts. Like most church plants its growth and success were not always certain, especially given the particularly difficult season in which the framework for Grace was initially put in place.
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A decade ago the Rev. Paul Cooper (All Saints, Cranberry), then a rector at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Cranberry knew that a church planting effort in the Slippery Rock area was a potential possibility, and would be a great opportunity to reach students at Grove City College and Slippery Rock University. However, at the time, there weren’t many church planting efforts happening throughout the diocese.
“It was happening during a time of great dark clouds and being unsure of what was happening in the diocese as we were heading towards realignment,” says Cooper. “In a time of uncertainty in our diocesan life, it would be tempting to not want to take any risks. But God said plant a church and we did.” Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to head the project himself, Cooper thought about potential candidates. And as he thought about the potential needs of that surrounding community, Cooper thought about who could cater to them, who would be good at it. And having known him for most of his life, Ethan Magness kept coming to mind. “I was initially overwhelmed by the prospect of church planting,” says the Rev. Ethan Magness, founding Rector and head pastor of Grace. “I was 25 at the time, and still in seminary. I wasn’t yet ordained. I was afraid of the nature of the project; I was afraid it would be too daunting.” It was through very earnest, wrestling prayer with his wife and those close to them that Magness got the sense that this was the right path for them to take. Though he jokes his daunting fears proved to be correct initially. “We didn’t have a lot of the advantages that would have aided us in that first year. We had very little money, we had a small dedicated group of about six people and none of us had any experience church planting,” says Magness. “We decided rather haphazardly to just start worshipping.” An open, public service was declared on April 2, 2006. With very little time to prepare, and even less publicity in the area, 96 people came to Highland Presbyterian Church (the building still being used by Grace) that Sunday evening. Though many of those in attendance that first Sunday evening in 2006 were family and friends and wouldn’t return regularly, Magness explains the encouragement that first worship brought to him and his team. Along with solidifying a core group of interested people. While there were conventional outreach and exposure efforts at first – mailers, flyers, deliberate web or social media advertisements, Grace found growth organically through the community. “Our growth tends to come through word of mouth. We’re in a sleepier part of western Pennsylvania and things just work different here,” says Magness. “Through the years, we’ve sent out scores of missionaries out, we’ve had at least ten of our people ordained into full time ministry, we’ve hired campus missioners for both Slippery Rock University and Grove City
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College and we were involved in starting community meals in Slippery Rock.” Being centered between two college campuses can provide its own challenges as well. Magness estimates the congregation’s population to be roughly divided 40/60 students to residents. That means almost half of the congregation is gone five months out of the year and around 80 are lost to graduation. Catering to a young, ever-shifting student population, residents that remain constant as well as 30 or so PhDs can have its difficulties. But Magness and Grace have managed, to say the least. In 2015 a second Sunday morning service began in an ice cream parlor in Grove City. Magness estimates a combined 270 people worship on Sundays in Slipper Rock and Grove City. Part of that comes from the vision set out to have a historically rooted church where anyone attending would feel rooted themselves, regardless of where they came from or where they were going. “One of healthiest things that we can do is be rooted in something that’s true and life giving and doesn’t change, or at least doesn’t change at its core,” says Magness. Magness has also tried to root Grace in a central idea or message. “Christian conversion and Christian growth are founded on the same principle, which is relentless absolution to people
in profound need. For many, the Christian life can become a functional Buddhism of slavish discipline instead of a relationship that grows from grace,” he says. “So that’s the big idea, and I think that it has led to the growth of the church. Our programs are good; I really like them and we wouldn’t be who we are without them. But they’re not the center. The center of the church is the message of the gospel. That message doesn’t change once we become Christians, it’s still the same. We just sort of did our thing in proclaiming the gospel as clearly as we could and it bore fruit. And we were surprised.” And on November 5, 2016, just after annual Diocesan Convention, Grace celebrated its ten year anniversary as a congregation. Looking back, Magness says he will always remember something Cooper prayed for at that very first public service, that God would do something so significant that they would know it was him and not just themselves in their fumbling efforts. “In the face of not knowing how to plant a church, Ethan made a choice of courage over fear, trust over doubt, and willingness over insecurity,” says Cooper. “The bottom line is, we work hard, we plant the seeds and we water, but God gives the increase. And we move forward, not knowing what the Lord will do, and of course it’s amazing to see what it did do, with an imperfect plant and imperfect people, it’s great.” With eyes towards the future, Magness hopes for Grace to secure a greater sense of space in having their own, permanent building. And having experienced all of the growth and potential in his own church plant, Magness also has hopes for Grace to engage in church planting as well. A far cry from his initial fears of the risk he took ten years ago. “You get to see new life arise from a place of bareness. People are coming closer to God that might not have otherwise,” he says. “It’s one of those things where it’s ex nihilo. Out of nothing, something rather grand is formed by God. When Grace Anglican started, and even now -- we’re not glitzy, we’re not overly experienced, and we don’t always make the right calls, but it’s not about that. It’s about God’s power working through our very obvious weaknesses. And I think it’s worth the risk.” n
