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From the Bishop

From Bishop Sean: Our Response to the Mass Shooting in Buffalo

Dear People of God in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania: Since news of the horrific massacre on the East Side of Buffalo began to spread on Saturday afternoon, the leaders of our diocesan partnership and I have been working to respond. Through prayer, pastoral outreach, and redoubling of our commitment to dismantle systemic racism…

From Bishop Sean: A Hate Crime in Buffalo

Dear People of God: Earlier today, our beautiful spring afternoon was shattered by news reports that a white man dressed in body armor and carrying a high-powered rifle has murdered ten people at the Tops Supermarket on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. Three others are injured, according to reports—two of them critically. The gunman is eighteen…

Bishop Sean Rowe

Resuming Use of the Common Cup: A Letter from Bishop Sean

Dear People of God in Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York: Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over, I give thanks that, according to Centers for Disease Control data, our region is now experiencing low case counts. As a result, I believe that we can resume use of the common cup at the Eucharist…

Being Reconciled to God: Bishop Sean’s Lenten Message

In a Lenten message recorded at a clergy conference at Olmsted Manor in Ludlow, Pennsylvania, Bishop Sean reminds us that Lent is not a doubling-down on grief and sorrow, but rather a time to take to God all of the suffering and pain we have experienced in the last two years of pandemic.

From Bishop Sean: An Update on COVID-19 Precautions

Dear People of God in the Dioceses of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania: In the last several weeks, COVID-19 rates in our communities have declined dramatically from the record rates we experienced in December and January. Although transmission rates are still considered “high” across our partnership dioceses, it seems as if the worst of…

Bishop Sean Rowe

God Comes With Us: A Christmas Message from Bishop Sean

In a video recorded at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Buffalo on December 15, Bishop Sean reminds us that Jesus came to share our humanity in an uncertain and changing world, and that God’s comfort goes with us, even in difficult times.

From Bishop Sean: Christmas Offering for the Diocese of Kentucky

Dear People of God in Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York: Earlier today, I was in touch with Bishop Terry White of the Diocese of Kentucky, which is reeling after the terrible tornadoes that ripped through the western part of that state last weekend. The storm was likely the worst ever to hit Kentucky, and…

Bishop Sean Rowe

Conventions to Be Held Online: From Bishop Sean

Dear Friends: By now, we had hoped that COVID-19 would be behind us and that we would, at long last, be able to gather as a large group for diocesan convention. However, the number of COVID cases in Erie, where we had planned to hold our conventions, continues to rise, and across our region, health…

Bishop Sean Rowe

From Bishop Sean: New Partnership Staff Structure To Begin in October

Dear Friends: In recent months, I have worked with leaders in both dioceses to reconfigure the roles of the canons on the partnership staff so that we can better respond to the post-pandemic needs of our congregations and communities. Last Thursday, I met with the diocesan councils and standing committees of both dioceses to review…

From Bishop Sean: New Masking Recommendations

Dear People of God in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania: In late May, as COVID-19 cases and deaths declined, I wrote to you with revised guidelines for reopening our church buildings. At that time, I invited congregations to gather outdoors whenever possible and recommended that masks and social distance be required indoors until all…

Bishop Sean Rowe

Updated Reopening Guidelines (May 19)

Dear People of God in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania: In the last two months, thanks to the increasing availability of effective vaccines against COVID-19, both cases and deaths have declined steadily across our region. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control relaxed its guidance for fully vaccinated people, and state and local authorities…