21 September 2019
Dear Sisters, Brothers, Siblings,
Grace and peace be with you in Jesus, the Light for all people!
I want to share some wonderful news with you. Today, our sister, the Rev. Susan Haynes, was elected by the Diocese of Southern Virginia to serve as their Eleventh Bishop. This is great news for the Episcopal Church and especially those who are part of the Episcopal Church in Southern Virginia.
Mother Susan began her ministry as a priest in 2004 at St. Thomas Plymouth and then at the Cathedral of St. James as Associate Priest then Priest in Charge through 2008. She was called to serve as the Rector of St. Paul's Mishawaka in 2008. Susan has many gifts that have enhanced the mission, ministry and management of St. Paul's. She has also served in positions of leadership in our diocese and the wider church. Let us pray for Susan and Tom, their children, Sarah and Avery, as they prepare for this new ministry.
There is also a bitter sweetness to this news, especially for our sisters, brothers, siblings of St. Paul's in Mishawaka and St. Thomas / Santo Tomás Plymouth. I know full well how happy and sad they are, given the news of this election. Let us uphold both faith communities in our prayer as they prepare to give thanks for Mother Susan, Father Tom and their family and begin a time of transition.
It is our particular blessing to support all those whose lives are changed by this election.
Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen!
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas E. Sparks
VIII Bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana