Bishops blogging, March 16 – House of Bishops

The Bishops’ Spring Meeting in Kanuga is settling into business sessions now that the educational segment has been completed. Sunday evening, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori gave her impressions of the Primates’ meeting. Departing bishops, assessments, and the election in Northern Michigan were discussed, and the election of a bishop for Central Ecuador has begun.

+Dan Edwards, bishop of Nevada, gives a summary of the Presiding Bishop’s report on the Alexandria meeting of primates, the discussion of bishops who have left TEC, and the subject of diocesan assessments:

… on the meeting of the Anglican Primates in Alexandria, Egypt this past February. You may remember that the previous meeting in Dar Salaam was contentious and divisive. This meeting was quite the opposite. The shift was not that everyone agreed, but that there was a general willingness to remain in relationship despite disagreement.

One of the bishops raised the issue of diocese’s paying their full assessment to the Episopal Church. We saved that issue until last and then had a real heart to heart about it.

+Wayne Smith, bishop of Missouri, reflects on the Sunday evening session with the Presiding Bishop, which included a discussion of the election in Northern Michigan, and he reports on today’s sessions and describes the unusual election by the House of Bishops for the Bishop of Ecuador Central:

Ecuador Central’s Provisional Bishop, Wilfrido Ramos-Orench, addressed the House, explaining the depth of conflict and distrust in the diocese, making the appeal to the House of Bishops a reasonable one, even necessary. The three nominees are:

Thomas G. Mansella, Diocese of Virginia

Servio Rhadames Moscoso, Diocese of New Jersey

Luis Fernando Ruiz, Diocese of Colombia

Each nominee made a brief introductory statement, in Spanish (with immediate translation), and then the House broke into three groups for questions and answers with each candidate in sequence. Balloting comes during the business session Tuesday evening. I am feeling both the weight of responsibility in voting and the hope for Ecuador Central, represented in the election before us.

+Charles Jenkins, bishop of Louisiana asks:

What it would be like for the Church to make the shift from fear to hope? What it would it be like for this Church, and especially those who are gifted with an extra capacity for generosity, to move from fear to hope?

This conversion is not an easy movement. As I watched, heard and listened to my city being evacuated to 18,000 Zip Codes across this land, I stood on the edge; I looked into the abyss of despair. I thought I had lost all my worldly possessions but that was not the issue. I watched people, my brothers and sisters in Christ, calling out from the roofs of their homes, I saw the horror in the Superdome, I knew what was happening at the Morial Center, I saw the bodies coming to the morgue at the Hansen’s Disease Center in Carville. I watched as we were flown out, bussed out and floated out from home. Friends, in that moment it was for me either a life of hope or death.

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