Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bishop Smith and GC

I've posted the video from Jim DeLa that seeks to provide a "wrap-up" of what happened at General Convention.

There are a couple more things I would add if I were using that video in a parish presentation, here in the Diocese of Missouri, about what happened at GC.

I know that everyone works really hard at GC. All the bishops, deputies, committee members, volunteers, and staff put in long, hard hours that are physically, emotionally, and sometimes spiritually grueling. I was grateful for the reports from the Missouri deputies, and I am grateful for their service. (The photo at right shows some of our Deputies.)

But I want to single out my bishop, the Right Reverend George Wayne Smith, for special honors and thanks. As co-chair of the cognate Prayer Book, Liturgy, & Church Music Committee, he had very heavy duty this year. That committee brought to convention the Holy Women, Holy Men text (a vastly expanded trial replacement for Lesser Feasts and Fasts), adopted a new liturgical resource to assist individuals and families dealing with childbirth and the loss of children (A088, Rachel’s Tears, Hannah’s Hopes), approved the development of liturgical resources to observe the loss of a companion animal (in C078), and dealt with many, many other resolutions. Perhaps most challenging, Bishop Smith's committee dealt with resolution C056, which authorizes the collection and development of theological and liturgical resources for the blessing of same-sex relationships.

As all GC junkies know, C056 was a very high-profile resolution that will move us to explore the blessing of same-sex relationships. It has already garnered much attention throughout the Anglican blogosphere. No doubt, various primates and probably the Archbishop of Canterbury will weigh-in on that one. It is a delicately nuanced statement, for which I give deep thanks. I pray the Anglican Communion will see it as such.

From all the accounts I read during GC and from the reflections that appeared after, it appears that Bishop Smith's committee meetings were thoughtful, respectful, and even holy. That must have been difficult, given some of the "third-rail" issues with which they had to grapple.

But I am not surprised. Bishop Smith is a thoughtful, respectful, and holy man. Around the Episcopal blogosphere, a term that has gained currency and approbation is "being a non-anxious presence." If there ever was a thoughtful, spiritual, non-anxious presence, I believe my Bishop Smith embodies that.

On occasion, and especially in the past month, I have occasionally ranted here intemperately about what "the bishops" have done or might do. In the midst of those rants, I believed my bishop would be attentive to the Spirit, mindful of the people who look to him for pastoral care, and find a way to be the chief pastor to the whole diocese while guarding "the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church" (BCP, pg. 517). I believe he did so in this General Convention. And I repent of the hours in which I "ate the bread of anxiety" rather than trusting Bishop Smith and all the other godly bishops of our church.

10 Comments:

Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

Lisa, I find him to be the same way. So in that sense, I think he is not too worried you were eating the bread of anxiety; in fact, he might have expected it!

7/26/2009 6:48 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

{sardonic grin} Yes, KirkE. He may indeed have expected it. He knows me well, and knows I am an anxious watcher of All Things Anglican.

We are truly blessed to have +Wayne as our bishop.

7/26/2009 6:51 PM  
Blogger bfelice said...

high drama and anxiety yield page views and headlines, quiet faithfulness, not so much.

7/26/2009 9:52 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

bfelice, if I'm understanding your comment, I would agree. I think my bishop exhibited quiet faithfulness. That doesn't grab a lot of headlines. But it sure grabs my respect.

7/26/2009 10:14 PM  
Blogger James said...

Wanna swap bishops? The surname's the same but the anxiety level ... well ... hah!

7/27/2009 3:15 PM  
Blogger it's margaret said...

God bless you Lisa. I am not quite there with you --in trusting, that is.... not quite there. I witnessed abuse of position and power while there.... I hope and pray I can find that trust. And I am grateful that you have found it.

7/27/2009 6:32 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

A beautiful tribute, Lisa. Thank you.

7/27/2009 7:43 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

No way, James! I ain't swapping my
Bishop Smith for yours. We are lucky here.

7/28/2009 1:14 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Margaret, I've watched you bishops. I think they were marked as waffles forever.

I am deeply grateful for my quiet bishop.

7/28/2009 1:15 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Paul, I should have written this a week ago. I was quick to express my anxiety. I should have been more speedy in expressing my gratitude.

Bishop Smith truly is a marvel and a blessing.

7/28/2009 1:17 AM  

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