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The Ven. Mark Stevenson Transitions Out of Work as Academic Dean By the Rev. Christopher Klukas
n November, the Ven. Mark Stevenson, Academic Dean at Trinity School for Ministry, announced that he would transition out of his role at the seminary to free up more time to serve as a deacon and to return to his work in the theater as an accomplished actor. Mark began his work at Trinity School for Ministry in 2005, first as a coordinator for Jan and June terms, then as the Director of Extension Ministries, and most recently as Academic Dean where he has watched over the school’s reaccreditation process with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Washington said, “Mark has been deacon at our church for 16 years, serving alongside his wife, our priest, Karen, at the altar, in the pulpit, at the deathbed of beloved parishioners and at the baptisms of our newest little members. The long running joke at Trinity is that we got a twofer, but that really does not accurately reflect the value of Mark’s ministry. He has been and will remain a source of God’s very real presence: His Peace and Comfort at Trinity. He is a true deacon of the church, selflessly serving as Christ did and as the apostles intended when they chose the first deacons to serve the church.”
“It has been an extraordinary time to be at Trinity” Mark reflected in a recent interview. “When I first joined the staff at Trinity, the seminary was still in the early stages that an organization has to go through. But Justyn Terry helped to move the school to the next phase of its institutional development through strategic planning and the honing of systems and structures. It was a privilege to work alongside him and help him in this effort. I think this work has really paid off in things like our recent reaccreditation visit from the ATS, and the evaluators were really impressed, it was a great report. I think we are poised now to move into that next phase as a school and it was really exciting to have been here for that.”
When asked what he plans to do after leaving the seminary, Mark said, “I’ve really missed acting, and about two years ago I had this overwhelming desire to get back into it. I found an excellent teacher and joined her class.” Mark has already been cast in a role this spring with Quantum Theater in a play called Collaborators by John Hodge. “It’s a very interesting play and a very interesting part.”
The Rev. Dr. Laurie Thompson, Trinity’s Interim Dean/ President remarked, “I want express my profound appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice that Mark has given to his duties as Academic Dean. What he has done to create, innovate, and develop changes in our academic programs has been exceptional. The recent strong affirmation of the ATS accreditation team is a testimony to the remarkable work he has done while serving. He will be irreplaceable in a real sense, but he has laid a solid foundation for the next Academic Dean to build upon.”
Mark is also interested in working with our new Bishop, Jim Hobby, as he continues to serve as the Archdeacon. “Bishop Jim has some really exciting ideas about the Diaconate. We are going to take another look at the curriculum for the deacon formation program, it has been a good program, but it has been twenty years since we last updated it. I’m very interested in working with the Deacon Formation Program board to do this work.”
“Mark Stevenson is a natural deacon,” commented Jack Walsh, a co-worker at Trinity School for Ministry. “He always thinks about the other person and reflexively takes the humbler place. I love being around him. I already miss him, and just thinking about this school without him makes me sad.”
Anyone who has attended a recent Diocesan Convention Eucharist, will be familiar with Mark’s skill at memorizing and reciting the scriptures. This is something he wants to continue. “I still have a very strong call to do memorization and recitation [of scripture]. Part of the reason I am retiring from Trinity a little early is that God has allowed me to still have my memory. As you get older as an actor it gets harder and harder to memorize texts. While I have my memory I want to use it! It’s not about me, it really isn’t, the Word is alive, it’s living, these are eyewitness accounts and they are meant to speak to you! As long as God gives me the gift to hold onto my memory I want to continue this work.”
Many in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh will know Mark from his other roles as a Deacon at Trinity Church in Washington, PA and as the Archdeacon of the Diocese. Steve Sims, a member and former Senior Warden at Trinity
Mark will surely be missed at Trinity School for Ministry, but we are excited for the new opportunities that God has set before him. Please join in praying for Mark as he transitions into a new season of ministry. n Advent 2016
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HEARING God’s Call By the Rev. David Trautman
Sometimes the last place on your mind is the first place on God’s mind. If you had told me when I headed off to seminary that I would spend the next seven years in Pittsburgh, I wouldn’t have believed you. I might be slow, but surely I could finish seminary faster than seven years! I had no idea then that I would 18 | TRINITY Advent 2016
be called to serve as the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Pittsburgh after only one semester in seminary. Canon Mary Hays taught my first class in seminary, which led to me being recruited onto the diocesan staff team. As the saying goes, God loves you and Canon Mary has a wonderful plan for your life.
