News & Messages

Christmas Message from Bishop Lee

Christmas 2021

"The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." John 1:5
 
In our part of the world, Christmas is celebrated at the darkest, coldest time of the year. We celebrate the Light of Christ coming into this world — Emmanuel, God With Us — just when our physical surroundings are bleakest. This year, like last year, the bleakness might seem even more acute. Although there has been progress, the pandemic we thought, hoped, and prayed might be over is decidedly not. The unrest of the world seems as intractable as ever. Injustices flourish, violence plagues us, the earth itself is in turmoil. And still, we proclaim:
 
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it!
 
I ask you to join me in making this proclamation our way of life. Let us make it real. The darkness of the world is our opportunity to shine brighter than ever. Every act of hope and love, every decision to care for one another, every kindness and act of generosity, every work of justice, every prayer of thanksgiving — they are all proclamations of the truth at the heart of the Christian life:
 
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it!
 
In particular, I encourage every congregation in this diocese to refresh its commitment to the most careful practices we have adopted to keep one another safe. I have been informed by some congregations about their decision to suspend in-person worship at this time in the face of the Omicron surge, a decision I wholeheartedly support. For all of us, let us recommit ourselves to being fully vaccinated as appropriate, to wear masks and practice social distancing if and whenever we gather, to pay very close attention to matters of ventilation and spacing, and to provide virtual worship opportunities whenever possible.
 
Psalm 139 addresses God like this, "Darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day." This Christmas, let us rejoice that the Light of Christ shines in every darkness and that we live and move have our being in such a light. God is with us.
 
A holy Christmas to you all.

+Jeff
 
The Rt. Rev. Jeff Lee
Bishop Provisional of Milwaukee

Bishop Jeffrey Lee Is Provisional Bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee

At a Special Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee held this morning, the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee was approved as the provisional bishop for a period of two years by clergy and lay deputies of the diocese. The convention was held remotely via Zoom and livestreamed to the diocesan YouTube channel. The Special Convention was called by the Standing Committee of the diocese, a group of elected clergy and lay leaders. The Standing Committee has been serving as the ecclesiastical authority for the diocese since January 1, 2021, when the Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller resigned as the 11th diocesan bishop after serving the diocese for 17 years.


 
Bishop Lee comes to the diocese after serving as the 12th bishop diocesan for the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, a position that he held from 2008 until his retirement at the end of 2020. In his introduction of Bishop Lee to the Special Convention, Fr. Scott Leannah, president of the Standing Committee, noted that during his time in Chicago, Bishop Lee helped to bring about cultural and structural change. Leannah also described Lee as, “a recognized leader in the national church, an innovator, teacher, and a man with the heart of a shepherd” and further said that “we are blessed to have him walk with us during this time in our common life.”
 
In his remarks to the convention, Bishop Lee thanked the clergy and lay deputies for entrusting him with the oversight of the diocese. He noted that he will endeavor to be a good steward of their trust, and “I will willingly and to the best of my abilities exercise the oversight you have asked me to hold for you.” He went on to say, “This Church of ours does not belong to us. It does not belong to the rector, it does not belong to the vestry, it does not belong to the altar guild, it does not belong to the feeding ministry team, it does not belong to the bishop. This Church belongs to God alone, and so do we.” Lee noted challenges that are before the Church at this time, and said, “infinitely stronger than any of those things is the love of God.”
 
Bishop Lee began serving the Diocese of Milwaukee on April 1, 2021, as the provisional bishop-elect.


A recording of the Special Convention can be found here.