Thursday, April 05, 2007

a new reign

Yesterday I had an appointment with our new bishop. It was a "getting to know you" visit, one that I scheduled for a variety of reasons, none of them urgent. His plate is full of urgency these days, considering that:
~~the day after our former bishop retired, one of our priests took 80% of his congregation and left the Episcopal church, stranding a remnant of parishioners without care, and shouldering considerable debt

~~another congregation has been discerning their own future within the church, leaning, in public statements, toward departure

~~we have numerous clergy vacancies to fill, some of which represent congregations on the brink of deterioration, others of which live with unresolved conflict

~~one of our congregations closed a week ago, ending a tumultuous eight-year tenure.

Considering these things, it was remarkable to me that the bishop spent nearly two hours with me in leisurely conversation. We covered a variety of ground, talked candidly, laughed, shared perspectives, and began to get to know each other. He listened attentively, and asked questions that indicated a respect for my experience and an appreciation for my input. In the nearly twenty years during which I've had relationships with bishops, I've never had an encounter like this one before. He is a breath of fresh air, and a welcome presence in our midst.


Pam in Moncton said...

That sounds like it's all good! Alsp love the pic of Dooleu with Ken's feet.

Jules said...

Glad you like the new bishop and vice versa and how terribly sad about those congregations who are departing.

Love the pic of Dooley and Ken! Miss you madly.

Jayne said...

Wow, what a wonderful thing... to really be able to sit down and share openly and to feel heard. Sounds like the horizon for your diocese is really looking up. Those who leave were going to leave anyhow. Onward we march.


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