It has been a week since the Houston Walk About. JoAnne and I had a great time in Houston as well. We have received a lot of positive feedback. People are really feeling the spirit move within the discernment discussion.
I feel as though I have been faithful to the discussion. I know that I am out there, that I have been clear about the vision and hope for the future my ministry offers the Diocese of Texas.
I told the last group that no person wants to be elected without the diocese doing the difficult discernment God intends for us.
We are not looking for the person we like the best. We are not looking for the person who looks most like us. We are trying to discern who God is calling. We know that when we seek to understand who God is calling that we will discover what God intends for our own ministry, the ministry of our congregation, and the ministry of our diocese.
It is time for us to begin to think about a different set of questions:
We say we must be focused on Youth.
Who do you envision getting to know your teenager on a mission trip?
Who do you envision connecting with our college students via weekly pod casts?
Who do you envision bringing joy to the celebration of the Eucharist?
Who do you envision attracting the best and the brightest new/young clergy to our diocese?
We say we must be focused on Outreach.
Who do you envision inspiring our members to active participation in the gospel (by example)?
Who do you imagine will create bridges between our congregations and congregations throughout the global communion?
Who do you believe will lead us by the Holy Spirit to reach outside our congregations to those in need in our community?
Who has a vision of communion partners that changes the world around us and across the globe?
We say we must be focused on multi-cultural ministry.
Who will listen to the people doing the ministry and expand our multicultural ministries?
Who understands that we have to acknowledge our history with African American Congregations and supporting them in new mission and outreach?
Who offers a vision of African American, African, Latino, and Asian ministries?
We say we want a bishop in relationship with us.
Who do you envision teaching our congregations what it means to share in the ministry of the baptized?
Who do you envision inspiring you to become the embodiment of Christ's transforming love?
Who do you envision stopping and speaking with you one on one about your life's ministry?
Let us ask a different set of questions. Let us dare to ask questions that truly are transformative. Let us ask questions that are challenging us into ministry.
- "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
- "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
- "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
- "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
- "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
- "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
- "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
- "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball