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 21 to March 26. The following is an account of the activities for Saturday, March 22.
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 presented by Bishop Mary Glasspool of Los Angeles www.ladiocese.org followed by silent reflection and meditation. She shared her experience of moving from the East Coast to the “foreign land” of Southern California. Using the familiar Emmaus road story, she built up to talking about Christ’s presence in the Holy Eucharist saying, “And what we are to recognize here, in the Eucharist – in the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the wine at table – is Christ’s Presence as the stranger becomes Companion. And what we are to see, as well, is that the action doesn’t stop at the table. That, for us, is Emmaus. We are called to go back to Jerusalem – to go out into the world – in joyful witness to Christ’s love. To feed the hungry; heal the sick; clothe the naked; free the oppressed; shelter the homeless; confront evil, sin and injustice and manifest, to the glory of God the power of the love that has overcome death.” She concluded her spirited charge to bishops: “I suggest that, if you find that the strange land is where you live, you might consider rediscovering yourself so that you can be all of who you are. Offer hospitality and create space for the other…. And, above all, remember it’s the LORD’s song – so don’t forget to sing it.” This gave the bishops plenty to pray about for the rest of the morning.
Bishop Eugene Sutton of Maryland presided at Eucharist. Prayers of the People were led by Bishop Barbara Harris of Massachusetts.
The emcee for the day was Bishop Paul Lambert of Dallas.
The bishops met with their provinces at lunch to discuss mutual and regional happenings and concerns. They will meet with their classes in the evening.
Sabbath time will begin after dinner.
Note: on Friday evening, the House of Bishops honored Bishop Barbara Harris of Massachusetts (http://www.diomass.org/) on her 25th anniversary of her consecration. A resolution honoring her will be presented during the HOB business meeting on Tuesday.
Media Briefers for March 22
Bishop Doug Fisher, Diocese of Western Massachusetts http://www.diocesewma.org/
Bishop William Franklin, Diocese of Western New York http://episcopalwny.org/
Bishop Don Johnson, Diocese of West Tennessee http://www.episwtn.org/