In all seriousness, I learned so much from Archbishop Duncan and Canon Mary. Working as Communications Director exposed me to a wide swath of the Anglican church. As many of you already know, the whole Anglican world comes to Pittsburgh. It really is one of the great centers of Anglicanism. I lost count
the Associate Rector of Church of the Ascension. We had been attending Ascension for the past three years. The Lord opened up a place for me there just as I started looking for my next call. The Rev. Jonathan Millard was a great mentor for me as I learned what it means to be an Anglican priest. It was such a privilege to serve a warm, vibrant, and growing congregation in the great city of Pittsburgh.
of how many archbishops and bishops I met. At one point, I even texted with the Archbishop of Canterbury! But my favorite part of my job was hearing and compiling all the stories of how God was transforming lives through the ministries of local parishes. As I take up the mantle of leading a parish, I find myself drawing on all the wisdom and insight parishes in the Diocese of Pittsburgh poured into their ministries. After three years working for the diocese, I was ordained to the priesthood and called to serve as
But as Bishop Jim Hobby has said to me on several occasions, God reserves the right to deploy his troops wherever and whenever He wants. The day after he was elected bishop of Pittsburgh, the Hobbys came to our house and started talking to us about the church in Thomasville, GA they would be leaving behind. My wife, Megan, and I had visited it one time while we were attending college in nearby Tallahassee, FL. We honestly couldn’t believe that God might be calling us to go back within 30 miles of where we were living before we went to seminary. But as the interview process unfolded, we fell in love with the congregation and the city of Thomasville. The call became very clear. In fact, there were two other highly qualified candidates in the running for the position, but on the first ballot the search committee voted unanimously to call me as their rector. It was an astonishing testimony to God’s clear call.
Just as the Hobbys were getting settled into Pittsburgh, we were starting to pack for Thomasville. In fact, Bishop Jim and Mother Shari dropped off all the boxes they used for their move so that we could use them for our move. They might be the only moving boxes that ended up right back where they started! I am so grateful for the seven years we spent in the Diocese of Pittsburgh among you. You have profoundly shaped me and my ministry. As I look forward to the next seven years, I know that I am standing on the shoulders of giants (Bishop Jim & Mother Shari). They have laid a wonderful foundation and I feel privileged to build upon it. Thanks be to God! The Rev. David Trautman served as the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Pittsburgh from 2010–2013. He was the Associate Rector of Church of the Ascension from 2013–2016. On November 1, he started in his current position as Rector of Trinity Anglican Church in Thomasville, GA, which was previously led by The Rt. Rev. Jim & The Rev. Shari Hobby.
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2016 Diocesan Conventio
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on: Partners in the Gospel
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Diocesan Calendar December 2016 through January 2017 December 2016 4
Episcopal Visit: Monroeville, St. Martin’s
Diaconal Ordinations: Ben Hughes & Claire Megles in Washington, Trinity
Episcopal Visit: Charleroi, St. Mary’s
Ordination to the Priesthood: Suzanne Perkins in Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship, Uptown
Diocesan Council meets in Diocesan Office, One Allegheny Square, Suite 650
Episcopal Visit: O’Hara Township, Word of Light
January 2017 18
Wednesday Episcopal Visit: Murrysville, St. Alban’s
Ordination to the Priesthood: Ardath Smith in Ascension, Oakland
Episcopal Visit: Ambridge, Church of the Savior
Episcopal Visit: Glenshaw, Church of Our Saviour
Ordinations to the Priesthood: Seth Zimmerman and Paul Hassell i n New Life Community Church, Bellevue
Clergy Milestones n The Rev. Kenny Benge began serving as Associate Rector at Church of the Redeemer, Nashville, TN on August 1, 2016. n The Rev. Sharon Sue Hobby transferred in from the Gulf Atlantic Diocese on August 4, 2016. n The Rev. Sean Robert Norris transferred to the Diocese of South Carolina on August 22, 2016. n The Rev. James Hobby was consecrated as Bishop of Pittsburgh by The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach at St. Paul Roman Catholic Cathedral in Pittsburgh on September 10, 2016. n The Rev. Steven Nixon Tighe transferred to the Diocese of the Southwest on September 22, 2016.
