Bishop of Western Kansas Resigns
By David W. Virtue
The Bishop of Western Kansas, the Rt. Rev. James M. Adams has resigned his episcopacy and will take a parish in the Diocese of Central Florida under Bishop John W. Howe.
Bishop Adams wrote that the Domestic Missionary Partnership of $55,000 (from the National Church), begun four years ago, has changed and is no longer supporting the diocese’s base budget, only ministries. It leaves the diocese financially vulnerable.
In a Pastoral Letter to the diocese he wrote, “As most of you know, our recent Diocesan Convention revealed the Diocese’s weaknesses as it has struggled to be a Diocese. Assessment rates, which have hampered ministries in local congregations, was no surprise to this Convention, and the expenses of a full time Diocesan Bishop and his office have led to the realization that Western Kansas needs to decide how best to continue Christ’s ministry as The Episcopal Church in two thirds of the State of Kansas. Unfortunately, for all the options to be considered, a sitting Diocesan Bishop would not be helpful, neither to the process nor to the ongoing fiscal responsibilities of the Diocese.”
Adams said he did not specifically resign because of the diocese financial situation, but due more to his own calling to return to congregational ministry. “The two needs have just coincided to bring about the realization that I am being called back into congregational work and this part of God’s Kingdom is being called to something new.”
Adams has been Diocesan Bishop for 8 years.
The diocese will be run by Fr. Mark Cowell and The Standing Committee as they become the Ecclesiastical Authority beginning February 1, 2010.
Adams will take over a mission congregation: Shepherd of the Hills in Lecanto, Florida, Bishop John W. Howe told VOL. “They received a significant financial settlement following a road widening project which will help them in building their new worship facility. We expect them to become a parish this year.” Howe said the parish has excellent lay leadership, and the parish is placed in the center of a rapidly growing, largely retirement, community. “I expect it to explode under +Jim's leadership.”
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