Showing posts from February, 2019

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…

Reflections upon the 127th Diocese of Southern Virginia Council

In my office I have a framed artistic photographic display of the doors to several churches in another diocese where I served.  Having had this photo art for several years, I have always thought of it as display of the ways we enter the places where our congregations gather.  However, after our Diocesan Council last weekend in Williamsburg, I am having second thoughts about that.  In view of the fact that we spent a great deal of time talking about and to lesser degree, though significant, strategizing about how we can pursue our Christian mission outside the walls of the church, perhaps I ought to think of the doors as the way we get out into our communities to do our work of mission.

As Mr. Gannon Sims and the Rev’d Bobbi Fitzhugh spoke so eloquently about Fresh Expressions, I could see the neural pathways of cognition begin to open for the people who were there to listen to and engage with them.  We are facing great opportunities for recasting the historic message of Jesus to those …