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North Dakota bishop downsized: The Church of England Newspaper, Jan 21, 2011 p 8. January 23, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, North Dakota.
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he Rt. Rev. Michael Smith of North Dakota

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Financial pressures have prompted the Bishop of North Dakota to ask his diocesan council for permission to down grade his post to a part-time position.

On Jan 17, the Rt. Rev. Michael Smith requested permission to combine the post of bishop with that of Dean of Gethsemane Cathedral in Fargo—giving one third of his time to the diocese and two thirds to the cathedral congregation.

The Bishop/Dean position was an example of the “Fresh Expressions” movement within the church, Bishop Smith said.  “It is a movement that seeks to meet the increasing secularism in our culture and institutional decline in the mainline denominations with new and creative ways of engaging in the ancient ministry of the Church.”

“Almost all agree that the old ways of doing things are not working anymore,” Bishop Smith said, and “a renewed manner of functioning and organizing for mission is necessary if our expression of Christianity is to live much beyond the next generation.”

One of the smallest dioceses of the Episcopal Church, North Dakota’s 22 congregations saw an average Sunday attendance of 790 in 2009.  The total membership of the diocese fell by 16 per cent over the past ten years, from 3091 members in 1999 to 2596 members in 2009.  However, the average number of people in the pews fell by only 50 people over the past ten years.

A bishop possessing a pastoral cure was a common practice in the Episcopal Church up to the end of the Nineteenth century.  The practice died out by the beginning of the Twentieth century, but was revived last year.  In August, the rector of Christ Church in Hutchison, Kansas was elected Bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas—average Sunday attendance of 751.  The new bishop, the Rt. Rev. Michael Milliken, moved the diocesan offices to his parish and has divided his time, and costs, between the two.

The shared ministry model has “been given the blessing” of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Smith noted, adding “such a move would actually be a return to the original practice of The Episcopal Church where all bishops served as rectors of congregations.”

Uganda and Kenya Name Two More Bishops for the USA: CEN 7.06.07 p 6. July 6, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, North Dakota, The Episcopal Church.
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Uganda and Kenya have named two more bishops to support their congregations in the United States. On June 27 Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda announced that former North Dakota Bishop Andrew Fairfield had quit The Episcopal Church for Uganda, while on June 29 Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya named Massachusetts priest William Murdoch a suffragan bishop.

Bishop Fairfield is the fourth Episcopal bishop to quit the Church this year, while the appointment of Bishop-elect Murdoch by Kenya increases to 11 the number of bishops overseen by foreign Anglican jurisdictions active in The Episcopal Church.

Archbishop Orombi said it was an honor to receive Bishop Fairfield into the Ugandan Church noting he would be a “great support to Bishop-elect John Guernsey and all the congregations in America that are under our care.”

Elected Bishop of North Dakota in 1989, Bishop Fairfield retired in 2003. Prior to his consecration he served his entire career in the Diocese of Alaska, first as a missionary along the Yukon River and then as an assistant to the bishop. In moving to the Ugandan Church Bishop Fairfield said he sought “further Christian service, especially in the process of this transition in Anglican orthodoxy.”

Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan applauded the move, saying Bishop Fairfield had “found a new ecclesiastical home in the Church of Uganda, a Province which has declared a state of broken communion with The Episcopal Church’s majority, but embraces full communion with all in the Anglican Communion Network.”

Bishop Fairfield is the fourth member of the House of Bishops to quit The Episcopal Church this year. In March, retired Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma William Cox moved to the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone, retired Suffragan Bishop of Albany, David Bena was received by the Church of Nigeria and serves as an Assistant Bishop of CANA, while the former Bishop of Albany Daniel Herzog was received by the Roman Catholic Church.

On June 29 the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of Kenya elected William L. Murdoch a Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese in Nairobi to “serve the international interests of the ACK including taking responsibility for care for the congregations and clergy in the USA under Kenyan jurisdiction,” Archbishop Nzimbi said.

Kenya’s two new American bishops, Bill Atwood and William Murdoch, “will collaborate with others in the Common Cause network, chaired by the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan to provide orthodox Episcopal care and oversight, strategically uniting a broad conservative coalition that shares historic Anglican faith and practice.”
Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in West Newbury, Mass., since 1993, Bishop-elect Murdoch was received by The Episcopal Church in 1984 after serving as a Congregationalist minister. He has served as Dean of the Anglican Communion Network’s New England Convocation since 2004.

Retired North Dakota Bishop Joins Ugandan Church: TLC 6.27.07 June 27, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of the Province of Uganda, Ecclesiology, Living Church, North Dakota.
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The Rt. Rev. Andrew H. Fairfield, retired Bishop of North Dakota, has joined the Church of Uganda and will assist bishop-elect John Guernsey in overseeing the church’s 26 US congregations, according to an announcement this morning by the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda.

“Now, although I am ‘retired’ from a jurisdictional and financial point of view, I seek further Christian service, especially in the process of this transition in Anglican orthodoxy,” Bishop Fairfield stated, noting that he had written to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, resigning from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church.

Archbishop Orombi said it was an honor to receive Bishop Fairfield into the Ugandan Church, adding he would be a “great support to Bishop-elect John Guernsey and all the congregations in America that are under our care.”

Elected Bishop of North Dakota in 1989, Bishop Fairfield retired in 2003. Prior to his consecration he served as an assistant to the Bishop of Alaska.

Bishop Fairfield is the fourth member of the House of Bishops to quit The Episcopal Church this year. In March, the Rt. Rev. William Cox, a retired Assistant Bishop of Oklahoma, moved to the Church of the Province of the Southern Cone; the Rt. Rev. David Bena, retired Suffragan Bishop of Albany, was received by the Church of Nigeria and serves as an assistant bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America; and the Rt. Rev. Daniel W. Herzog, retired Bishop of Albany, was received into the Roman Catholic Church.

Published in The Living Church.