Friday, September 16, 2016
from the back of the room
We’re the last table on the left in the back of the giant “Venetian” ballroom in the Detroit Westin Cadillac Book hotel where the fall meeting of the House of Bishops is gathering.
No, it’s not ‘cause I’m new ( and, really, there are 4 bishops here younger than I am in “bishop-years” this time), and Lord knows, it’s not ‘cause my eyesight is so keen that I can see the screen from so far away... No, it’s just the luck of the draw. Table 17 is in the back.
Our tables at the House of Bishops are assigned to us and the folks who plan our meetings do a wonderful job of mixing up the table populations among seniority, geography, gender and ethnicity. I really love my table. I sit with Mark Bourlakas (SW VA), Andy Dietsche (NY), Barry Beisner (N CA), Oge Beauvoir (Haiti), George Counsell (NJ) and Michael Smith (ND). For all of our differences, we do well navigating the work of the House.
This is my second HOB meeting. The agenda at this meeting is a mix of receiving reports (Human Synergistics, a consulting firm from IL has issued a word on their study of the culture of the Episcopal Church Offices (815) in NYC and the PB has offered his plan in response to the report, striving to shift the culture in the workplace to one that is productive, dignified and puts Jesus at the center. ) We’re learning more about how to give the Jesus Movement some legs ( what does it really mean when we talk about this “movement?”) and later today we will hear from Senator John Danforth (also an Episcopal Priest) on “Our Ministry to America.” Sen. Danforth’s remarks will be followed by a panel discussion including Bishop Budde of Washington, DC. So- we’re not at a loss for things to talk about.
There are a few side trips planned- (I’m hoping to get to the Detriot Institute of Arts on the recommendation of several folks ‘back home) and we are making our way around the city enjoying the different restaurants that Detriot, in the middle of a renaissance, has to offer. I also intend on making my way to the River Walk to see how it stacks up against our lovely Susquehanna...
The work here is important. It draws us out of our parochial settings, increases our fellowship and collaboration among members in the House, raises up new ideas and hope and strengthens the work of the Episcopal Church as we build God’s Kingdom.
The Jesus Movement has a new tag line: “loving, liberating, life-giving.”
I’ll be working at that for a few more days and bring it back to Central PA for us to work on together.
From Table 17- where the air is clear and the people on the dais are tiny-
PS A thrill for me will be to act as celebrant at tomorrow’s Community Eucharist. I was invited some weeks ago to preside among my brothers and sisters. I am honored.