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The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church has been meeting in retreat at the Camp Allen Conference & Retreat Center in Navasota, TX (Diocese of Texas) since March 21 and concludes today, March 25. The following is an account of the activities for Tuesday, March 25.
The theme for the spring meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is How Shall We Sing The Lord’s Song in a Strange Land?
The day began with Morning Prayer, with a reflection led by Bishop John Howard of Florida http://diocesefl.org/ Bishop Howard spoke about singing the Lord’s song in the strange land of the criminal justice system. He noted that the system leans more to retribution than to rehabilitation. The prison population in the United States has increased 700% since 1970. We represent 5% of the global population and 25% of the world’s prison population. Howard stated that his consistent sermon in prisons is that we are all in shackles and Jesus came to set us free. He encouraged the bishops to join him in prison ministry and in working to reform the criminal justice system.
The emcee for the day was Bishop Rob Hirschfield of New Hampshire http://www.nhepiscopal.org/
During the Business Session, the bishops approved
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced that the offerings collected throughout the week will be donated to Episcopal Relief & Development for South Sudan and to the reconstruction of the Cathedral in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.
Three guests offered their thoughts on their experience at the HOB meeting: Bishop Raul Tobias (Iglesia Filipina Independiente), Bishop James Tengatenga (South Malawi, resigned), and Bishop Jonathan Hart (Liberia).
Eucharist concluded the House of Bishops with Bishop Jeff Fisher of Texas http://www.epicenter.org/ presiding; HOB chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Spellers of the Diocese of Long Island http://www.dioceselongisland.org/index.php preached.
A light moment: Bishop Greg Rickel of Olympia https://www.ecww.org (Seahawks) and Bishop Rob O’Neill of Colorado http://www.coloradodiocese.org (Broncos) announced that in their SuperBowl pre-game challenge, $35,000 was raised for Episcopal Relief & Development during the 48 hours prior to the game. Also, Bishop Rickel presented two gifts to Bishop O’Neill: a DVD of the Superbowl game, and a Seahawks piece of clothing (Seahawks won, Broncos lost).
Media Briefers for Tuesday, March 25
Bishop Ed Konieczny, Diocese of Oklahoma http://www.episcopaloklahoma.org/
Bishop Dabney Smith, Diocese of Southwest Florida http://www.episcopalswfl.org/
Bishop Pierre Whalon, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe http://www.tec-europe.org/