Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday (St Aidan)

  • Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Refined the draft of my homily for this Sunday at Trinity, Lincoln. It's now "in the can."
  • Attended to some Nashotah House business.
  • Lunch at home (leftover Indian food from last night's dinner).
  • Invested a good bit of time reviewing the (electronic) paperwork of some potential candidates for the vacancy at St John the Divine, Champaign. (Their search ended in a declined call, so now it's back to "square two"; we are able to leverage some of the work already done).
  • More phone calls from clergy and lay leaders over various emerging issues.
  • The time came for my periodic self-test on my knowledge of the names of the sixty counties that comprise the geography of the Diocese of Springfield, and their seat communities. I'm up to around 50%, and the vast majority of the ones I did not know are in places where we don't presently have a church.
  • Prayer the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, bearing in my heart and mind several concerns, both in and out of the diocese, that are weighing on me at present.
  • Evening Prayer in the "chaplet" area of my office.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday (Blessed Charles Grafton)


  • Up early for my exercise routine--30 minutes of resistance training and an aggressive 30 minutes on the treadmill.
  • Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Gave birth to a draft text of a homily for this Sunday at Trinity, Lincoln.
  • Took part in a quarterly conference call with my co-trustee for the Putnam Trust (a trust officer for Bank of America) and our investment manager (U.S. Trust). The beneficiaries of the Putnam Trust are St John the Baptist, Mt Carmel and the Chapel of St John the Divine in Champaign.
  • Lunch from La Bamba, eaten at home.
  • Responded to a handful of emails.
  • Took a call from a lay leader in one of our congregations.
  • Attended to some Nashotah House-related business.
  • Registered for a November conference of bishops of small dioceses. Partly as a result of what happened at last year's incarnation of that conference, the Diocese of Springfield's clergy health insurance premiums have been lowered nearly 15%. I can't guarantee that kind of return on the investment every year, but it seems worthwhile going again.
  • Did some scheduled maintenance on my personal organization systems (Evernote, Google Calendar).
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday


  • Out of the house in time for an 8am dental hygiene appointment. ("Good morning, Bishop Martins. How are you?" "I'm at the dentist. How do you think I am?" ...said with a smile, of course). My teeth and gums seem to be happy, which makes them happy, which makes me happy.
  • Morning Prayer (memorized short form) in the car en route to the office.
  • Connected by phone with Bishop Salmon, Dean of Nashotah House, in a (successful) attempt to arrange a meeting next week when I am in the area for Bishop Roger White's funeral.
  • Took care of some additional Nashotah House business.
  • Took a phone call from one of the lay leaders in one of our parishes regarding some emerging issues of concern. 
  • Revised the draft of my homily for 9 September (Trinity, Mt Vernon).
  • Began writing a fairly extensive Ad clerum (letter to the clergy), mostly regarding implementation guidelines for the General Convention resolution that permits use of the 1979 eucharistic lectionary as an alternative to the currently official Revised Common Lectionary.
  • Lunch from Taco Gringo (it's been a while!), eaten at home.
  • Finished the letter to the clergy I began before lunch.
  • Conceived and hatched a sermon for St Matthew's Day, which will be celebrated when I visit St Matthew's, Bloomington on 23 September.
  • Took two phone calls from parish clergy over various matters of concern.
  • Wrote greetings to clergy and spouses with milestone events in September.
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday (St Augustine)

  • Usual AM routine; Morning Prayer in the cathedral (after conversation with the Archdeacon over various pending concerns).
  • Prepared an email for Sue to send to our widest diocesan list with the sad news of the death last night of Bishop Roger White, who served two parishes of this diocese during the 1970s.
  • Responded to a couple of emails that I received yesterday.
  • Met with exemplary deacon Martha Bradley, who has served with distinction for 25 years at St Paul's Cathedral (having been a member thereof since 1952). We discussed her discernment that the time may have come to lay aside regular Sunday liturgical duties.
  • Created a skeletal structure for this Sunday's homily at Trinity, Lincoln.
  • Lunch at home (leftover chile relleno from last night--a real treat).
  • Responded to more of yesterday's emails.
  • Scanned and discarded a considerable quantity of material that had accumulated since I left for General Convention at the beginning of July. Interestingly, this included more than a dozen business cards that I picked up either in Indianapolis or in Bangkok. It was cause for reflection on the range of people I have met recently.
  • Took a careful look at all areas of the diocesan website. Made a list of areas that need attention. Plotted action steps to address those needs.
  • Reviewed an approved the draft of the journal of last year's diocesan synod.
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Lord's Day (XIII Pentecost)

Out the door of the Hilton Garden on O'Fallon right at 7:45, aiming for an 8:15 arrival at St Bartholomew's, Granite City, ahead of an 8:45 Eucharist. A construction detour made me miss my target by about five minutes, but no harm done. Celebrated with the staunchly faithful regular congregation at St Bart's, observing their feast of title. Yummy egg and sausage casserole with buffalo wing sauce (the latter touch just for YFNB) served at coffee hour, with a very productive plenary conversation about some of the issues facing this small Eucharistic Community.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday (St Louis, King of France)

Up and at 'em on the early side, in time to his the road before 7:30 in order to arrive in Salem in time to  begin the evangelism seminar (aka "Proclaiming Good News 101") by the scheduled 10am start time. We succeeded, and it was a very good day, with nearly thirty people in the room. In addition to St Thomas', there were representatives of St John's in Centralia, Trinity in Mt Vernon, and St John's in Albion. We concluded at 3:40, twenty minutes ahead of schedule. Carl Slaughter on Alton Parish, our unofficial diocesan videographer, we there ahead of me, set up with no fewer than three concurrent camera angles. Once he does his editing magic, it will all be up on the website.

