I learned today that my former rector while I was in college, who has continued over the years to be a good friend, has been suspended from ministry by his bishop the Rt. Rev'd John Guernsey, another old friend. The Rev'd Dr. Lorne Coyle is suspended from his position at Christ Church, Vero Beach, while an investigation is underway regarding charges recently brought to the attention of his former bishop (and my former rector), the Rt. Rev'd John W. Howe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, that he willfully engaged in a past extramarital affair with a woman who was not his wife. Dr. Coyle has publicly confessed to his congregation and to his family that he was indeed unfaithful and has stepped away from his ministry under the direction of his bishop while the investigation continues.
There are so many people we need to pray for, for healing, for repentance, contrition, renewal, and peace. The list is long. It is a sobering reminder of how fragile life is, how easily we are entangled, how quickly we become estranged, how hard it is to show love through discipline, how easy it is to turn away, how simple it is to break a vow, how unexpectedly great loss can come, how desperately we still need Jesus - no matter how long we've followed Him.
2/10 UPDATE: Learned today that Lorne Coyle has resigned from Christ Church.