Day 1 at House of Bishops began with the Celebration of Holy Communion specially remembering on this her commemoration date Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval eco-feminist mystic. If you are not familiar with Hildegard, you can get a thumbnail sketch of her remarkable life and accomplishments in Holy Women, Holy Men, but I recommend going a little deeper with Carol Lee Flinders’ book, Enduring Grace, which traces feminism to the teachings of Hildegard and 6 other medieval women mystics. http://www.bookish.com/books/enduring-grace-carol-l-flinders-9780060626457 Bishop Katharine preached about our need for an expanded imagination made possible by trust in God’s infinite creativity.
On the one hand, attendance is definitely down for this House of Bishops meeting. On the other, the people of Taiwan are deeply thankful to us for being here. Tonight the President of the Republic of China spoke at our opening reception saying how important our presence is to the Church here and to the country as a whole. He spoke movingly about how Taiwan, which received so much American aid for so long, has now moved from being an importer to an exporter of compassion. He told of Taiwan’s support for needy children around the world and their disaster response efforts in Haiti, Japan, and the Philippines. Taiwan’s new role in the world is indeed inspiring.
The other main event today was table check in-s. In small groups, we updated each other on our personal lives and on the ups and downs of our dioceses. It may not sound like a big deal but this is how we support each other and knit the church together.
Jet lag is still a factor; so bedtime is coming soon.