Denver is 5,200 ft above sea level. Visitors to Denver are warned to take various precautions about the altitude. Quito is 9,200 ft above sea level -- 4,000 ft farther into the sky. That takes a little getting used to. I am over my illness now and have moved on to the altitude issue.
Given my marginal health, I did not go on the field trip to the Colombia border on Saturday. It was 11.5 hrs on a bus. The people in Tucan were grateful for the visit of those bishops and spouses who made the journey. But I passed.
My Saturday began congenially. I had breakfast with the music leader for the House of Bishops, Dent Davison. He is at the Cathedral in Chicago these days, but it turns out he grew up in Hawaii. We talked about our plans in Nevada for Filipino/ Pacific Islander Ministries, and he told me about a wonderful resource of traditional Christian music from the Pacific. The day ended with a dinner outing of the Province 8 bishops and spouses/partners. As providence would have it, I sat across the table from the bishop of Hawaii, who serves all the way to Guam. So we did more brainstorming about how to connect with our new mission field, Pacific Islanders living in the desert. In between, I caught up on paper work and church e mails. A very productive day!
This morning was the most important thing we have done so far. We went to Church! That is always the most important thing to do, but today it was even more so. The Diocese of Ecuador Central has a history of big time trouble. In March, the Standing Committee in one fell swoop ousted the bishop. Since then there have been threats of violence -- conflict like we do not see in USA church life. Bishop Katharine and her staff have been negotiating a resolution to the crisis. Today both sides celebrated Holy Communion together. Bishop Katharine preached a wise, calm, faithful sermon directly into the conflict. The antagonists met at the same altar because we were here. What Woody Allen said about life is definitely true about episcopacy. "90 per cent is just showing up."