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Getting it right

Lent began last Wednesday, and Sunday will be the first Sunday of the season.  At this point in the 40-day journey many of us had ashes imposed upon our foreheads and heard the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  Now we’re struggling with Lenten themes that range from what we will give up and sacrifice to enhance our spiritual discipline to the bracketed voting for “Lent Madness” to see which of our favorite saints will arrive at Holy Week and Easter wearing the proverbial “Golden Halo.” 

For me my Lenten discipline actually began last Sunday on the Last Sunday of Epiphany.  In the course of a congregational visitation I was with the wonderful folks at St. James’ Church, Portsmouth, Virginia.  After the worship was over I engaged in a parish hall conversation with about 25 members of that congregation.  What started out as a general Q&A dialogue quickly turned into something much more when we began to discuss the state of racial reconciliation in ou…

Recent sermons

Sermons given at St. James', Portsmouth on March 3 and at Christ & St. Luke's, Norfolk, on Ash Wednesday are available on the diocesan website.

Reflections upon congregational development

The past couple of weeks have been busy times for my Canons (Charles Robinson, Ed Tracy & Lynn Farlin) and for me as we have been very focused upon our efforts to do congregational development.  As you may be able to tell, congregational development and congregational recasting has been and will be one of my highest priorities during my tenure as your bishop.
We took two road-trips to meet in person with congregation members and leaders to discuss their concerns and to challenge them to new possibilities.  Our first visit was to Trinity Church in South Hill two weeks ago, and then this past week we went up to Onancock on the Eastern Shore to meet with lay and ordained leaders.  Both of these gatherings were full of conversations about our Christian identity and how our perception of that identity will or will not provide us with an array of opportunities to move into the future. 
Our basic message has been that if we are overly focused upon our past we risk falling into the trap of…