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An Interview with Bishop Cy
be critical to the future ofthe Church, but perhapsmore importantly, to the fu-ture of society. The Churchis the “salt” and the “yeast.”It is called to make a dif-ference in the world fromthe very beginning. This isa time of real opportunityfor the Church. Peopleare not negative about theGospel, they want to see itin action. They want theGospel to make a differ-ence in their lives and oth-ers. Someone said a longtime ago, “When all is saidand done, there’s more saidthan done!” People want tosee what can be done.The other thing thathas changed dramatical-ly, is that the priest didall the work of ministry.Lay people were mostlyconsumers, but that is notso anymore. People aremore engaged in the gov-ernance and witness of theChurch than ever before.We came through a longperiod when clergy werethe “be-all and end-all.”That is not so anymore andit is a good thing.The other thing that haschanged quite a bit, is thatchurches have been in asurvival mode. I think weare coming out of that now.We are taking some risksand leaps of faith in reach-ing out to people. St. Mi-chael’s Parish is an exampleof this. We are known to bea church that is always “onthe ground” and making adifference. It is so easy toget into a cocoon and do allthe “churchy” things, butthe church things are outin the world.
Is there aparticular portion of Scrip-ture that has been a sourceof strength for you during your ministry?
“For God soloved the world that hegave his one and only Son,that whoever believes inhim shall not perish buthave eternal life,” from theGospel of John. That pas-sage has been very mean-ingful for me. At the heartof it all for me, theological-ly, has been the Cross. Thecost of the Cross and the joyof Easter. That has been mygreatest joy! The Church isan extension of Christ andthis is our great joy!
If youcould give any adviceto your successor, whatwould it be?
One of the thingsis that I will only give ad-vice if the new bishop seeksit! (
)I have learned that.My only advice is tofocus upon the Cross andthe Mission of the Church.Look at all the possibilitiesaround us. We have somevery skilled and dedicatedclergy (in this Diocese) whoare committed. We needto be able to look moreclosely at reaching out inthis particular time and inthis particular society andbe faithful to the Mission ofthe Church.The question for theChurch is, “Are our besttimes ahead of us or behindus?”My answer is that thebest days for the Churchare ahead of us. So that iswhy I don’t see that we aregone in ten, twenty, or evena hundred years. The shapeof the Church will be differ-ent, but I think that if weare true to the Gospel, thebest days are ahead of us.
What willyou miss the most aboutthe daily work of being aDiocesan Bishop?
What I will missmost is the heavy responsi-bilities of being a bishop. Iwill miss seeing the biggerpicture of the Church inthe Diocese and across thiscountry. I had the privilegeof going to the LambethConference and I learnedthat we are a very diverseChurch.To paraphrase formerArchbishop of Canterbury,Michael Ramsay, I believehe said, “The fact that theAnglican Church looks somessy at times is at theheart of what it means tobe part of the One, Holy,Catholic, and ApostolicChurch.”I will miss the fellow-ship and moving aroundthe Diocese. That wasmore of an interest to me.Throughout this Diocesethere are a lot of very faith-ful people in very humblesituations. Each parish isunique but we have veryfaithful people looking forleadership. I will miss go-ing around to the differentparishes every weekend.That has been one of thebig joys for me. We havea strong group of clergyand I think we can do a lotmore together than apart.We have to work together.If not, it will be very chal-lenging for the Church.The direction to be one wasgiven by our Lord himself.Whoever becomes theBishop, will have to con-tinue to encourage the in-volvement of the wholepeople of God in the Mis-sion of the Church.
Whatwon’t you miss about theday to day routine?
) Iwon’t miss the foolishnessat times!But seriously, one ofthe joys for me is to see thegrowth and maturity thatis happening amongst theclergy of this Diocese. Thatis really encouraging.Rather than “givingit up,” I see it as “layingit down,” and others willcome along and pick upwhat is good and disposeof what is not good.
Sharewith us something youaccomplished in your min-istry that was an importantachievement for you?
There are anumber of things, but thething that is most import-ant to me is to encouragepeople to develop a deepersense of Mission.The most challengingplace on the planet for Mis-sion is the neighborhoodswe live in. I see so manyparishes trying to reachout and I know how chal-lenging that is for them.Trying to maintain a faithcommunity and to reachout at the same time is verychallenging. For me, if Ihave made any differenceat all, hopefully encourag-ing people to continue inthe Mission of the Church.As I said before, I havegreat confidence in thefuture of the Church andI have great confidence inthe person God will raiseup to be our next bishop.God has already chosenthe next bishop, and Godwill call us together to tellus who that person is andI believe God is in the pro-cess. This is much morethan a job. I pledge I willnot interfere or cause thenext bishop any grief. If Ican be of any help to theChurch, I will be there. Iam very conscious of theco-mission of our Baptismand my goal is to continueto live out fully my baptis-mal ministry with God.
wishesBishop Pitman and his fam-ily our deepest prayers asthey transition into a newphase of ministry.The Electoral Synod tochoose a new Bishop forthe Diocese will be held onNovember 15-16, 2013 atthe Church of Saint Marythe Virgin in St. John’s.
P h o t o : J e a n E l l i s