Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easter IV (Good Shepherd Sunday)

  • The day began in a hotel room on the edge of St Louis suburbia on the Illinois side.
  • Arrived at St George's, Belleville in time to get ready for their 8am Eucharist, at which I presided and preached. Over 50 in attendance, which one does not often see at an early service. I knew that they share facilities with a Lutheran congregation, but was nonetheless startled to see a crowd gathering and hovering in the narthex as we were only beginning to distribute Holy Communion. I was afraid I had "gone a little long." But I hadn't. It's just the way things happen there. I was told the Lutherans got going only about seven minutes late.
  • I had no prepared remarks, but was in the spotlight for a very well-attended Adult Forum, just handling things spontaneously as they came up. We dealt with some substantive stuff (appropriate age for confirmation, appropriate age for first communion, the relationship between mission and structure at both the parish and diocesan levels), but this was mostly, I think about a new bishop and a congregation continuing to get to know one another.
  • Very lively sung celebration at 10:30, with excellent music and one reception of an adult into the "the fellowship of this communion." Wonderful coffee hour/lunch, from which we whisked ourselves away at about 12:45. St George's is a "happenin' place."
  • Home in time to relax for a brief while (Brenda, who caught some zzzzs on the way home, worked on getting ready for the post-enthronement reception at the cathedral). I headed down to St Paul's about 4:15.
  • The Welcoming & Seating liturgy was splendid, and I found it personally quite moving, particularly the scripted dialog near the beginning between the Dean and the Bishop, redolent with evocative language and imagery about the ministry of a bishop in a diocese, and the significance of the cathedral church. The date was chosen pretty much for the convenience of some of the musicians involved, but I could not be happier that it took place on Good Shepherd Sunday. Both my calling and, I trust, my sacramentally-obtained charism, is, both in my doing and (more importantly) in my being, to serve as an icon in this diocese of Christ the Good Shepherd. What serendipitous grace the timing was. How I am growing in my love for these people, this flock, whom the Good Shepherd has entrusted to my care. 

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