Friday, December 7, 2012

The Bishop's Message

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

John the Baptist will be our focus in the Gospel readings for the coming two weeks. Historically speaking, John set the stage for Jesus’ ministry. But he also models our own ministry as those who live between the first and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Two Sundays from now, the crowd’s various voices ask John three times, “What shall we do?” (Luke 3:10, 12, 14) John’s message is that we are to share what we have with those in need and to pursue economic justice.

In other words, followers of Jesus are not to occupy ourselves solely with salvation after this life. Following the model of John, we seek to promote the well-being and to relieve the suffering of other people. And here’s the scary part. We speak up when others pursue selfish ends at the expense of the weak, the poor, and the innocent.

This is not a political agenda. At their very best, Republicans and Democrats alike argue only about the means by which to accomplish these ends, not about the worthiness of those ends themselves. Both major political parties are committed to justice, differing only on the path toward that destination. We would do well to remember this as our political discourse about the fiscal cliff begins to heat up.

Turning to a different matter, let me encourage you once again to be a part of our work in weaving bonds of affection throughout this diocese. My desire is to connect to you and to help you connect to one another through electronic media.

To that end, I invite you again to send me a friend request on Facebook. Each week you will see pictures from across the diocese. We are a family of loving and creative people. Our churches are simply beautiful.

Subscribe via email to my blog at (Just fill in your email address in the box provided and then respond to the Feedburner email to verify your subscription.) Consider sharing the sermons posted there with friends and telling them about the audio sermons at

People have also asked me how to get a copy of my book Connecting the Dots. I am always happy to do a book signing (preceded by a brief talk) at any of our congregations or at a site that you choose. Simply email me. We’ll work it out. You can also buy a copy at Just click this link. It is available in hardback, paperback, and ebook.

Finally, let’s turn to pastoral matters. Jackie Abraham continues her physical rehabilitation from her fall and surgery. Dianne White continues to recover from heart bypass surgery. Please pray for Angie Daly--wife of Fr. Joseph Daly--who will undergo heart valve repair surgery on December 10. Fr. Bill McBride’s father--Dr. William McBride--passed into eternal life. His funeral is Thursday at Calvary Baptist in Alexandria at 11:00 a.m. And note that Don Smith’s funeral will be Saturday, December 8, at 2:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Cathedral. I will officiate and preach.

What a wonderful diocese we are! My heart is filled with affection and admiration for you all. I give the Lord thanks for you and your faithful ministries every day. Advent blessings to you all.

In Christ’s Love,


The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, Ph.D.
The Diocese of Western Louisiana
P. O. Box 2031, Alexandria, LA 71309-2031