The word “Episcopal” literally means “Bishop.” We are a church with Bishops, not unlike the Roman Catholic or Eastern Churches. Other Protestant churches often have leaders or committees with different names who offer very similar leadership to that of a Bishop.
Our current Bishop, Daniel Gutierrez, is still fairly new to our Diocese (the five counties of the Philadelphia metropolitan area). And while he did make a brief evening prayer visit with us last year, he really is coming for the first time for a significant “meet and greet” aimed at the entire parish.
He wants to get to know St. Matthew’s. Of course he can visit our website, read about us, and see some pictures or videos about us. But this is a personal meeting: he wants to be with us. He will worship and preach at all three of our Sunday liturgies. He will meet with 16 youth preparing to be confirmed in their faith. He will visit us at the Parish Hall reception and will meet with our Vestry.
Bishop Daniel often emphasizes that WE – meaning all the Episcopal parishes and people in them – are the Diocese. The Diocese is not an office in the city. It is you, me, and all the other gatherings of people and clergy around us.
As our bishop, he wishes to support and encourage us in all the witness we make for Jesus Christ in our communities. He wishes to encourage the young men and women who will be presented for Confirmation to live as people of faith, hope and love in our world. He wants to know if there are ways the Diocesan staff can be of assistance to St. Matthew’s Church in our life and work.
The Bishop reminds us that we are not standing alone. We belong to a great community of faith – not simply other Episcopalians – but all those who have shown Jesus Christ to the world for two thousand years. Yes, we have our “closest relatives” in our fellow Episcopalians, but in fact all Christians are our brothers and sisters.
So come and worship on Sunday, February 4, as Bishop Daniel Gutierrez visits with us! As you will see, you can come just as you normally would on any Sunday.
The schedule is as follows:
7:45 a.m. – Holy Eucharist Rite I
9:00 a.m. – Contemporary Eucharist with Nursery Care, Sunday School and Forum, and the Bishop’s meeting with Confirmands.
10:00 a.m. – Coffee Hour
10:30 a.m. – Holy Eucharist Rite II with Confirmation
12 noon (approximately) – Reception for Confirmands and Bishop, followed by Vestry meeting with the Bishop.