Transcript of the acceptance address Bishop-elect Duckworth made to the Electing Convention:
Let us pray:
Most loving and Merciful God, source of all wisdom and understanding, we thank you for your continued presence among the diocese of Louisiana this and every day. Bless all those who work towards the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your kingdom. Guide the clergy and Laity of this diocese to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
I am humbled and grateful to accept your call as the 12th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana.
First of all, I want to thank you, clergy and laity, the people of this diocese. Over the past months, you have shared with me your vision and hopes. I thank you for your encouragement and energy. You inspire me and I will hold with great care the trust that you instilled in me.
I love doing this work with you and I am excited about the future that stands before us.
Thank you, Bishop Thompson and Rebecca, for your years of faithful service, for your selfless leadership and for inviting me to this community which has become my home. You have been the bearers of healing and reconciliation in this diocese. I have not only had the great pleasure of working alongside you for almost nine years, I count you as treasured friends. We look forward to celebrating you and your incredible ministry. Thank you.
I would also like to thank the Standing Committee and Executive Board, the Search and Transition Committees and the incredible diocesan staff that I have the joy of working with daily. Also, I want to thank Fred Devall and his family for opening yourself up to this process. I look forward to years of shared ministry.
Most of all, I want to thank my friends and my family…especially my husband Jimmy, my two sons Nicholas and Tucker and my mom who is watching from home in Jackson. You have my deepest love and gratitude for having faith in me, encouraging me, loving me and always being willing to hop in a trusted white truck and go wherever this call leads. Thank you for the sacrifices that you have made for me. Having each of you by my side is my greatest gift.
As I close, I invite you to pray. Pray for me, my family and each other. Pray for your churches, for this diocese, and for our communities. May the Holy Spirit shape us, mold us… to be the people the Diocese of Louisiana is called to be. Now, it is time to look forward, to draw on our tremendous strengths, face our challenges, and lean into our future. With God’s grace, the light of Christ will shine brightly here in this church we all love so much.
And may God, the source of all goodness and the wellspring of life, bless and sustain us now and always.