I write to you on the eve of our departure to Kenya and the Global Anglican Future Conference. Last weekend, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese in New England (ADNE) met face to face in preparation for our annual Synod, to review the year and prepare the budget for next year. After careful analysis and discussion of all the work we have done this year, the Standing Committee reached the conclusion that we must reduce the size of the ADNE staff payroll. It is the only place we can effectively manage a significant change in our spending.
Throughout this year Archdeacon Don Roberts and I have been keeping a close watch on the cash flow and the spending patterns of the ADNE. Together we came to see that the Standing Committee would have to consider ending his position as one of the most logical and strategic positions that we could now eliminate. The Standing Committee and I have decided that the position of Archdeacon in the ADNE will end at the conclusion of this calendar year.
Archdeacon Don Roberts has been with us from the start of our new efforts to build this new Anglican Diocese in New England. He and Marylyn and their family moved here to join our mission effort without a salary and with very little support that first year. Archdeacon Don said he always dreamed of having the opportunity to start a new diocese from scratch, and he came to help us by faith.
Now five years later, we are about to cross from our 4th year into our 5th year as a new enterprise. Much of the structure and procedures and programs of the ADNE have been created by and managed by Archdeacon Roberts. He is one of the key people God has raised up to help us lay the foundation for this work.
We will be honoring Venerable Roberts and Marylyn at this year’s Synod, November 23, 2013 at the pro-cathedral, All Saints Anglican Church Amesbury. Here below is Archdeacon Don’s letter to the Standing Committee this week.
Please watch for news about how to share in a gift and recognition for the fine work Don has done here. Now as he begins his transition to retirement, please keep Don and his family in your prayers. While I am away in Africa, the Rev Geoffrey Little, our Standing Committee Chair, will help to begin the coordination of this part of our Synod honoring Don.
I am yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. William Murdoch, Bishop
Anglican Diocese in New England
October 8, 2013
Thank you for making a bold decision based on the critical financial challenges facing the Diocese. I accept your decision as the only one that could have been made to take the first steps toward gaining control of the escalating ADNE deficit. In one of my streams of employment, we would say, “It is not personal but had to be done for the good of the Air Force.” I accept this decision as being made in the same light.
So I will retire as of December 31, 2013. Of course there may be other opportunities that may come up after retirement but as of that date I will retire from full time “church or diocesan ministry.” Prior to that date I will take a sabbatical upon my return from East Africa which will lead into my retirement.
I will offer my time to help the transition of my duties and responsibilities as Archdeacon to those who will pick them up.
Most of what I do for Synod has already been done and the rest can be accomplished by the Bishop’s staff and you, the Standing Committee.
There are no words adequate enough to reveal what a deep honor it has been to serve The Lord, our Bishop, the Standing Committee and the people of this diocese as the Archdeacon. I pray that what becomes permanent as the result of my efforts is of the Lord’s doing and all else, like chaff, will blow away. Our Bishop put a lot of trust in me and for that I am deeply grateful to him.
Bishop Thompson shared with me during Rejoice New England that The Lord told him that “he had done enough as Bishop of The Diocese of Western Anglicans” and so he announced his retirement. These words clearly were from the Lord himself and spoken not only to him but also to me. I have done enough and it is time to leave.
May The Lord bless you and keep you.
Venerable Don Roberts