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November 15, 2014

At the 238th Diocesan Convention held in Tarrytown Nov 14 and 15, Bishop Dietsche awarded the Bishop’s Cross to the Rev. Br. Tobias S. Haller, BSG and to Carla Burns. Please see below for the citations accompanying the awards.

 

Tobias Stanislas Haller

hallerActor, Theologian, Writer and Poet, Musician and Iconographer, Tobias came to ordained ministry after almost two decades of service to the Episcopal Church Center.  Since then he has served two parishes in New York, with a long tenure at Saint James Church, Fordham, the Bronx.  There he has shaped a congregation of extraordinary diversity and vitality.  He has also found his unique identity as a monastic through his life and vocation in the Brotherhood of Saint Gregory.

At the heart of his service to the church is his demonstration that good church governance is pastoral care.  He has been insistent that ours is a rational faith and has argued persuasively for the place of reason in the articulation of Christian principles, blessing the church both as a theologian and as a scholar of the church canons.  A six-time Deputy to the Episcopal Church General Convention, he has moved into substantial leadership in the larger church.  He currently chairs the House of Deputies Study Commission on Church Governance and Polity, and is Secretary to the Task Force on the Study of Marriage.  He is the Religion and Culture Book Review Editor for the Anglican Theological Review, and the author of the landmark study of same sexuality, Reasonable and Holy.

He has written, “When I say ‘I believe in God’ I am not just affirming a proposition concerning my opinion about God. I am affirming something stranger and stronger: that I believe my belief is conceived, sustained, and energized because I am ‘in God’ — that is, in God’s Body, the church. Read the Nicene Creed with that understanding in mind, and observe what a great and wonderful crowd of supporters sustains and empowers your belief — not just by being ‘in’ the Triune God, but ‘in’ the church, ‘in’ the communion of saints and ‘in’ the sacraments, and ultimately ‘in’ the body of the resurrection itself and on into the life of the world to come.”

Therefore, in recognition and gratitude for his service to his community, his diocese and the larger Church, offered to the glory of God, we, on this 15th day of November 2014, in the third year of our consecration, do award him

The Bishop’s Cross

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The Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L.Dietsche
XVI Bishop of New York

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Carla Burns

IMG_9930A lifelong Episcopalian of the Diocese of New York, and third generation parishioner of the Church of the Holy Innocents in Highland Falls, Carla has exercised every position of parish responsibility and leadership:  warden and vestryperson and treasurer;  lector and eucharistic minister;  chair of stewardship, finance and outreach;  and a teacher of the Christian faith to children and young people.  She was a forty-five year school teacher and librarian, and an advocate for literacy programs, reading promotion, and the children of incarcerated parents.  In all this, she has evidenced strength of character and purpose, and the compassion of a true disciple of Jesus;  she has left a legacy of lives enlarged and minds awakened and souls enriched by the witness of a life of selfless service.

But it is her commitment to work on behalf of racial justice and reconciliation that has earned her the particular gratitude of her diocese.  Carla has been an inspirational leader of the diocesan Anti-Racism Committee and the Reparations Committee.  She has demonstrated a conviction that it is in education and honest dialogue, and in faithful listening to one another, that we may uncover and understand the truths of our lives as a people and a hard oppressive history, and that it is in understanding truth that we come to conversion, and that it is in the conversion of the human character that we may yet overcome the hatreds and prejudices which have divided the human family.  Recognizing that the completion of the Christian character must be modeled from the top, she has been a tireless advocate for the fullest participation in anti-racism training among the leadership of the church.

Therefore, in recognition and gratitude for her service to justice, to reconciliation and to the unity of all people, offered to the glory of God, we, on this 15th day of November 2014, in the third year of our consecration, do award her

The Bishop’s Cross

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The Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L.Dietsche
XVI Bishop of New York