A friend gave me a lovely bottle of wine. I’ll save it for a couple more years; it needs to mellow some. Me too.
I looked back through some photos and I have been part of some wonderful moments as a result of being ‘in the pink.’ Confirmations stand out. Many moments for which I gave thanks to God, and thanks to colleagues/ the people of God.
The photo attached is of a statue outside the bishop’s chapel in Honiara. I was there recently. The photo seems apposite because … well, I am constantly told that I am not good at smiling, and the crozier is busted (I have lost a segment of mine and so don’t have one anymore), and …
A feature of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal) is that it has a rubric (instruction) that the ordinand in an episcopal ordination is “vested in a rochet or alb, without stole, tippet, or other vesture distinctive of ecclesiastical or academic rank or order.” I take this rubric to contain an important truth: that one sets aside one’s priesthood to become a bishop. It is a truth that I failed to notice carefully enough when I was ordained bishop three years ago. I have found the letting go of an identity that I once had a deeply challenging part of taking up a new one.
I think the most pressing challenge is the daily and long-term challenge of leadership. In recent weeks I have found Ronald Heifetz’s discussion of the distinction bettwen authority and leadership a very helpful one; likewise his distinction between ‘adaptive’ and ‘technical’ leadership. (For those who don’t know his work the following lecture gives a nice little introduction. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfLLDvn )
The church faces huge challenges and our capacity to face these challenges depends on the leadership that we offer each other. I pray for the strength and courage that i\we all need.