UPDATE: epiScope offers this statement and prayer for Bishop Ackerman and Episcopalians in the Diocese of Quincy from the Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori:
I give thanks for the ministry of Bishop Ackerman, and pray that his retirement may permit him time to recover his health. The people of the Diocese of Quincy remain in my prayers and those of many, many other Episcopalians. We encourage all to remember that there is room in this Church for all who desire to be members thereof.
The Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy has announced his retirement to take effect November 1, 2008. Just three day notice. His diocese will vote on whether to leave the Episcopal Church on Saturday. A press release that leaves major questions unanswered follows.
“The Right Reverend Keith L. Ackerman, VIIIth Bishop of Quincy, has announced to the Standing Committee his retirement as Diocesan Bishop effective November 1st, 2008. Bishop Ackerman has reached this decision after much thought and prayer. The Bishop and his wife Jo conferred with his physicians, many trusted friends, and the Standing Committee before making this decision.
While Bishop Ackerman is retiring from his administrative duties as executive officer of the Diocese, he plans to remain in the area of the Diocese for some time and will make himself available, under arrangement with the Standing Committee, to perform Episcopal acts and provide spiritual counsel to members of the Diocese, as have Bishop Donald Parsons and Bishop Edward MacBurney, the VIth and VIIth Bishops of Quincy.
Under diocesan canons, the Standing Committee will continue to act as the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese, as they have since the Bishop’s sabbatical began in late August. Day to day operations of the diocese will continue to be handled by the various officers and department heads.
Bishop Ackerman wants to assure everyone that he has no intention of abandoning the diocese but will continue to provide spiritual and pastoral support as asked by the Standing Committee.”