Up and out the door (alone this time) in time for a 10am targeted arrival at Trinity, Mt Vernon and their regular 10:30am Eucharist. All went according to plan; actually, I got there about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Trinity has suffered the relatively unexpected death of two of their pillars in the past few weeks, and I was reminded how grateful I am that Springfield is a quite small diocese, which affords me the opportunity to develop a pastoral relationship not only with the clergy, but with the baptized faithful of the diocese, that is more than just theoretical or pro forma. It was good to be able to plausibly express my solidarity with their sense of loss. Fr Ben Hankinson is doing a superb job in his new cure.
After a delightful lunch of Mexican cuisine, and a chance to chill out a bit, the regular pre-synod meeting of the Eastern Deanery convened at 2pm, without some 18 people in the room, representing all the Eucharistic Communities of the deanery. The main focus of attention, of course, was the proposed 2015 budget, with the proposed addition of a staff position at the diocesan level, a Canon for Mission Development. Discussion was thoughtful, sincere, and honest. The Eastern Deanery includes some of our smallest congregations, but they seem ready to pull their weight in this endeavor.