After a mostly sleepless night, I headed down to the hotel cafe. By God's good providence I ran into Kee Sloan there. Kee is suffragan bishop of Alabama and was recently elected in a landslide to become the next diocesan bishop. He and I were College for Bishops classmates and both have the awkward position of being moderates in a church that supposedly espouses moderation but has a hard time living into that identity in a polarized society. There is no one in the church I respect more than Kee for his kindness, courage, and honesty.
Morning Prayer was followed by Bible Study. We worked with how to follow Jesus' clear and emphatic teachings about social justice in our context. Jesus' teachings run contrary to the Spencerian political ideologies so popular in many of our congregations and many of our members trust Darwin and Spencer more than Christ and Moses in the public square.
I then bailed on the teaching session. It was on Scriptural Foundations of Liberation Theology. I have read quite a bit of that already and was unable to stay awake. Actually, I think the Latin American Liberation Theologians do a pretty good job with Scripture but Walter Brueggemann does it better. As you may have gathered we are focussing on Liberation Theology since it is so important here in Ecuador and throughout the continent. In short, I took a morning nap.
Over lunch, I joined about 10 bishops from wildly different diocese to discuss how best to do the ordination discernment process. There are plenty of good ideas around. This was interesting to me as we are working on refining our discernment process in Nevada. One thing we all agreed on today: we need a process that opens hearts and minds to find God's will. That means processes that generate wisdom and insight -- not yes or no judgments on people.
After lunch I met with Chaplain Simon who prayed for my healing and gave me good pointers on a healthier lifestyle. He is in D.C. now but hails from the Dominican Republic. He seems to have real ties to Haiti as well. At Morning Prayer he taught is the Haitian Creole liberation song O Bodye.