Episcopal Diocese Invests Its New Bishop

Episcopal News Service. June 17, 1982 [82148]

LEWISBURG, Pa. (DPS, June 17) -- The Rt. Rev. Charlie Fuller McNutt, Jr., bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania for the past two years, received the full authority of the highest office of the diocese June 12 during formal investiture ceremonies in Rooke Chapel of Bucknell University at the diocese's 112th annual convention.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Rt. Rev. John M. Allin, served as preacher and presiding officer in the ceremony which saw the symbolic presentation of the pastoral staff of the diocese to McNutt by the retiring bishop, The Rt. Rev. Dean T. Stevenson.

Stevenson has been bishop of the diocese for the past 16 years. The ceremony marked the culmination of a two-year process of succession which began in 1980 with the election of McNutt, then rector the Trinity Church, Martinsburg, Wa., as bishop coadjutor.

In his remarks Allin stated that the mission of Christianity is not to judge the world, but to affirm the worth of each individual. People need to hear of God's love for them, he said, not that they are a mistake, a failure or an accident.

Our mission, he said, is to share ourselves with others so that they in turn might be enabled to offer their best gifts.

The June 11 Service of Thanksgiving completed the two days of convention activities which began on June 10 with McNutt's address.

The new bishop reported that the diocese was strong in witness, mission and outreach. Based on an extensive planning process within the diocese, McNutt said he recognized a need for increased ministry of the laity and pledged to make lay ministry a major thrust of his episcopate.

He also spoke to the issue of world peace and the position of minorities in society and the church. In particular he announced the creation of an advisory council to the bishop on ministry to minorities.

He also announced the establishment of an endowment fund in the name of Bishop Stevenson to assist the poor and disadvantaged of the diocese.

In other business, the convention adopted an annual budget of $688,615 and passed several resolutions, one concerning stewardship, another supporting those who serve in the armed forces, and a third expressing concern over the development and deployment of nuclear weapons.

More than 600 gathered for a testimonial dinner on the campus Friday evening honoring Stevenson.

The Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania encompasses 24 counties of Central Pennsylvania, 72 churches and some 20,000 parishioners.