This Pentecost Sunday (May 15) we are honored to have our Bishop The Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter join us for worship. You may be asking, but what is a bishop? Restoration is an Anglican church which means that we are liturgical in practice, which is something you can see each time you worship with us. And because we are Anglican, we are also hierarchical in our organization which is less obvious until you learn more about how the Restoration congregation is related to other Anglican churches all around the world.
Every Anglican church is a part of larger regional group of churches called a diocese which is led by a bishop. Restoration is part of the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO) which is led by Bishop Todd Hunter. The C4SO Diocese is a member of an international province of churches in the Unites States and Canada called the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). Though you may not see it each week when we gather, Restoration is deeply connected to life of the Anglican Church through these relationships and we look to our Bishop for oversight and direction.
Bishops have existed since the earliest days of the Church and appear in the New Testament. They serve as leaders who oversee and guide churches to faithfully teach the Gospel and carry on the mission of Jesus. In the Anglican Church, bishop is one of the three ordained positions or orders. Deacons serve to meet needs in and outside of the church, priests pastor congregations, and bishops pastor the priests and deacons as well as leading all the congregations in the diocese in a faithful and unified direction.
The catechism of the ACNA explains the role of a bishop in this way:
The work of bishops is to represent and serve Christ and the Church as chief pastors, to lead in preaching and teaching the faith and in shepherding the faithful, to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church, and to bless, confirm and ordain, thus following in the tradition of the Apostles. (Titus 1:7-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Acts 20:28)
We are blessed to have such a gifted leader in Bishop Hunter and I encourage you to come and meet him this Sunday. He has an impressive professional and academic resume and a list of life-changing books he has authored that can certainly commend him to you. If you read anything he has written, the concepts will sound familiar because our very best ideas at Restoration are inspired by his work. But most important is the pastoral guidance that he provides to Restoration. You will be blessed by his teaching and pastoral presence. Don’t miss worship this Sunday and plan to stay afterward for a potluck lunch with Bishop Hunter.