Sunday, March 1, 2015

Second Sunday in Lent

Awake and up at 5am to take stock of the weather situation. There was about a foot of snow on the driveway and it was still coming down. All the roads between Springfield and the Metro East area were colored red on IDOT's website, which means "100% covered with ice and/or snow." So, with reluctance, I made the decision not to set out for my scheduled visitation to St Bartholomew's, Granite City. A text message to Fr Clavier, and the deed was done. In due course, I got behind a snow blower and cleared the driveway, so Brenda and I could be pew sitters at a very sparsely attended 10:30 Eucharist at St Paul's Cathedral. In nearly four years of the doing the bishop thing, this is the first time weather has prevented me from making a visitation. I was not amused. The afternoon and evening were devoted to completing and posting a long and substantive blog post on reconciliation among Anglicans, stimulated by time spent with some U.S. and Canadian bishops last week, together with two primate from the Global South.

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Up and out in time to open the Roundhouse for a 10am Standing Committee meeting, which I then attended. They interviewed a candidate for ordination to the transitional diaconate (and duly certified him for such), considered and approved two requests for consent to episcopal elections (West Texas and Southeast Florida), and then acted as my Council of Advice on sundry matters. Afterward, I had brief private meetings with two of its members. Spent the afternoon around the house on various small projects, which included worrying about how predicted snowfall would affect my planned visitation to St Bartholomew's, Granite City tomorrow. In the evening, as snow began to fall, we attended a theater production at the Hoogland Theater.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday (George Herbert)

  • Task planning and a little blog reading at home.
  • Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Left a text message with Bishop Godfrey (Peru) with a question about tentative travel plans this summer.
  • Worked on electronically collating and organizing General Ordination Exam essays from our three candidates who took them so as to facilitate getting other eyes on them to the end of second-guessing the assessments of the official readers. (If that sounds turgid ... the whole enterprise is turgid).
  • Took a phone call from a capital fundraising consultant trying to drum up business. It seems to be the season for such calls.
  • Spent some quality time with commentaries, both ancient and modern, on Psalm 22, in preparation for preaching on Palm Sunday.
  • Lunch from the Chinese section of the to-go kitchen at HyVee, eaten at home.
  • Attended via email to a bit of business regarding somebody in the front end of the ordination process.
  • Responded to an email from another capital fundraising consultant with whom I actually have had an ongoing relationship.
  • Laid out the rough strokes of my second Lenten teaching series presentation at St Michael's, O'Fallon ... even though I haven't delivered the first one yet, due to delayed air travel on Wednesday.
  • Composed a long (and, I hope, substantive) ad clerum (letter to the clergy), which should get sent out on Monday.
  • Took stock of my available time and the number of tasks in the pipeline, and decided to forego the notes to clergy and spouses with nodal events in March ... save for one exception.
  • Went over to the cold cathedral nave and walked the Stations of the Cross (using the standard liturgical form).
  • Made to revisions to an old homily for Lent III, in the direction of repurposing it for use this year at St Barnabas', Havana.
  • Evening Prayer in the office.

Thursday, February 26, 2015


  • Woke up to the news of overnight snowfall, which meant I was soon thereafter behind a snowblower. Fortunately, with such equipment, clearing the driveway is not a very long job.
  • While still at home, I processed (mostly into tasks) the usual pile of email that accumulates when I'm traveling.
  • Upon arriving at the cathedral-office complex, there was a small but substantive list of administrative and pastoral items that invited themselves to be considered in consultation with the Archdeacon.
  • Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Prepared to preside and preach at the midday Mass in the cathedral chapel.
  • Took care of some minor hard-copy flotsam and jetsam that appeared on my desk while I was away (e.g. "Letters Dimissory" for a priest who is leaving the diocese, signing a consent form for the election of a bishop in another diocese, etc.).
  • Attended, via email and phone, to an emerging pastoral/administrative matter (one of those I had earlier conferred with the Archdeacon about).
  • Celebrated and preached the midday Mass.
  • Lunch at home.
  • Cleaned up some detritus from the morning's activities.
  • Refined and printed my homily for this Sunday (St Bartholomew's, Granite City).
  • Made contact by individual emails with five priests who may turn out to be candidates for one of our vacant cures. I've promised the search committee a list.
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I was supposed to leave the Orlando area by air around noon, in time to land in St Louis late in the afternoon and be at the first Lenten teaching series event at St Michael's, O'Fallon. But word came via text from Delta in the pre-dawn hours that my flight from Orlando to Atlanta was canceled due to snow (of all things!) in Atlanta. They rerouted me through Cincinnati, but later in the day, which meant I missed the event at St Michael's. (Fr Wetmore and I worked out a Plan B by email.) The silver lining was that I got to spend more time at the meeting I was in Orlando for in the first place. It was valuable time, well spent.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

St Matthias

Productive day at the Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center in Oviedo, Florida with the Communion Partners Group of bishops, along with our "Gracious Restraint" Canadian colleagues. We are honored to be joined as well by two distinguished primates of the Anglican Communion. In odd moments, I was also able to process a fair number of emails. It's good to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Each of the travel commitments I made several months ago seemed like a good idea at the time. But they have combined to make me feel like a visitor in my own home. Anyway ... I left the house at 6:30 AM in order to make a 9:50 AM departure from St. Louis. All went well, and I am now safely ensconced in the conference center of the diocese of Central Florida, near Orlando. I'm here to join a gathering of the Communion Partners group of bishops. some of our Canadian counterparts are with us, along with two primates from Africa and Asia.