On Saturday, May 10, the Episcopal Church celebrates the 175th anniversary of its ministry in Fort Wayne, the City of Churches. It has been a privilege for us to be immersed in the life of this vibrant community, to contribute to its growth and prosperity and in turn to receive a welcome that characterizes the city of Fort Wayne.
In 1839, the Right Rev. Jackson Kemper – the first missionary bishop of the Episcopal Church – passed through this area. As he traveled, he preached the Gospel, gathered Christian communities and pioneered the church’s mission to what was then called the West. Today we commemorate the first worship service in Fort Wayne, and we give thanks for the opportunity that God has given to us – and to brothers and sisters from other Christian traditions – to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a city known for its warmth and its deep roots. Fort Wayne is a wonderful environment for us to seek to follow Jesus and to apply our Christian faith in all aspects of our lives.
We celebrate, too, the privilege of being a part of the fabric of Fort Wayne, of participating in its political, social and economic life, and of raising generations of families here. Fort Wayne has served as a vital environment for us to encounter a glorious diversity of people, languages and faith communities. We pray for the grace to continue our contribution to Fort Wayne’s growth and development.
On Saturday, members of the three Episcopal parishes in Fort Wayne – Trinity, Grace and St. Alban’s, along with a host of friends – will gather at the Courthouse and move down to Berry Street to Trinity Church. There we will give thanks for our mission and ministry in the city, remember our past, and commit ourselves afresh to our call to focus on Jesus, think biblically, proclaim the good news, feed the hungry and mentor the young
For many years our church has had a motto: The Episcopal Church Welcomes You. You are indeed most welcome at our celebration. Please join us.
EDWARD S. LITTLE II
Bishop of Northern Indiana