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n The Rev. Gregory Scott McBrayer transferred to the Diocese of Fort Worth on September 26, 2016. n The Rev. Dr. Doug McGlynn retired as Rector of All Saints, Springfield, MO on October 2, 2016. The Rev. Dr. Joe Murphy will serve as Interim Rector at All Saints. n The Rev. David Winter Trautman transferred to the Gulf Atlantic Diocese on October 15, 2016. He will serve as Rector at Trinity, Thomasville, GA. n The Rev. Joe Gasbarre began serving as Parish Catechist at Christ Church Anglican in Savannah, GA on October 16, 2016.
Advent Amazement By the Rev. Shari Hobby
he year was 1983. We were quite new to the Episcopal Church and were expecting our first child, due January 1. As you can imagine, that year Advent was particularly meaningful and amazing to me as I “shared” a piece of Mary’s story, spending lots of time in the early chapters of Luke’s Gospel. Amazing that God would choose to use a young Palestinian girl to be his vessel to bring salvation into the world. Amazing her humble, obedient response to the announcement by the angel, “Let it be to me according to your word.”
That we, like Mary, could respond in beautiful obedience and trust.
Amazing that God also chooses to use me – and you – to be his vessel of service in the lives of others. Amazing that he blesses our efforts, so that what happens in his name has both his fingerprints and ours implanted in it.
Amazing that he would confirm his word in the heart of another. For Mary it was Elizabeth, “Why is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” No, it wasn’t her imagination. This was really happening. Amazing that the Lord confirms his word in our hearts as well as we, like Mary, ponder these things in our hearts. Amazing that this ancient story is new again every year! Elizabeth Joy arrived shortly after Christmas, on December 28, 1983. Is her name any wonder? My prayer is that this Advent, the Lord would gift us with the joyful awareness of his partnership with us in bringing himself to others. That we, like Mary, could respond in beautiful obedience and trust. And that we would be for others the person who confirms the Lord’s word in the lives of others. n Pondering, and being amazed, with you during this Advent season,
Mary’s Song by Luci Shaw (this is Shaw’s line spacing)
From “A Widening Light: Poems of the Incarnation” edited by Luci Shaw Blue homespun and the bend of my breast keep warm this small hot naked star fallen to my arms. (Rest . . . you who have had so far to come.) Now nearness satisfies the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies whose vigor hurled a universe. He sleeps whose eyelids have not closed before. His breath (so slight it seems no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps to sprout a world. Charmed by doves’ voices, the whisper of straw, he dreams, hearing no music from his other spheres. Breath, mouth, ears, eyes he is curtailed who overflowed all skies, all years. Older than eternity, now he is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed to my poor planet, caught that I might be free, blind in my womb to know my darkness ended, brought to this birth for me to be new-born, and for him to see me mended I must see him torn.
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Discovering the New Testament is Now Available
any Christians have a desire to learn more about the Bible, particularly the New Testament. Discovering the New Testament is designed to be the overture to a lifetime of listening to God speak through his written Word and of applying that Word to your life. For those unfamiliar with the riches of the New Testament, this course aims to give an overview of the major books and themes in a clear and memorable way. For those who “know the score,” this book will provide a useful review of major facts and ideas about the New Testament and provide opportunities for applying its message to daily living. In this book, the New Testament will be approached as a collection of writings that witnesses in a coherent way—though from different perspectives—to the life and teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assumes that the New Testament is a trustworthy document, written in history, and containing what is necessary to know about matters of Christian faith and life in today’s world. Knowing the content of the New Testament is essential for Christians who wish to understand and testify to the good news of Jesus Christ. This book is the second volume in the Foundations for Christian Ministry (FCM) curriculum. FCM is a non-degree curriculum designed to train laypeople for Christian life and ministry, and can be undertaken as parish-based, small-group, or individual study. The purpose of FCM is to encourage and strengthen Christian formation, discipleship, and witness for all members of Christ’s body through study that is biblically sound and theologically orthodox. The first volume in the series is Confessing the Faith: Anglican Doctrine. This winter a third volume, Discovering the Old Testament, will be released. Copies of Discovering the New Testament and other books in the FCM series are available through the Trinity School for Ministry bookstore (bookstore.tsm.edu) for $21.99. n
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Published on Dec 6, 2016
TRINITY Magazine, the Diocesan Newsletter. TRINITY is a quarterly publication of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh. Contributors include va...