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St. Anne's Episcopal Church, Warsaw
The first Episcopal Church in Warsaw, St. Andrew's, folded in 1896. In 1919, an unorganized mission was formed under the leadership of the Rev. Robert Long. Given the name of the Church of the Holy Spirit in 1923, it appeared with a report in the Diocesan Journal through 1928. Under the are of the Rev. Howard Russell White and Archdeacon Joseph Gubbins, the mission worshiped in rented rooms in a central location in town. However, the onset of the Great Depression in 1929 ended all efforts to continue the missionary work. The church was abandoned along with similar efforts at Columbia City, Argos, and Winamac.
On 2 July 1950, some 54 years after the closing of St. Andrew's, the Rev. Bruce Mosier of St. James Episcopal Church, Goshen, held a service for ten people in the bar-room at the Hays Hotel in Warsaw. This group formed the nucleus of what would become the congregation of St. Anne's. In a letter dated 9 November 1950, Mosier noted that he had been holding monthly services at the hotel on the first Sunday of every month for several months. With his encouragement, interested parishioners gathered signatures and presented a petition to Bishop Reginald Mallett to secure mission status for Warsaw. Mallett replied to Mosier on 4 December 1950, “It was a moving experience to have you and the Committee from Warsaw meet” and that he would “ensure the continuance of services at the Mission of Warsaw, which will be named St. Anne’s.”
Mosier arranged to have services continue at the Hays Hotel Sample Room (formerly the bar), and he listed eight families, eight individuals, and 20 confirmed, 35 baptized and 14 communicants. He also noted that every time he came to Warsaw, he “fastens on to a new prospect or two and that the members of the group themselves are alive and show interest in church growth.” He also wrote: "There are a few Greeks who have no church and might be interested in helping the mission. … there is quite a bit of musical talent and that they know how to smile!” Mosier was gifted at getting people to smile and get acquainted.
Bishop Mallett attempted to solidify the mission's membership by the end of 1950. In a letter to the congregation dated December 4, he stated, “It was a very important time when you and the committee came to visit us and presented the petition for St. Anne’s, Warsaw, Indiana, to become a mission in the Diocese of Northern Indiana. I want to express to you and all of the people that signed the petition and for the group you represent, my sincere desire to do my utmost to further the work of the church in St. Anne’s mission, and to be a father in God to them and all the community in every respect as far as lies in my power.”
Mallett continued, “In regard to the business end of the arrangement of providing for a mission, I am taking it up with the Missions Committee and assuring them that St. Anne’s will assume $24 a year for the assessment for the support of the episcopate of this diocese, and $100 a year for the mission work of the church. In addition, we will explain about the compensation for the expenses of the priest going down to hold services at Warsaw.” An additional document dated 23 February 1951, states that: 1) St. Anne’s was now a duly constituted mission, 2) it was permitted to receive transfers and memberships from other parishes, and 3) a Registration of Communicants should be kept by the priest in charge of the Mission.
With the help of other churches in the diocese, the congregation acquired a building on the corner of West Fort Wayne and North Columbia streets. The sanctuary, classrooms, and fellowship areas occupied the downstairs. The upstairs eventually became the home for Father Leonidas (Lee) Rose and his family. During Rose’s tenure as vicar from 1957 to1962, the parish celebrated 37 baptisms, 47 confirmations, and had 90 registered communicants.
As St. Anne’s grew, the congregation needed more space for worship, classrooms, fellowship, and for making cheeseballs, a major fundraiser for the church at Christmas time for which it gained renown in the diocese. With help from several parishioners, the vestry purchased the former Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church at 424 West Market Street and took out an $18,000 mortgage. Members of the parish contributed to restoring and finishing the worship space. On 6 May 1961, Sheila LaGarde married Charles Robert Burner in the first wedding celebration in the new edifice.
