Last week I attended my first House of Bishops meeting at Camp Allen in Texas. I arrived Wednesday evening in time for dinner and light conversation around the table. Thursday’s official activities did not begin until 3pm, and I spent the day reading a book on developing the life of a diocese.
Our time during the week was marked by daily prayer (Morning Prayer, Eucharist, and Evening Prayer), by bible study, and by informal and formal conversation on the needs of the church. There were opportunities to learn from each other and from scholars invited to address the house. We discussed a paper by the House of Bishops Theology Committee on same-gender relationships in the life of the church; we had a conversation on “Around One Table: A Study Exploring Episcopal Identity;” we had interactions with scholars concerning the emergent church; and deliberations on a response to the recent attempt on the life of the bishop of El Salvador. During our time together the House also elected a bishop for Federal Ministries and Navajoland.
During the week, work was accomplished, conversations moved forward, and the bishops of the church welcomed all of us “new folk” into their midst with grace. While we continue to struggle as a church on difficult issues, a wonderful spirit of love and charity abounds in the House of Bishops. It was a blessing to be present. As we walk the way of the cross this holy week, may we feel the blessing of God’s spirit on the Episcopal Church in the diocese of Oregon.
God’s blessing be with you this day.