“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.”  Mark 1:12



Dear Friends in Central New York,


Get real.  This is perhaps the central call of God through the season of Lent.  The forty days of introspection and renewal are not so much prescription as they are a journey, one in which we move into greater awareness of who we are, especially in our relationship to God and to one another.


Get real.  Standing with Jesus on the holy mountain of Transfiguration, we discover once again our baptismal reality as proclaimed by God to Jesus, “You are my beloved.”  Facing the chaos of Lent, we do so standing secure in this promise as we come down the mountain, as Jesus did, to face the reality of the cross and to be a self-offering for the transformation of the world.  He was offering a new way of self-giving love in order to lead us to a clearer vision of God’s desire for God’s people.


Get real.  Lent is a time to re-discover who you are as God’s own, fully awake to the gift and challenge of what it is to be human, yet dependent on God’s mercy and love in utter vulnerability.  This was Jesus’ great gift to the world as he faced his own humanity and discovered how best to offer himself to the glory of God and the healing of the world.


Get real.  Be honest about the struggle, the challenge and the difficulty of being faithful people in this time of upheaval where everything seems up for grabs.  It does often feel like wilderness.  What are we called to leave behind?  What new way of thinking and believing are we to embrace? Be honest that, even as we work hard in our faith communities among shrinking resources, we do not have all the answers as we gaze into the future before us.  Trust that it is the way of healing, meaning and significance.


So - get real.  God is with us even as it is the Spirit who leads us into the rare yet rich wildness of Lent to embrace once again our dependence on God’s mercy.  It is the only way Jesus faced the cross.  It is the way we are to face life.


Bishop Skip


The following is the Presiding Bishop’s Lent Message 2015

Lent is about to begin. That word in English comes from an Old English word that means “to lengthen,” and it’s a reminder of the days getting longer as we move toward summer out of the dark of winter.

But in a number of other languages, particularly Spanish and French, the word for “Lent” reflects “forty days,” “cuaresma.” Forty days of wandering in the desert, forty days of Jesus out in the desert.

It’s also about a journey.  And it’s a journey that is about enlightenment if we’re willing to think about it that way.

Lent is an ancient tradition of solidarity and preparation for those who look forward to Baptism at the Easter Vigil.  It has always been a time for prayer and study, fasting, self-denial, and alms-giving, sharing what we have with those who do not have.  Prayer is an opportunity to reflect on who walks with us in the desert, who brings light into the world. Study is an opportunity to do the same kinds of things looking at the history of our tradition, where have human beings found light and direction in their journey through this world.  Fasting and self-denial are an inward-reflection on what it is that keeps us in the dark, or what it is that keeps us directionless, or that keeps us overly self-focused.  And it becomes an invitation to turn outward and share what we have with those who have not.  To build solidarity among God’s people and the rest of the earth.

One of the most memorable Ash Wednesdays I ever spent was in San Jose, Costa Rica, in a school for children. I was asked to place ashes on the foreheads of toddlers.  It was a provocative experience in the deepest sense, reminding very small children that they are mortal.

That cross that comes on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday is a reminder of the cross that’s put there at Baptism.  You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever.  The cross that comes at Ash Wednesday is a reminder that you are dust and to dust we shall return, that we share that dust with every other human being who has ever walked this planet, that we share that dust with the stars and the planets, that we share that dust with all that has been created.  We are made for relationship with creator and creation.

Lent and cuaresma is a journey to walk toward that light.  May it be a blessed one this year.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church


Important Announcement

After more than five years of faithful and dedicated service to the Diocese, Mr. Andrew Pierce has departed from the volunteer position of e-Messenger editor.  Bishop Adams and the Diocesan Staff are grateful to Andy for his expert assistance over the years.  He will be sorely missed.  

Following the February 20th edition, the e-Messenger will ‘go dark’ until Andy’s successor is named.  In the meantime, be sure to check the Current Events page on this website for information on Diocesan events. We do not, at this time, have a vehicle for publishing parish news or events.  

If you are hosting a Safe Church training session, please send the information to: office@cnyepiscopal.org for posting on the Diocesan website.


Click here to view the February 20, 2015 edition: E-Messenger Newsletter


The Bishop's Lenten Retreat for Laity:

Jesus Save Us! (Uh...from what?)


Date:   Saturday, March 7, 2015

Time:   10 am - 3 pm

Place: St. Luke's Episcopal Church (5402 West Genesee St., Camillus)

Fee:  $30

A day of gently provocative teaching, contemplative worship, and fellowship. 


"Get Real. This is perhaps the central call of God through the season of Lent. The forty days of introspection and renewal are not so much prescription as they are a journey, one in which we move into greater awareness of who we are, especially in our relationship to God and to one another."  From Bishop Adams 2015 Lenten message

The program will run from 10 am to 3 pm, and Bishop Adams will offer the homily during a contemplative worship  service.

REGISTER ONLINE     Last day to register: February 27, 2015

Flyer to download and share




Worship Leader Training* 

Date:   Saturday, March 21, 2015

Time:   8:30 am - 12:30 pm

Place:     Grace & Holy Spirit Church (13 Court St., Cortland)

Fee: $10


REGISTER ONLINE     Last day to register: March 13, 2015


REGISTER BY MAIL    Postmarked by: March 13, 2015


*Who should attend this training?

There are two distinct groups of Worship Leaders in our diocese. This training session is designed for "Independent Worship Leaders" and NEW "Clergy Supported Worship Leaders". 

Independent Worship Leaders: This type of Worship Leader has a great deal of responsibility and not necessarily much clergy support. They work on their own to plan services and may lead those services without clergy present or prepare services led by supply clergy or other lay Worship Leaders. The March 21st training is required for Independent Worship Leaders and must be renewed every 5 years. 

Clergy Supported Worship Leaders: This type of Worship Leader has clergy support on a regular basis. They lead worship on their own only occasionally and when they plan worship they do it with help from the priest in or supplying for their parish. The March 21st training is for anyone who is training to be a Worship Leader for the first time.  (Future re-licensing, every 5 years, will be conducted by your parish clergy.)




Clergy and Vestry Members...save the date for...Vestry Day!

Date: Saturday, May 30th

Time: 8:30am - 3:00pm

Place: Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Rd., Syracuse


Registration information will be posted in late March. 





Sunday, March 15th - 3:30 pm - St. James' Church, 96 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles, 13152.   Please pre-register by Wed. March 11th with Beth at (315) 685-7600.

Wednesday, March 18th - 5:00 pm - Emmanuel Church, 40 E. Church St., Adams, 13605.  A light supper will be provided.  Please pre-register by Tues. March 10th with the Rev. Ed. Murphy at emurphy@carthagecsd.org or (315) 286-0201.

Click here for information on setting up Safe Church Training in your parish or district.





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