Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Far East Daily Blog #10

September 22, 2014 On this final day of our Fall 2014 House of Bishops meeting, we began our day with Holy Eucharist. Though normally have been moving beyond our worship to describe the other events of the day, today I would like to comment upon the sermon preached by one of our HoB chaplains, The Rev. Canon Simon Batista. His text was the Luke (9:1-6) story which we generally know as the first or "limited" commission of the disciples. In a powerful and musing ( at times amusing) way Simon enthralled us with his description of what it meant for the disciples to be called out by Jesus to leave home to pursue the mission that Jesus gave them. What I heard Simon say to me was that Jesus calls me to be with you whether you are in Yokosuka, Japan; Anchorage, Alaska; Rammstein, Germany; Herlong, California; or Durham, North Carolina. The mission Jesus has given me is to leave home, pack light and go be with you, wherever you may be. Some of you have told me that it is so good that I will go to this extent to be with you. Let me be clear that though I appreciate these words of support, God has supplanted any air travel fatigue I may encounter with his marvelous grace and joy. I do love to be with you and to hear your stories of ministry and mission challenges. Most of you know that my greatest task is to make you as successful as possible. Then we moved into our "town hall" meeting. This is a setting in which each member of the HoB has the opportunity to share any small items of interest. Our topics of conversation included: a Haiti update, engagement with the Ebola crisis in Africa, the 2015 General Convention in Salt Lake City, a review of our Church Pension Group fund investments, Diocese of Missouri involvement with the Ferguson crisis, personal messages of thanks for personal and pastoral support, Bishops United Against Gun Violence, and immigration problems for people of color entering Great Britain for religious work. Our reality is that the bishops of TEC are involved in mission within an incredibly vast expanse of settings. Then we heard from Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operations Officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, about the work of DFMS. The last event of the morning was our business session. At this session we discussed various and sundry salient changes that are pertinent to the members of the HoB and to TEC at large. Finally we received three resolutions that would express the mind of the HoB. Two of the three were approved: a resolution that supported the Archbishop of Hong Kong during a time of political and social transition, and the other in support and commendation of our Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori. Finally, we accepted the resignation of Bishop Jim Curry, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Connecticut. This will be my last blog entry in this series. Tonight we will have a closing community dinner at which we will hail new members of the HoB and give our farewells to those who are departing for either retirement of other venues. Then tomorrow most of us will go to the airport to either fly back to our homes or to engage in pre-arranged travel to some other locations in Asia. As you know, on the way to Taipei, Taiwan Carolyn and I stopped over in Japan for 7th Fleet command visit with Cam and Paulette Fish. Hence, we will be traveling back to the states - a trip that will take almost 20 hours of air travel. We have had a special time in Taipei. Not only have we learned about the culture and how the Christian faith is being shared, we met many, many wonderful people. At the end of the day, these experiences of meeting people are the events that stay with us. We have been blessed! +Jay

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