Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thursday

  • Early morning weights and treadmill.
  • Task planning and some email over breakfast.
  • Morning Prayer in the cathedral.
  • Spent some time preparing for a scheduled afternoon conference call.
  • Checked in by phone with a cleric of this diocese who was at the very moment receiving a chemotherapy treatment.
  • Fleshed out and refined the third of my three Quiet Day addresses for this weekend at St Stephen's, Providence (RI). Turned all three addresses into hard copy to take with me.
  • Responded to an inquiry from one of our parish clergy on how I would advise explaining the meaning of confirmation as it pertains to baptized adults who come to one of our parishes from another tradition. Here's the nub of what I said: "It's all about 'coming under the hands of a bishop.' Why? Because a bishop is a walking symbol (a 'wormhole' if you want to get all sci-fi) of the entire rest of the Church Catholic beyond the local parish--the nexus between the local and the universal. So, reaffirming baptismal vows is the core, yes, along with doing so in the presence of, and connecting with, the Bishop--saying, in effect, 'This is my wormhole to the rest of the Church. This is how I am called to be "in communion" with the Church scattered throughout the world, because I am hanging my hat spiritually with this community that is ordered by its relationship with this Bishop.' Of course, care must be taken not to personalize 'this Bishop'--a sword that can cut both ways--but keep the emphasis on the Bishop's *position* in a web of relationships that the confirmand is now part, a web that happens to include TEC, but is both smaller and larger than that. FWIW, people 'become Episcopalian' when you enter their name in the Parish Register as Baptized Members, recording when and where they were baptized. Nothing I do can make them any more or less Episcopalian than that."
  • Attended to an annual chore--a sort of master plan for sermon preparation for 2016 (which look rather different than it usually does on account of my sabbatical).
  • Lunch at home--leftovers.
  • Wrote notes to clergy and spouses with mid-to-late December birthdays. I've been falling short on my aspirations in this area lately, but the best I can do is usually the best I can do, right?
  • Took part in a conference call among the Communion Partner bishops.
  • Spoke by phone over a rather intensely sensitive matter with a Nashotah House stakeholder. After those two calls, I must say, my brain was pretty fried. It's what happens to introverts.
  • Made an initial fly-by of the readings for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, in preparation for preaching on January 17 and Christ the King, Normal.
  • Processed accumulated hard copy in my physical inbox--mostly by scanning, along with some task creation.
  • Evening Prayer in the cathedral.

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