May 21, 2017
Good Shepherd on the Hill, Austin
"Dear Mr. Vernon:
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong, but we think you're crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us... In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain... ...and an athlete... ...and a basket case... ...a princess... ...and a criminal.
Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
Dear Mr. Vernon:I accept the fact that as a bishop there are many sacrifices I make for ministry but attending the House of Bishops' retreats is not one of them. It is probably crazy to think that any of us deserve this privilege and honor or can explain why we get to be here.I imagine that as you look at us individually as bishops or as a collective house you will probably see us as you want to see us – as you imagine us… in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions: a brain... ...and an athlete... ...and a basket case... ...a princess... ...and a criminal.But what I have found out, and we are learning about one another, is that we are more than bishops. We have families, we have stories, we have walked crooked paths, we have made pilgrim journeys, we have been despised – even hated, we are often dismissed because of color, gender, political stance, or language. We love our church and want to be part of the living mission of Jesus. We are excited to see growth and we grieve when we see death. We face the reality of institutional life – but relish being a part of our clergy and parishioner families as they journey from birth, struggle to make it, celebrate the good, shed tears in the pain, and face death. We make these journeys together. When I leave the House, I leave it with a host of bishop colleagues behind me, praying for me, and supporting me. I too pray and support my colleagues wherever they may be.