After taking leave of Salem, I pointed the YFNBmobile westward to O'Fallon, where I'm checked in at the Hilton Garden, having caught The Bourne Legacy at the local cineplex. Tomorrow it's off to St Bartholomew's, Granite City, for an 8:45am liturgy.

Friday, August 24, 2012

St Bartholomew


  • In the office at the usual time. Went straight to prepping for the 10am Diocesan Council Eucharist. Able to draw off what I had already worked on for Sunday at St Bart's, Granite City in pulling together a homily. This, in turn, will help me with my Granite City prep. Synergy!
  • Just time for an abbreviated morning office while seated at my desk before heading to the cathedral sacristy to get ready for Mass.
  • Following the Holy Mysteries, we convened the regular quarterly meeting of the Diocesan Council. It was productive on many fronts, not the least of which was getting the proposed 2013 budget passed and ready for approval at Synod next month. Springfield is a lean diocese, staff-wise and program-wise, but, within that context, I am more than pleased with the state of our financial health. And we're still managing to do some remarkable things.
  • Lunch at the Dublin Pub with Fr Halt, wearing his Spiritual Vitality Team hat and his rector-of-parish-hosting-synod had. 
  • Met with Fr Mark Evans, rector of Lincoln, to discuss the details of my visit to Trinity Church next weekend.
  • Surveyed the Sunday homily landscape for the next three months, and created the appropriate tasks to show up in my system on the appropriate days.
  • Did an Ignatian-style mediation on the gospel passage appointed for St Bartholomew's Day (the Johannine passage where Jesus meets Nathaniel).
  • Evening Prayer in the office.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday


  • In the office around 8:45, as usual. Spent an hour catching up with the Archdeacon on a range of administrative and pastoral matters (we haven't seen one another since driving home together from General Convention on July 12). 
  • Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Processed some emails. Conferred with the Administrator on various details concerning the upcoming annual Synod of the diocese.
  • Created a first draft working outline of my homily for this Sunday (celebrating St Bartholomew's Day at St Bartholomew's Church in Granite City).
  • Lunch at home.
  • Attended to some details concerning a planned conference for clergy and musicians in November.
  • Exchanged emails with the Bishop of Chicago. Delighted that he will be able to attend to Friday session of our annual Synod in October.
  • Processed another group of emails. This was a frustrating day. Little things kept popping up that made it hard to get traction on my task list.
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral at 4pm. Then home to change clothes and hit to road to Normal. A parishioner at Christ the King, Normal had several weeks ago invited me to be his guest at a minor league baseball game there. So I joined a group of several members of the Episcopal Parish of McLean County (aka Christ the King, Normal and St Matthew's, Bloomington) to watch the Normal Cornbelters take on the Traverse City Beach Bums. Minor league baseball is fun. The players, all between 19 and 27, are barely paid minimum wage. They do it for the love of the game, and the remote prospect that a scout might see them and sign them to a contract with an actual major league farm team. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

.... and we're back (Wednesday)

  • Glad to embrace "the life and work of a bishop" (to use the language of the canons) with enthusiasm and gratitude after a wonderful vacation. I actually cheated and reconnected to my diocesan email account a few hours early yesterday. This resulted in my spending the entire evening processing my suddenly swollen Inbox. Happy to do it, though.
  • Task planning for the week and day at home. Reconnected with Sue and Molly in the office. Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Spent most of the morning processing the two mountains of correspondence, advertisements, solicitations, announcements, greeting cards, catalogs, newsletters, and sundry other items that covered the working space on my desk.
  • Interrupted that activity for a 45-minute conversation with a couple of lay leaders of one of our Eucharistic Communities regarding some emerging concerns and opportunities.
  • Lunch at home.
  • Processed some more email.
  • Made phone calls to two of our clergy who are facing challenging personal and family health issues.
  • Fleshed out and fine-tuned my working outline for this Saturday's teaching marathon at St Thomas', Salem ("Proclaiming Good News 101"). 
  • Spoke by phone with Father Coleman in Belleville regarding plans for a November celebration of the 30th anniversary of the partnership between St George's and St Mark's ELCA congregation, which meets at St George's.
  • Answered couple of more emails that had arrived during my vacation.
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral.
If you haven't noticed yet, our new diocesan website is up and running. I don't think it's a candidate for any awards, and still needs a lot of tweaking, but it is light years better than what we had before. Check it out.

Also ... if you would like to taste the spiritual and theological fruit of my vacation reflections, catch this post from my "real" blog, which went up last Sunday night.