March 24, 2015
Dear People of Central New York:
With love to all of the people of the faith communities of our beloved Diocese, I write to inform you that I have indicated to the Standing Committee my intention to resign as your Bishop Diocesan on or about October 31, 2016. At that time I will be concluding fifteen years as your Bishop. As best I can tell personally and drawing on wise people around me in prayerful discernment, this is a good time for a transition to new possibilities for the ongoing health of the Diocese in service of Christ’s mission.
Being your Bishop is an amazing privilege for which I will always be grateful. It has formed me and drawn things from me in ways that I could never have imagined. By grace I believe it has made me a more deeply faithful person. This wonderful and, at the same time, crazy vocation as Bishop has drawn me over the years to an ever-deepening life of prayer resting in Christ as my center and life. I have all of you to thank for that.
You may have noted above that I used the word “resign.” That is the specific canonical word, even when the intention is retirement. Even though I am retiring from Central New York, I do intend to allow myself to be available to the Church in any way that God’s Spirit may call forth. I am not stepping aside for any other position, although it is my understanding that once my resignation is public, I will likely receive offers for other opportunities. If it occurs, that will also be a time for discernment bathed in prayer and open to the Spirit who blows wherever she wills.
The Standing Committee has met with Bishop Clayton Matthews of the Presiding Bishop’s Office to begin to engage the process of transition to the election of a new bishop. My hope is that this journey to new leadership will be healthy and smooth and I trust the Standing Committee to oversee that process. You will hear more from them as time unfolds, as they are canonically responsible for overseeing this transition. It also means that even as anxiety for the future may raise its head, sometimes in ways we do not expect, it is essential that all along the way we keep our hearts centered on Jesus and the mission to which we are called. Our Gospel work continues.
The next nineteen months will offer us many opportunities to connect and prepare well for all that is to come. For now, know that I continue to be your Bishop and I will continue to work hard among you and be fully engaged in our mission “To be the passionate presence of Christ for one another and the world we are called to serve.” Please continue to pray for me as I pray for you.
Grace and peace in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III
10th Bishop of Central New York