Letters from the Bishop and the Standing Committee:
February 13, 2006
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing to you from an alcohol treatment center where on February 1, with the encouragement and support of my partner, daughters and colleagues, I checked myself in to deal with my increasing dependence on alcohol. Over the 28 days I will be here, I will be dealing with the disease of alcoholism-which, for years, I have thought of as a failure of will or discipline on my part, rather than a disease over which my particular body simply has no control, except to stop drinking altogether.
During my first week here, I have learned so much. The extraordinary experience of community here will inform my ministry for years to come. I eagerly look forward to continuing my recovery in your midst. Once again, God is proving His desire and ability to bring an Easter out of Good Friday. Please keep me in your prayers and know that you are in mine.
Your Brother in Christ,
February 13, 2006
Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of New Hampshire joins its bishop in writing to you about his decision to seek professional treatment for his dealings with alcohol. The Episcopal Church, through its General Convention, has long recognized alcoholism as a treatable human disease, not a failure of character or will.
The members of the Standing Committee fully support and stand with our bishop and his family as he confronts the effects of alcohol on his life, and we commend him for his courageous example to us all, as we pray daily for him and for his ministry among us.
Randolph K. Dales,
President, Standing Committee of New Hampshire
As you share the Bishop’s letter with your congregation,
please make sure you also share with them the Standing Committee’s letter.