Bishop's Writing / Enews August
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am joining with many of my colleagues in authorizing Creation Season 2023: Celebration Guide for Episcopal Parishes, materials created by the Diocese of Massachusetts (Sept 1 - Oct 4). The use of these materials can help us grapple prayerfully with the stewardship of creation God has given us. The materials may be downloaded here: https://newcreationliturgies.org/seasonofcreation/ or from the Episcopal Church/Creation Care website. I commend these materials for your use, in whole or in part. You need no further authorization from me.
We are living in a fierce time, a time when nothing seems simple or straightforward. Everywhere we turn there are complications and conflicts. It’s gotten to the point that some of us are taking a sabbath from the daily news. It’s become a psychological and emotional burden just to stay well informed. We often feel overwhelmed or helpless wondering what we can do or how we can provide security and stability for ourselves and those we love.
In such a time, it’s important to have a sense of agency – that there are things we can do and that they matter. I think celebrating the creation season may help with this. We can remember that life and this beautiful world are gifts. We can remember that the care of life has been given into our hands. We can remember that all life on this earth, this island of life in the universe, is interconnected and mutually dependent, and as we exercise care for the world, we care for ourselves. We can remember in prayer the creatures who depend on us, who suffer from the ways we live. We can remember that God is faithful and has been caring for this universe from before time and continues with us now.
We can also deliberately plan to spend some time outdoors in the beauty of creation. I’ve just returned from a bit of vacation where I spent much of my time working in a friend’s yard and garden. I got a lot of fresh air, a bit of sun, and dirty hands. I was struck by the intensity of the sun, the freshness of the breeze, and the heart-stopping beauty of flowers and trees, earth, and sky. My soul was refreshed, and my heart was energized for the work of stewardship that lies ahead.
Even if you can’t get away on vacation right now, you can take time for a walk or simply sit and look. God’s gift of creation is all around us, in both country and city. Just a few minutes every day looking at what God has done is renewing.
Finally, I hope you are saying your prayers. Not so much to tell God what is up. I think God is on top of that. Rather, to listen to what God might be saying to you about your stewardship of creation, the world God has given into YOUR hands. Taking time every day for a few moments of reflection might rekindle a sense of purpose and of hope.
Speaking of hope, those who are wondering how to respond to the devastating wildfire that destroyed much of the historic community of Lahaina on Maui, Hawaii, are asked to contribute to Episcopal Relief and Development. Episcopal Relief and Development is in touch with Bishop Fitzpatrick and will be assisting in rebuilding the community and Holy Innocents Church, which was destroyed. Our gifts are signs of our care, our presence with the victims, and our hope for new life.
As the BCP puts it: O heavenly Father, who has filled the whole world with beauty: open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness, for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
There is no new information regarding the Title IV investigation of Bishop Singh. The Intake Officer continues to be available to talk with any who wish to talk with her. I continue to be available for anyone who has a concern they might wish to talk about.
Some of you may have seen extensive and accurate reporting on the Title IV investigation from Religion News Service. That reporting continued to elucidate the complaints made by Bishop Singh’s family regarding Bishop Singh and the response of the Presiding Bishop and the Bishop for Pastoral Development. There was, however, no new information about the progress of the investigation. It’s my sense that we won’t hear anything for a while yet. Please keep all involved in your prayers.