Wednesday, January 25, 2006

January 25:: It is hard to believe that it has been almost a month since I posted to my blog. I have been on the road almost every week or weekend. After a lovely Christmas Eve in Eden and Rock Springs, I spent the first week of January catching up with friends while eating at our new Asian restaurant. Having an Asian (not Chinese) restaurant may not sound like a big deal if you live in a city but in rural Wyoming to be able to eat excellent Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese food is a piece of heaven.
January 11-16 I went to Indianapolis to facilitate groups for a consultation of all sorts of educators in the Episcopal Church - from Sunday School to Seminary - the intent was to hear what each other is doing and what is bringing new life to education for Christians of all ages. For me it was a time of seeing new friends and making new ones plus learning and connecting about how my work with EFM intersects and promotes others and their work.
Home long enough to wash clothes and re-pack and off to DelRay Beach, FL and the Duncan Center for the last meeting of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Next Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. It was interesting work and a great group of 29 lay persons, clergy, and bishops from all over The Episcopal Church including Puerto Rico and Colombia. The announcement of our nominees is today.
Today is a breathing, clothes washing day. Tomorrow a funeral for a friend. Friday off to Casper for the Standing Committee meeting, then to Denver for work. After that - February and a trip to the Oregon coast and seeing family.
I am not preaching this Sunday but am intrigued by the readings, especially the gospel. Click here to read it. The "unclean" spirits recognize Jesus wherever he goes. There is something about his wholeness that makes the chaos within us even more apparent. Here is a poetic reflection I wrote a few years ago and is in my book, Streams of Mercy:
Fragmentation
recognizes wholeness.
Disintegration
cries out to
the weaver of souls.

So much of the culture teaches us to have a sense of self that is more dependent on others' perceptions rather than our essential being. Our self worth and self image get damaged by the "slings and arrows" of life. When I was very sick I began to see myself as a sick person - being sick was my whole identity. The healing I received did not have to do with getting physically well but retrieving my whole self - as a person who happened to have an illness. One of the reasons I don't like praying for "the sick" "the poor" "the suffering" or whatever - is that they become the category rather than a person in all of his or her being. It is a dehumanizing sort of process. One that allows us to separate ourselves from one another. When Jesus appears on the scene - he recognizes the whole person and in that recognition - wholeness of mind, body and spirit returns to her or him.

This just in from Episcopal News Service:
Episcopal News Service
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Nominees named for election of 26th Presiding Bishop

[ENS] Note to Readers: Following is the full text of a news release from the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop. A subsequent ENS release will convey photographs and biographical information about the nominees. This text appears in Spanish at http://www.iglesiaepiscopal.org.

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop is pleased to announce the names of those bishops it will place in nomination for Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, to succeed the Most Rev. Frank Griswold. These names will be formally submitted to the General Convention at a joint session on June 18, 2006, the day prior to the day appointed for the election of the 26th Presiding Bishop by the House of Bishops. The Nominees are:

The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of Atlanta
The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr., Bishop of Kentucky
The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada
The Rt. Rev. Henry N. Parsley, Jr., Bishop of Alabama

The Committee is grateful to all those bishops who were willing to be considered for nomination. The grace with which those bishops considered entered into discernment with the Committee is a witness to the faithful ministries each has offered to the Church and a sign of the enduring health of our Church.

The discernment process included a Call to Discernment, an initial questionnaire, interviews with references for all those whose names were submitted, interviews with those selected for further consideration, and site visits with those who continued in consideration. At its January 20-22, 2006, meeting the Committee then made the determination to nominate these persons.

The Committee consists of 29 persons - a bishop, clergy and lay person from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church, elected by the House of Bishops, and two young persons appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. The Committee has met five times and sub groups have been on interview teams across the Church.

We have discovered in our work together that our love for the Church and our affection for one another have been strengthened in common prayer, in reflection on the ministry given each of us and in the effort to respond to the challenge God and the Church have placed before us. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Episcopal Church in this way. Our nomination of these persons is presented as a report of the whole Committee and without reservation.

Background, medical and psychological examinations were conducted for all those nominated.

We believe any of the persons named, if elected, and with God's help and the prayerful support of the church, can provide the leadership required in the Episcopal Church at this time. We commend these nominees to the Church and ask that prayers be offered for them, for the Bishops at General Convention who will elect and for the Deputies who will be asked to consent to the election. Most especially we ask prayers for the Episcopal Church and its leadership and for its continuing ministry among the peoples of the several countries it serves in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Committee held its final meeting January 20-22 at the Duncan Conference Center, Delray Beach, Florida, and there completed the work required of it by the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. Provided that there are no circumstances that would require our meeting prior to General Convention as a Committee, we will next present ourselves to the General Convention at the time designated to formally place these persons in nomination.

The House of Bishops, at its September 2005 meeting, resolved that the House will consider only those additional nominations by Bishops or Deputies to the 2006 General Convention that are made with time sufficient to conduct the background, medical and psychological examinations required of all nominees. It has set a date of April 1, 2006, for receipt of those nominations, which shall be considered nominations from the floor.

Such nominations are to be made in writing to the Bishop Co-Chair of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, and assent must be received in writing by the Bishop so named.

For further information, contact either of the co-chairs, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, pjlee@thediocese.net, or Ms. Diane Pollard, dbpsd4u@aol.com.

Members of the Joint Nominating Committee:

Province One
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris
The Rev. Thomas J. Brown , Secretary
Mr. Albert T. Mollegen, Jr.

Province Two
The Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. Adams III, Chaplain
The Rev. Jeannette DeFriest
Ms. Diane B. Pollard , Co-Chair

Province Three
The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, Co-Chair
The Rev. Canon Mark Harris
Mrs. Jane R. Cosby

Province Four
The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray III
The Rev. E. Claiborne Jones
Mr. Vincent Currie, Jr.

Province Five
The Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr.
The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Tolliver
Dr. Scott E. Evenbeck

Province Six
The Rt. Rev. Bruce Caldwell
The Rev. Ann K. Fontaine, Chaplain
Mr. Don Betts

Province Seven
The Rt. Rev. Don A. Wimberly
The Rev. James P. Haney V
Ms. Sarah J. Knoll

Province Eight
The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb
The Rt. Rev. Bavi E. Rivera
Mrs. Bettye Jo Harris

Province Nine
The Rt. Rev. David Alvarez
The Rev. Luis F. Ruiz
Ms. Blanca Lucia Echeverry

Appointed Youth Representatives
Ms. Sierra Wilkinson
Mr. Bradley A. Woodall