Bishop of Episcopal Diocese of Alabama to visit Demopolis

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The head of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama will visit Trinity Episcopal Church on Wednesday.

The Right Rev. John McKee “Kee” Sloan will mark his second visit to Demopolis since being installed as bishop in early 2012.

Trinity’s priest, John David Barnes, said the bishop’s visit is always a special occasion for the church.

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“Generally, bishops will visit most parish churches one time each year — though larger churches may receive multiple visits,” Barnes said. “The bishop’s visit is important in the Episcopal Church for several reasons.”

Barnes said the Episcopal Church is not a congregational church but rather a diocesan church.

“As a result, we have shared ministries with all other churches in a geographical area known as a diocese,” Barnes said. “Our bishop is perhaps the best reminder of these shared ministries.”

Those ministries include work at most major state universities, with youth and in prisons, among other ministries, Barnes said.

During his visit, the bishop will also confirm new members of the church.

“During confirmation, church members take on the responsibility of living the Christian life by making an adult profession of faith,” said Barnes. “As many Episcopalians are baptized as infants, their parents initially made this promise to raise their children as Christians. Confirmation involves the laying on of hands by the bishop, with prayers to strengthen the faith and commitment of those being confirmed.”

This year’s confirmation class at Trinity involves 10 people, the largest since Barnes has been at Trinity.

A reception will be held after the confirmation service Wednesday to welcome Sloan and honor the newly confirmed members. The church service begins at 5:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church on Main Avenue in Demopolis.