After St. Anne's became a parish, the Rev. Richard Ames became its first rector in 1983, followed by the Rev. Michael Basden in 1987. In 1989 under Basden's leadership, an effort called "Mission in Ministry Phase I" purchased an off-site house for use as a rectory, enabling the former one to be used for administrative and classroom space. The vestry purchased additional property surrounding St. Anne’s, and the congregation pledged $10,000 toward the renovation of All Saints Church, Syracuse, and the Wawasee Conference Center. This effort laid the foundation for the Phase II building expansion and for programs such as Kerygma, Focus on Faith, and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, while also addressing the restoration of the historic church building. In 2002, archangel statues and window scapes, reminders of the surroundings in Kosciusko County and Northern Indiana, were added to the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin.
Adapted from St. Anne's Parish Profile
Bruce Bickel Mosier, 1950-1952
John T. Russell, 1952
Willis Jay Handsbury, 1953-1954
Horace Lytton Varian, 1954-1956
James Edward Tripp, 1956-1957
Leonidas "Lee" Rose, 1957-1962
Gerald H. McGovern, 1963-1967
Robert Bradley McCormick, 1967-1973
Thomas Neil Sandy, 1974-1978
John Chilson Combs, 1979-1983
Richard Kenneth Ames, 1983-1986
Michael Paul Basden, 1987-1999
Brian Glenn Grantz, 1999-2006
Linda Hutton, 2004-2007
Daniel H. Martins, 2007-2011
Corinne Hodges, 2011-2017
Ryan Fischer, 2018-
Adapted from the Parish Profile of St. Anne's: http://stanneswarsaw.org/Websites/SaintAnnesWarsaw/images/St.%20Anne's%20Profile.Final.pdf
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Edward Stuart Little II, Seventh Bishop
Edward Stuart Little, the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, held office at a time of intense changes in the national church. An outstanding preacher, he brought an evangelical zeal for the Gospel that ushered in a new leadership style for the diocese. As Linda Buskirk has written, Bishop Little personified "the lighthouse on the diocesan seal" and "delivered powerful messages that illuminate priorities for Christ centered living and ministry."
Little was born in New York City on 29 January 1947, the son of a nominally Episcopalian father and Jewish mother. He grew up agnostic and attended school in Manhattan and Norwalk, Connecticut. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California in 1968. He credits a college class on the Bible as literature as bringing about his conversion to Christianity and his joining the Episcopal Church. The same year of his graduation he married Sylvia Gardner at Palm Desert, California. They had two children: Gregory and Sharon.
After deciding to enter the Episcopal priesthood, Little received a Master of Divinity degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 1971 and was ordained a deacon and priest that same year in the Diocese of Chicago. He served as a curate in two parishes: St. Matthew's Evanston and St. Michael's, Anaheim, California, before becoming vicar of St. Joseph's Episcopal Church in Buena Park, California. When that church achieved parish status, he became its first rector. Little became rector of All Saints Church in Bakersfield, California, in 1986, and from here he was elected bishop on the first ballot on 5 November 1999.
Little was consecrated bishop at a ceremony in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame on 30 April 2000, with Bishops Gray and Sheridan, his two predecessors, among the consecrators. His sixteen-year episcopate that followed might best be understood as defined by three distinct eras: The Mission and Evangelism era lasting from 2000 to 2003; the Reconciliation Era from 2003 to 2007, and the Congregational Development Era from 2007 to 2016.
The initial focus of Little's tenure was mission and evangelism. At the time of his seating as bishop, he articulated four core values for the diocese that he hoped would guide it during his episcopate:
1. A passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ
2. A heart for the lost.
3. A willingness to do whatever it takes.
4. A commitment to one another.
Taking a strongly evangelical and Jesus-centered view of ministry, one of his early actions was to hold a Rally for Mission and Evangelism at Goshen College in 2001 with Bishop Charles Jenkins of Louisiana as the keynote speaker. About 700 attended, and Little intended it as an inspirational kick-off for getting church-goers to invite others to church and help the diocese grow. Bishop Sheridan, the diocese's last tradition Anglo-Catholic bishop, also took part, even though the approaches of the two men to ministry differed significantly.
