In addition to the dramatic resolution of the crisis in Ecuador Central and taking the first step toward a major restructuring of the church, we adopted a pastoral teaching on the environment, particularly about how environmental degradation hurts the poor. A lot of the education sessions had been preparing us for this. It is incumbent on us to share what we learn. A pastoral teaching is one way to do that.
As I look back over my descriptions of this time with the House of Bishops, I see that I have missed much of the quality and feel of what has been happening. The missing pieces are obvious. I have not told you that we celebrated the Eucharist together every day, that we began each day with Morning Prayer followed by Bible Study, that we stopped in the middle of each day for Noonday Prayer, that we ended each day with Evening Prayer, or that we said Compline once. I did not tell you of the special prayers said at other times for people in need or the many prayers of thanksgiving. I did not tell you of the moments of silence for disaster victims, for family members who died this week, for bishops who died since our lasr meeting.
Scripture, prayer, and sacraments were, as always, the supporting structure of all we did. Simply, we continued in the fellowship of the Apostles, the breaking of bread, and in the prayers..
A bishop is a bishop not because of personal gifts and talents. Nor is it enough that a bishop be elected. A bishop has to be plugged into episcopacy. That starts when three or more bishops consecrate him or her. But it does not end there. The authentic exercise of episcopacy depends on connection to the gathered assembly of bishops. Each individual bishop represents this body, which is immensely wiser and holier than any of us could ever be on our own.