Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Dark Horse, Bishops, a Priest and Flourishing = The Episcopal Church

Well, Nevada is getting a bishop at long last. And what a bishop!

The new bishop-elect is The Very Rev Dan Edwards who is currently rector of St Francis Episcopal Church in Macon, Georgia. Read more about this nifty guy here. And yes, he does write poetry and its not half bad [wink].

Some people have commented at church that I haven't said anything about the House of Bishops' meeting in New Orleans.

What's to say? They went, they met, they left. End of story.

Nothing earth-shattering happened. The world is still turning. The Episcopal Church USA still stands. Congregations continue to worship and the coffee is still on in the parish hall. Did we really expect anything special to happen? I didn't. Did our gay brothers and sisters gain any quarter? No.

++Rowan had to show up or lose what credibility he is managing to hold onto. He truly exerted himself by staying to visit for a full 8.5 hours before jetting back to Canterbury, or wherever deflated Archbishops go after being unable to sway our House of Bishops his way, or their way [the rebels trying to manufacture a cause to divide the Church]. And even if he had succeeded in swaying the House, it would be meaningless without the House of Deputies or a General Convention where legislative action and decision-making occur in America.

So there are my thoughts on the HoB meeting in NOLA.

There has been a lot of talk on the various lists regarding the dropping numbers of members in the Episcopal Church. I don't know about a lot of other churches, but mine is growing rather exponentially. This last Sunday, our Bishop Itty confirmed, received and reconfirmed about 20 people. Parishioners and family members were shoehorned into the pews; most likely there was standing room only.

On any given Sunday about 250 folk attend Eucharist, and for our parish church, that's quite a feat. You add 20 people into that mix and it is a thing called "growth", not atrophy, as the naysayers are so ready to proclaim. I have no doubt that the Episcopal Church will be alive and well for many decades to come, so I'm not worried.

Recently it came to my attention that I had first cousins that I didn't know I had...I suspected but needed empirical evidence. That came in the form of email and a very long phone call. I have four new-to-me cousins but only two are on the west coast. J is in San Fran and M is in Seattle. The most exciting part is discovering that M is an Episcopal priest and rector of a parish in downtown Seattle. Finally a relative who speaks my language! Spiritual, liturgical, Gospel language. Ahhhhh...did you hear that delighted sigh? Yes, I am beside myself with glee! [me, jumping around the living room, artfully dodging a bewildered small dog...]. And thankfully it is a progressive congregation too, much like our Trinity.

Oh, a comment about Facebook. How often does the Bishop of California ask someone to be his friend? I have no idea, but I know he asked me and also invited me to become one of his ninjas against some pirates. O.K. Don't ask...after all it IS Facebook!

May you go in peace to love and serve the Lord...I will!