Dear Friends in Christ:
I have just returned from a meeting of the House of Bishops. For those of you who want to know a lot about that meeting I would point you to The Episcopal Church website and the daily reports which give more detail about the subjects we discussed and the actions we took. In short, our theme for the retreat was Fostering a culture of curiosity, compassion and courage in Christ. Each day we worshiped together, listened to meditations and shared with each other from our own experience. The meditations included reflections on slavery (including a viewing of the film “Traces of the Trade”), economic disparity, and interfaith dialogue. We also studied the current marriage issues coming before the general convention as well as the report of the committee on structure commonly known as the TREC report.
This was a very packed agenda with much less reflection time built into the schedule than usual. It was a challenging meeting and the days ahead should prove to be just as challenging in the life of the church. Normally at our meetings we spend very little time in formal session and we do not pass many resolutions. It was the same this time, however of note, was a resolution to ask the Presiding Bishop to appoint a commission to study deeply the issues related to the impairment of leaders in the church. Please pray for whoever is given that task.
I return now to the diocese with much enthusiasm for the work we have been given to do as The Episcopal Church and as the Church in Western Oregon. In particular I am excited about the work we are doing with the Equipping the Saints weekends we are holding in various parts of the diocese. Next up is the weekend at Christ Church, Lake Oswego. Please remember that I am expecting all clergy who lead congregations to show up and to bring a congregational team of three to four others. The next training is April 16 beginning at 5pm, through April 18 at 2pm. The cost is 75 dollars per persons and you can register online. There is a limit to the number of teams we will allow to participate so I encourage you register early! Registration ends March 30 for this one. There will be two additional training weekends during the year, one in Manzanita in September and one in October in Eugene. This is vital work, it is good work, and I know that you and your team will come away with fresh ideas about how to move ahead on your most critical challenges.