all saints, honiara

all saints, honiara

I am three today. Three years on in a new identity – bishop.

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. )

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.



  1. Leaving jobs for the new boy on the block when he is not present does not sound very professional or caring. Andrew should be left alone for a few years to settle in and experience Waiapu first before stepping out in to the wider communion.

    1. Bosco, The rubric was brought to my attention, along with many other good things, by Bishop Neil Alexander. Bishop Neil was the Bishop of Atlanta and has now returned to academia as the Dean of Sewanee Seminary. (Neil’s doctorate is in liturgy.) As indicated in my blog I have found much to reflect on in a personal sense.
      Blessings, +jim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s