Monday, July 9, 2012

Bishop's Update: The community of prophets and fearless love

Yesterday, our Presiding Bishop preached a tremendous sermon. Note I don’t say that it was wonderful or that I loved her message. That implies comfort and no necessary response. While reading a sermon is not the same as receiving it, I urge you to read this remarkable statement of mission: General Convention July 8 Sermon: Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori | Episcopal Church.

The Presiding Bishop calls us as a church to the prophetic work of being messengers of God. As we held up our hands, she suggested that they were "a sacrament of God’s mission". And she added that
"These hands can be instruments of warning, or to comfort and strengthen the wavering. Hands can be instruments of prophetic communication, a gift only some among us have learned." She closes with the phrase "a whole community of prophets."

As I reflected on her call to the church, I realized that we really did get it right in our diocese when we articulated God’s mission in our diocesan community of prophets—a missionary community that dares to follow Jesus Christ in his life of fearless love for the world.

Fearless love: that is our prophetic witness in the world. 

 A couple of days ago, my colleague Greg Rickel, Bishop of Olympia, noted that we were not taking up collections at our Convention Eucharists. He challenged us to change that. Unfortunately, the machinery of the General Convention is not as nimble as they would like to have you think. We were given all the reasons why a collection could not be taken. 

 Our deputation responded to Greg’s suggestion that we put our offering at the base of the baptismal font at the back of the worship area. Here is his excellent blog: and at the right you can see his photograph. 

 What you will not be able to see in the picture is what our deputation and others from our diocese did with their offering. We wrote the words "fearless love" on the bills. I am imagining these two prophetic words not touching the hands of all who use those bills in the commerce of their lives. Indeed, fearless love is the currency of the realm of Jesus, as the Presiding Bishop said “the world of God’s dream.”

Bishop Mathes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

reading the sermons; watching and listening on air, seeing active and visable stewardship at the base of the font...all good news and lots of work to do...alleluia!