Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight

Statement of Wardens & Vestry in response to Bishop Love’s Resignation

November 2020

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Albany, NY, seeks the inclusion of all people in the sacraments and the life of the Church of Jesus Christ. This is a decided matter for The Episcopal Church and for us.

We have sought and we continue to seek to walk in faith, hope, and love with all our sisters and brothers. The General Convention of The Episcopal Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and rooted in the Anglican ethos which relies on Scripture and reason, as well as tradition, in understanding and living into God’s truth. In 2018, the General Convention responded to the need to provide marriage rites for all its members in enacting Resolution B012. This neither mandates the performance of any particular marriage nor removes the oversight of bishops in the case of couples where one or both members have been divorced.

It has been a long time and difficult time of waiting and discernment for the Right Reverend William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, and for all. We know that he has sought to be a faithful priest and bishop of the Church. We wish him and his family God’s abundant blessings as he enters a new phase of his life and ministry. 

We have felt only sadness that the unity Jesus intends for us has been broken. There were no smiles or celebrations when our congregation learned the news of Bishop Love’s resignation as we participated in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany’s Convention on October 24, 2020, and worshipped together the next day. We are glad for Bishop Love’s commitment to foster a healthy transition for the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. We pray that in revising its Canon 16, our Diocese will adhere to the canons of The Episcopal Church related to marriage, specifically those articulated in Resolution B012.

St. Andrew’s renews our commitment to carry on the work of the Gospel in this time of so many challenges and changes. We grieve for all those who have long been excluded from the fullness of the sacraments and especially for those who have left with great sadness a denomination in which they have felt excluded from the fullness of life in Christ offered to others. We pray for healing for the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, for its members, clergy, and congregations, recognizing that it is a process that will take time, prayer, effort, and love. We give grateful thanks for the leadership of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Bishop William H. Love, Bishop W. Nicholas Knisely, and the members of the Hearing Panel. We will continue to pray in humility and hope for the “healing, reconciliation, and mutual flourishing across deeply held theological differences” commended to us by Presiding Bishop Curry.

Status as of May 30, 2012

Photo: St. Andrew's tower

In December 2011 the Rev. Mary White, Rector of St. Andrew’s, attended a meeting with Diocese of Albany Bishop William Love, Diocese of Central New York Bishop Gladstone (Skip) Adams, and several other rectors from the Diocese of Albany. At this meeting Bishop Love agreed to entertain parish requests for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) in certain cases.

In a letter to the Parish on February 2, 2012 the Rector announced to the Parish that she was interested in pursuing DEPO “in order to send a clear message that we mean what we say in our mission statement.” She indicated her intention to present it to the Vestry for a vote later that month after the conduct of three Sunday forums on the question during the ensuing three weeks.

The Vestry agreed with the Rector at its February meeting and undertook to prepare a formal resolution for possible adoption at its meeting in March. The Vestry resolution of March 19 was passed unanimously. (A copy of this Vestry resolution suitable for printing is here.)

After a quiet period for the observance of Holy Week and Easter there was a special meeting of the Parish on Easter III, Sunday, April 22, during which the Parish voted 90 to 1 to ratify the Vestry resolution of March 19 requesting DEPO.

As provided in the House of Bishops guidelines, Caring for all the Churches, the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry met with Bishop Love on May 21, and at the conclusion of that meeting executed a document in which the parish and the Bishop agree to a DEPO arrangement. On May 29 Bishop Gladstone (Skip) Adams Jr. of the Diocese of Central New York during a meeting with the Rector agreed to serve as visiting bishop.