Bishop Emeritus Reflections: My pastor, Reverend Michael Philips, is now a Bishop Emeritus, but what does that mean? It means, that he has retired from his duties as Bishop and the phrase Bishop Emeritus is a fancy phrase meaning former Bishop. Reverend Philips official title was First Regional Vice President of the Ohio District of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), but Biblically speaking Reverend Philips was the First Regional Bishop of the Ohio District of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) or as I used to like to call him "the Bishop of Lima."
Reverend Philips thought a lot and prayed a lot about his decision to leave his vocation of First Regional Bishop aka First Regional Vice President and he resigned from this particular ministry effective February 28, 2021. He is still the pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Lima, Ohio. He no longer a Bishop, rather he is now a Bishop Emeritus. I am sorry, that this is old news, but I have been going to grad school for my M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and working full-time. During my time in grad school, I am writing several nice history books, which I will publish someday in the future.
Reverend Philips served a little more than one traditional term of First Regional Bishop and he was supposed to originally end his term on August 31, 2020, which was the day after the 16th Anniversary of my Holy Baptism and the Day of my Salvation. I was baptized on August 30, 2004 at Stirn's Lake in between Lima, Ohio and Spencerville, Ohio by my former pastor, Reverend Russ Thompson, and my Uncle Wayne Waltz, who used to be the First Elder at Garden City Christian Union Church in Lima, Ohio and who is now the Pastor at Garden City Christian Union Church. As a side note, I was not raised Lutheran, but I converted from Christian Unionism, which is a conservative form of Methodism, to Lutheranism on the Second Sunday of Easter on April 15, 2007 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church (ELCA) near Cridersville, Ohio.
Why did Reverend Philips serve a longer term, than what he was supposed to? The short answer is Corona Virus aka Covid-19 aka Covid aka the Vid aka the Virus aka the Wuhan Flu aka the China Virus. As another side note, I am amazed, that a disease, which I have survived twice, has so many names. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) was "turned on its head" like everyone else and everything else. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) delayed the Synod Convention until 2023 thus delaying the Ohio District Convention until 2022. With the Corona Virus delays, the Reverend Doctor Matthew Harrison, who is officially the President of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) and whom I like to call the Arch-Bishop of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), and all over LCMS office holders are permitted by the Constitution of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) to voluntarily stay in their current offices an additional year. Reverend Philips decided to step down and focus on his family with his eldest son Noah graduating from Lima Senior High School in 2021 and our congregation Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Lima, Ohio.
Let us read the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew Chapter 8:35-41:
"'35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My Sake and the Gospel's, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He cometh in the Glory of His Father with the Holy Angels'" (KJV 1611).
MAILING CHECKS TO ME FOR BOOKS: I am now accepting checks through the mail for $15 for copies of each book: The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 1, The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 2, and The Rising of The Moon Book 2: Faith, Hope, and Love. $15 checks will cover the cost of each book and shipping. Please include a note with your check saying, which books you want to buy off of me with your check. Checks may be written out to me, James O'Flannery, and mailed to James O'Flannery 1524 Crayton Avenue Lima, Ohio 45805. I also can meet up with you, if you live in the following Ohio communities, Lima, Cridersville, Vaughnsville, Fort Jennings, Columbus Grove, St. Marys, Minster, New Bremen, Delphos, and Ottoville, and sell you books directly. For my latest book Martin Luther, William Tyndale, James Ussher, and their Work in Classics: With Other Christian Essays, I will be accepting checks for $20 and $25. The checks must be for $25 ($5 covering shipping if you don't live in Lima, Cridersville, Vaughnsville, Fort Jennings, Columbus Grove, St. Marys, Minster, New Bremen, Delphos, or Ottoville. If you live in any of those communities and if you're willing to meet up with me in any of those communities, then $20 checks via the mail or $20 cash in-person or credit cards and/or debit card payments for $20 in-person work too.
My Green Irish Angel Statues: My Green Irish Angel Statues are really cute! They are only $1 each and they make great gifts. I have three kinds: 1. Cross-Bearing Angels, 2. Praying Angels, and 3. Angels Holding Butterflies. I like the Cross-Bearing Angels the best, because they are carrying Crosses. Each one bearing a Cross reminds us, that Jesus died on the True Cross to save every single person from death, Hell, Satan, Satan's Demons, Original Sin from Adam and Eve, and their personal sins. They're available exclusively at The Menagerie behind Beer Barrel in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio.
Stores Carrying My Books: My books, which I’ve written and published, are also available at the following stores: Brunner News Agency on Flanders Avenue in Lima, Ohio, Jen’s Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on High Street in St. Marys, Ohio, The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue behind Beer Barrel in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio, Readmore Hallmark Stores out at Eastgate Plaza and on Elm Street in Lima, Ohio, and in the Shop section of my website ohioirishlutheranpress.com .
James W. O’Flannery, President and Founder of Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press)