House of Bishops Daily Account for March 8

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs — Press Release] The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in retreat at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, NC (Diocese of Western North Carolina) from March 8 to March 12.  The following is an account of the activities for Friday, March 8.

In their first meeting since General Convention in July 2012, a sense of unity and good spirit among the bishops was evident.

The theme for the spring retreat meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is Godly Leadership in the Midst of Loss. The schedule calls for prayer-filled sessions, and bishops participate in daily Bible study, reflection and worship.

Morning Prayer included a reflection on Godly Leadership in the Midst of Acute Loss, presented by Bishop Laura Ahrens, Diocese of Connecticut. Bishop Ahrens spoke  powerfully of her experience as a pastor and church leader in the days following the tragic shootings in Newtown. “There’s no one to impress when your heart is broken,” she said. “The cross reveals violence and speaks forgiveness offering new life. The love revealed in the life and witness of Jesus speaks to a peace.”

The emcee for the day was Bishop Dean Wolfe, Diocese of Kansas.

The afternoon was devoted to a presentation and panel discussion on Gun Violence. Vincent DeMarco of Johns Hopkins University and national coordinator of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence made a presentation.  DeMarco invited the bishops to bear witness to the need to confront violence in our society. He listed four characteristics of the church which contribute to the power of its voice: moral authority, grass roots presence, diversity of its membership, and the media pays attention to religious voices.

The participants in the panel discussion had a variety of experiences but a common commitment to ending violence. The panelists were: Bishop Mark Beckwith, Diocese of Newark; Bishop Mariann Budde, Diocese of Washington; Bishop Ian Douglas, Diocese of Connecticut; Bishop Ed Konienczny, Diocese of Oklahoma; Bishop Jeff Lee, Diocese of Chicago, and Bishop Eugene Sutton, Diocese of Maryland.

The panelists shared personal stories and pastoral observations on various aspects of guns and issues that are associated with them. Following the presentations, the bishops engaged in table talk focusing on three questions: What might we do together as bishops of The Episcopal Church to challenge gun violence? Short term? Long term?

Bishop Steven Miller of Diocese of Milwaukee discussed a pastoral teaching on violence in our culture.

Bishop Laura Ahrens spoke about the March 25 Stations of the Cross in Washington DC. More information is forthcoming.

Bishop Jim Curry, Diocese of Connecticut, addressed advocacy opportunities.

Bishop Sutton talked about a nation-wide summit on gun violence that is being planned; date will be determined.

Alex Baumgarten of the Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations spoke about efforts underway in Washington DC.

The day concluded with the Opening Eucharist, with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori celebrating and preaching.

Media Briefers for Friday, March 8
Bishop Mary Glasspool, Diocese of Los Angeles.
Bishop Wayne Wright, Diocese of Delaware.

HOB on Twitter: #HOB2013

 

Comments

  1. Kimberly Clark says:

    You might try turning all your guns into garden tools yourselves. Actions speak louder than words. I wonder how many Episcopal Bishops own guns, go hunting, and do not see the correlation between power and gun violence. When will you take responsibility for the decline of the TEC? When will you listen and become transparant instead of hiding out in your fear. God loves all of us. Jesus is waiting with open arms. Be the leaders, be the change you want to see in the world and never doubt that a few people can change the world with god’s help, in fact that is the only thing that ever has. Live simply so other might simply live. Go in peace with a restful heart to love and serve the Lord.

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