Dear siblings in Christ Jesus:
I write to you following the first day of the spring meeting of the House of Bishops from Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina. I would like to share three short moments that made this day so special in the life of the House of Bishops.
The first was a talk by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry during the afternoon session. ++Michael spoke of the Way of Love and especially of how he was formed and shaped for ministry by the life and example of his mother. His love of Jesus and of the church and his commitment to this radical way of love flowed from how those before him shaped their own lives around the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Following his powerful speech (which my synopsis does not come close to capturing) ++Michael invited us all to share parts of our own spiritual journey and then to witness to each other concerning what a loving, liberating, and life-giving world might look like in our own context. This way of love gives me hope for the church moving into the future.
The second was after dinner when the bishops of the church honored David Booth Beers, Esquire, chancellor to four presiding bishops, on his retirement from that position after 27 years of service to The Episcopal Church. All diocesan chancellors and all those wonderful legal experts who have assisted churches and dioceses in legal matters are owed a debt of gratitude for their service. In honoring David, we honor all of those who have served us in the past, the present and the future. It is good to give thanks.
Finally, once we gathered ourselves together again, we were able to also honor the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, first woman bishop of the Anglican Communion. The standing ovation for +Barbara was long and heart felt and many tears were shed in honor of her service to the church.
Among several gifts offered in her honor was a special printing of The Episcopal Times, the Diocese of Massachusetts newsletter for February/March 1989, featuring the cover story of her February 11, 1989 consecration. I’ve enjoyed reading the article and continue to respect +Barbara and how wonderfully she has served this church since that date. I hope that we can find a way to share the story with you when I return with my copy.
This church is blessed with the witness of our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, with the witness of our previous Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori and the witness of such wonderful people and David Booth Beers and Bishop Barbara Harris.
My heart is full, it has been a good day.