The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in retreat at the Camp Allen Conference & Retreat Center in Navasota, TX (Diocese of Texas) from March 16 to March 20. The following is an account of the activities for Tuesday, March 20.
The spring retreat meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops continues the House’s ongoing theme of The Church for the 21st Century, with a focus on The Gift of Episcope/El Don el Episopado. The schedule calls for prayer-filled sessions, and bishops participate in daily Bible study, reflection and worship.
Morning Prayer was officiated by HOB chaplain the Rev. Simon Bautista of Washington, D.C. www.edow.org
The morning hours were devoted to retreat, prayer, reflection and discussion on Mission, led by Bishop Julio Holguin of Dominican Republic www.episcopaldominican.org
Bishop Holguin reminded us that we are the missionaries of this era, sent, working with all the baptized, to share the Good News of Christ. He highlighted the Five Marks of Mission and used these to illuminate his points. Following his meditation, like in other days, we were offered some time of silence and reflection.
HOB’s visitor, the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, Church of England http://www.durham.anglican.org/ offered his reflections at the close of the morning. He was well received by a standing ovation.
Emcee for the day was Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Ecuador Central www.episcopalchurch.org/diocese/central-ecuador
HOB conducted its business meeting throughout the afternoon. Among the topics/actions:
Resolution of greeting to the Archbishop of Canterbury: Bishop Wayne Wright of Delaware www.dioceseofdelaware.net explained this resolution came at the request of many bishops. In it, HOB sends greetings “as you begin a new season in your ministry.” It concludes: “We wish you Godspeed and many blessings in the coming days.” It was received by acclimation.
Revised Delegated Episcopal Oversight (DEPO) document: Bishop Ed Little of Northern Indiana www.ednin.org moved for its adoption. “We are serious about including a wide range of voices in our church,” he explained. The document was approved and will be available shortly.
Social Media and Electronic Communication: Bishop Gayle Harris of Massachusetts www.diomass.org spoke on behalf of the Pastoral Development Committee and asked that the guidelines become part of the norms of HOB.
Election of Board member for College for Bishops: HOB elected Les Callahan, a lay member of the Diocese of Atlanta.
Reports were provided on: College for Bishops by Bishop Neil Alexander of Atlanta www.episcopalatlanta.org and Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas www.episcopal-ks.org: Episcopal Schools by Bishop Tom Breidenthal of Southern Ohio www.episcopal-dso.org; ministry to servicepersons and veterans by Bishop Jay Magness of Federal Ministries http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/federal-ministries-0 ; Solitaries by Bishop Russell Jacobus of Fond du Lac www.episcopalfonddulac.org ; toward General Convention by Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas www.episcopal-ks.org
The Presiding Bishop concluded the meeting calling it “grace filled” which was met with applause.
Closing Eucharist was celebrated by Bishop Dean Wolfe; preacher was Bishop Dena Harrison of Texas www.epicenter.org
Tuesday, March 20
Bishop Cliff Daniel of Diocese of East Carolina www.diocese-eastcarolina.org
Bishop Greg Rickel of the Diocese of Olympia www.ecww.org
Bishop Terry White of the Diocese of Kentucky www.episcopalky.org