Sunday, September 19, 2010

Live From Phoenix 4: Sunday In The Valley Of The Sun

I forgot to tell you the high point of yesterday. Actually, I didn’t tell you about our worship and Bible Study at all. The Bible Study was good. The worship was impaired by bad liturgy at the offices but was great at Eucharist, as always. That’s when the high point occurred.

Bp. Pryor of Minnesota read the Gospel with just the right pause and inflection. Jesus told this series of parables, all of which were pretty paradoxical and strange as parables tend to be, culminating in the parable of the net with all kinds of fish, then someone sorting the fish when they get to shore. “When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to the crowd, ‘Have you understood all of this?’ and they said, ‘Yes.’” That’s when the congregation erupted into laughter.

Today we worshiped at Trinity Cathedral, nice building, great organ, great choir – packed pews. Worship attendance had doubled in the past five years, thanks in no small part to the leadership of their tech-y social networking, blogging Dean, the physicist Nick Knisley.

After Eucahrist, there were wonderful Mexian folk dancers in the garden. The Cahtedral already had a good Latino/ Hispanic Ministry going. Then after the passage of AZ 1070, local law enforcement set up shop next to one of our smaller Latino/ Hispanic Congregations. That itimidated that congregation virtually out of operation. But now Latino/ Hispanic Ministries is all the livelier at the Cathedral. The performance was both beautiful and fun.

Tonight we met to go over the draft pastoral letter and teaching document on Immigration. The teaching document is particularly important because it deals with faith and citizenship in a nation. That has broader implications than immigration. The Roman Church is making a concerted effort to educate their congregations in “faithful citizenship.” For us, that means the Church does not tell the people who to vote for, but Christians should vote and their voting should be informed by their faith.

The conversation was intelligent and conscientious. I was once again impressed with the House of Bishops. There was a change in the quality of pastoral letters a few years ago. In the troubled 80s and early 90s, the bishops apparently liked to pound their chests and shout irreconcilably righteous stands on left and right. Then toward the beginning of this decade, the Bishops began reasoning together. It all goes back to the College For Bishops. Now we collaborate to try to say something to build up the Body of Christ, not tear it apart.


Ann said...

Thanks for blogging from Phoenix- giving us a little window into the work of bishops. Seems like some heavy stuff this time.

Bishop Dan said...

You know it has been heavy stuff almost every time. But i am just awed by how wisely and graciously this group deals with it.