The Rt. Rev. Dr. Douglas J. Fisher is the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts. A member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, Bishop Fisher advocates for gun safety, for God's justice on earth "as it is in heaven."
In last year’s Convention Address, I invited us to consider making Mary Magdalene the patron saint of our diocese. Many of you reacted favorably to that idea. Maybe we need a Convention Resolution to make that official. Here was my reason for making that suggestion. Mary Magdalene deeply loves Jesus. We love Jesus. Early on that first day of the week after the death of Jesus, she does the loving thing. She goes to visit the dead body in the tomb but it is not there. Her response is to weep and to ask desperately where the dead body is. She needs to find that body! She asks the gardener who is really the Risen Jesus. She recognizes the Risen Jesus when he calls her by name.Read more
Friends, there is nothing subtle about the Gospel of Matthew. In his account Easter Sunday morning begins with an earthquake. And an angel‘s appearance is “like lightning.” The big, tough guards shook in fear and passed out. The angel tells Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. They run to tell the disciples and they meet the Risen Jesus on that run. And Jesus himself tells them he is going to Galilee.Read more
Back on New Year’s Day I was impressed by what Rev. Tina Rathbone, rector at Grace of the Southern Berkshires, wrote in her weekly message to the parish. She wrote: “Another new year, another chance to do and be more of what we hoped we’d do and be in the years before now. There is surely a place for New Year’s resolutions, but in my own life at least they never seem to last, so instead, this year, I’ve settled on a simple, one-word anchor: ‘trust’.Read more
In reflecting on our convention theme, “Sing a New Song,” my mind turned to two old songs that might help us to do that. They were written by….Bruce Springsteen. One is “Radio Nowhere” which includes these lyrics: "This is radio nowhere / Is there anyone alive out there? / This is radio nowhere / Is there anyone alive out there? / Is there anyone alive out there? / I was spinning around a dead dial / Just another lost number in a file / Dancing down a dark hole / Just searching for a world with some soul." Although we have some churches that have come out of these two and a half years of COVID-19 stronger, many of our churches are hurting. Some churches of all different sizes are down in Sunday attendance by 30-50 per cent.Read more