The second era, Reconciliation, began in 2003, when Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest living in a same-sex relationship, was elected and consecrated Bishop of New Hampshire with the General Convention's consent. The election had occurred against the backdrop at the national level of a church rent by internal divisions over issues of sexuality and same-sex marriage. Robinson's election caused a firestorm within some congregations of the diocese and at the national level, it prompted many conservative Anglicans to leave the Episcopal Church and form the Anglican Church in North America. The election of Katharine Jefferts-Schori as Presiding Bishop in 2006 prompted three dioceses, Quincy, Fort Worth, and San Joaquin, to leave the Episcopal Church. While Little opposed same-sex marriage and forbid them from occurring in the diocese, he remained within the Episcopal fold. As a compromise, he would eventually allow same-sex couples to marry outside the diocese and permit priests in the diocese to perform those rites. He reached out to liberals, even befriending Bishop Robinson, and agreed to provide pastoral care to some congregations who had opposed Robinson's election. Within the diocese, a number of parishes experienced losses as members left the church, but other parishes strongly affirmed gay rights and differed with the bishop's stand on same-sex marriages.
The third era of Little's episcopate, the Congregational Development era, began in 2007. Attendance trends in parishes throughout the diocese followed those of the national church as membership in many parishes decreased and in some, dwindled. Little sought to infuse them with new life through dynamic preaching and encouraging people to tell their own faith stories. He had inherited his first Canon to the Ordinary, David Seger, from his predecessor and acknowledged to Seger his appreciation for the continuity and knowledge he brought with his ministry. After Seger's retirement in 2007, Little called the Rev. SuzeAnne Silla as the new canon, blessing her extensive experience in congregational development with the Diocesan Congregational Development Institute (DCDI). The purpose of DCDI was to give clergy and laity across the diocese more confidence and skill in problem solving, visioning for the future, and conflict management. About 20 congregations took part, and it had the side-benefit of bringing leaders from different parishes together and fostering inter-parish relationships.
In 2013, Little articulated five imperatives for the diocese in using DCDI: Focus on Jesus; Think Biblically; Proclaim Good News; Feed people who are hungry; and Mentor young people. As the vision played out, some parishes began offering bilingual services while others sought new ways of meeting the needs of their communities.
One of the challenges faced by Little's episcopate was the dwindling membership of certain parishes and their inability to support a priest. Many priests were necessarily bi-vocational to support themselves, but the problem of clergy shortage became particularly acute in the Calumet area of the diocese, where some parishes were floundering and in danger of closing. A major success story was the Calumet Episcopal Ministry Partnership (CEMP), which first formed in 2010. Three congregations, St. Barnabas-in-the-Dunes, St. Paul's Munster, and St. Timothy's Griffith, came together in dialogue, and what emerged was a vision of one church in three locations, all sharing the same full-time priest. The program proved successful, and not only was a full-time priest, the Rev. Michael Dwyer, ordained in 2012 for the post, but three other part-time priests also signed on. In June 2015, St. Christopher's Crown Point joined the partnership, followed by two others, St. Stephen's Hobart and St. Augustine Gary, under Little's successor, Bishop Douglas Sparks.
Bishop Little announced his retirement effective 30 June 2016 and served as a consecrator of his successor. He and his wife Sylvia continued to live in Indiana and take up residence in Mishawaka. As his greatest overall goal, Little has said: "When I became bishop, I committed myself to helping the diocese become increasingly Christocentric; to helping every man, woman, and child in the diocese to speak openly of their relationship with Jesus; and to helping parishes to see the world beyond their doors as their mission field." The core values were the guiding principles of his tenure.
Source: Email message of Bishop Edward Little, August 2019.
Holy Eucharist and Ordination of Edward Stuart Little II ...18 March 2000
Pastoral Letter on Same Sex Marriage, 2012