This morning finds me on an airplane winging my way back from a 48-hour trip to Austin, TX.
It was a whirlwind, but so worth it.
I was there to meet with the WEEL (Women Empowering Executive Leadership) project, a group of Episcopal women priests who are interested in discerning their gifts of leadership and ways to work towards gender balance in our House of Bishops. Many of our women bishops in the church have worked with other cohorts of this project- I was honored to meet with this new cohort group as they gathered for the first time. It is a project in which the group will get together several times over the next 12-18 months to support each other in discernment. The Rev. Helen Svoboda-Barber is the organizer of this initiative- she’s done a nice job getting a great group from all over the US in one room. (And she’s looking for others who are interested in future cohort groups. Let me know if you are interested, and I’ll connect you.)
So- even though I’m still young in my field (17 months a bishop, just 14 years ordained all together), I have been thrust into my “crone years.” I hardly feel ready. That’s the thing, isn’t it? I remember my mother, when she was 84, told me that she still felt 25 inside.
My own discernment for the episcopate was… on the fly, since I never imagined myself leaving my home and deep roots in CT (except, maybe, for that Maine island retirement for which I’m holding out) and, every day, I continue to discover what the calling of the episcopate is- and how God has laid a claim on me for these next several years. It is exciting and still, new every day.
And so- I’ll be answering emails in Chicago on my 3 hour layover, maybe treating myself to a little Netflix on the last leg home, and thinking of all of you with great affection- especially those in Central PA- who occupy my days and nights, are the focus of my energy and inhabit the beautiful place in which God is revealed to me, again and again, each day.
I am grateful for you, and hopeful for the Church.