Life is going fast these days and it is requiring all my best efforts at self-care and soul-care!
The latest illustrative episodes occurred September 8 – 10 at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Pasadena, CA. After a couple weeks of reflection on the first Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO) Retreat, a couple of things stand out:
I see faces…the open-hearted and bright countenances of high quality people; friends who are sincerely engaged in the big questions surrounding the Gospel, our culture and the church. I’ll always remember the meals and the hallway conversations expressing a mixture of “the Lord is here”…”what does all this mean”…”something is happening here”…”what does this mean to me?”
- Archbishop Kolini: I love and respect his simple focus on the Gospel of the Kingdom. He leads with power and effectiveness but without pretense. He is a wonderful model for all of us who have lost some confidence in the ability of Christian leaders to be simultaneously effective and ethical—experienced as good by those whom they lead.
- Bishop Chuck Murphy: Chuck may be the most underrated Christian leader in America. Someday, when some PhD student writes the history of First Promise and the founding of The Anglican Mission, the huge role Chuck has played and continues to play in early 21st century Christianity will come to light. For now, Chuck is rightfully content to merely go about his business—which is just another reason to respect him!
Of course no reflection on the retreat would be complete without a comment on the consecration of three new bishops that broke out in the middle of our retreat. Long before I was nominated to be a bishop I had asked Archbishop Kolini and Bishop Murphy to be with us at our retreat to tell us the story and describe the vision of The Anglican Mission and our part of it as C4SO.
Once I was chosen a bishop it made sense to have the consecration while they were in town. On top of that The Anglican Mission decided to do all three consecrations together. Thus we all got the privilege of meeting Silas Ng and Doc Loomis.
That night still seems surreal to me—almost like one’s wedding day. You remember it—but it seems like you floated through it more than experienced it. I know I took some serious vows that resonated with the great message by our co-worker in the faith, Rick Warren. By God’s grace I look forward to fulfilling my calling and my vows.
Thanks to all of you who were there—you made it happen—it is you who will never be far from my mind.