The Friday Reflection – September 7, 2018

From Bishop David

Today, I concluded a much anticipated week long holiday with my brother Larry. Some of you will remember Larry from our Tour Against Trafficking in 2015.

This week we spent most of our time spelunking in caves we explored in our youth and a few new caves in SW Virginia. I’ve included a few pics for your amusement.

Our first cave was Smokehole which involved a 100-meter descent.

Now, I could wax on theologically regarding this experience, perhaps articulate something insightful and erudite about “going deeper in our lives thus exploring what lies below the surface.” But I’ll spare you the reflection, I simply wanted you to know that I enjoyed a few days’ holiday with my brother and “going deeper below the surface” was memorable.

As I said, my holiday concluded today, and it finished the moment when Larry dropped me off at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville (The Diocese of Western NC). This evening, I have joined with Canon Anna and Greg Masztal, St. Paul’s, Modesto and representatives from other Dioceses for the 2018 Diocesan Leadership Initiative (DLI). The theme for this gathering is: Exploring New Models of Diocesan Ministry: “From Economic Challenges to Transformational Opportunities.” Each Bishop in attendance was asked to invite a Member of Staff and a Layperson.

There are a number of reasons why we are here. Firstly, EDSJ spent far too many years not showing up when other parts of the Episcopal Church gathered, thus we are working really hard to amend that practice. Secondly and inextricably related to the first point, I have said since my arrival in EDSJ that we must seize every possible opportunity to tell the SJ Narrative. We cannot assume for a moment that people are aware of our story. Thirdly, ever increasingly the rest of our church is becoming curious about our “emergences” which suggests to me that they are considering their own potential ways of emerging. And lastly, as we continue the “holy experiment” which is EDSJ, we must continue to be curious regarding what other models and ways of being church are tested out there. In other words, we are here to learn. Again, none of this will occur unless we “show up.”

I look forward to telling you more about what we learned concerning “From Economic Challenges to Transformational Opportunities” in due course.


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