[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in retreat at the Camp Allen Conference & Retreat Center in Navasota, Texas (Diocese of Texas) from March 21 to March 26. The following is an account of the activities for Monday, March 24.
The theme for the spring meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is How Shall We Sing The Lord’s Song in a Strange Land?
The day began with Morning Prayer. The reflection was presented by Bishop William Love of Albany. His message was that in one sense, even the House of Bishops may seem like a strange land. He then shared stories of ministries that have taken the love of Christ into places of violence, danger and profound need, as examples of singing the Lord’s song in a foreign land, even when it would have been easier to not go there, finding reasons not to go.
The emcee for the day was Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Los Angeles.
During the afternoon session, the [Anglican Communion] Network for Interfaith Concerns (NIFCON) presented an overview of current initiatives.
The bishops were given an overview of current bilateral dialogues between the Episcopal Church and other Christian denominations. We were then challenged by General Theological Seminary seminarian Lauren Holder of the Diocese of North Carolina to consider that interfaith issues are the cutting edge of the church in the 21st Century. After sharing best practices in interfaith relations around the small tables and in the larger group, it was underscored that this work is not just theoretical, but is crucial, urgent, and very personal. An example that came to the floor was the situation in Pakistan today.
As the day closed, the Rev. Margaret Rose, Episcopal Church ecumenical interreligious deputy to the Presiding bishop, led the bishops in a prayer for the human family from the Book of Common Prayer. It was a fitting conclusion to the afternoon’s work on interfaith relations.
Following dinner, the bishops will gather to discuss the fall House of Bishops meeting.