Sometimes, a blog is just a log. A log of what I’ve been up to. Because… you might want to know? (If not, come back for the next entry, to be scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving)
A year ago, almost, (January 1) I started a diary. I have had diaries and journals through the years, but never have I consistently written every. single. day. Like, in the same book for an entire year. I’m not sure, really, what compelled me, but, I liked the idea of having a log that recorded my goings-on for an entire year. I write every morning while I am waiting for the coffee to drip. I write in pen, and without wearing my glasses. I don’t write for the craft of it (that would require erasers and spectacles) but I write to make a record. When my mother died, I found some of her journals and half-written poems, and sketch books and chapters of things. But nothing systematic. When my grandmother was in college (Wheelock) and dating my grandfather (Harvard) both of them kept daily diaries. At some point, my mother found them and created a small book that interlaced their two records- so, for example, there would be an entry of my grandfather’s, fretting about inviting my grandmother to a tea-dance… and then there would be an entry of my grandmother’s, fretting about what to wear to the tea-dance to which she’d just been invited. Priceless. The “interlaced” journal that my mom put together about my grandparent’s lives detailed their entire courtship and wedding and up to the birth (and death) of their infant daughter Harriet. “Our little Harriet is gone,” my grandfather wrote. I treasure this compilation that my mother created.
My “waiting for the coffee to drip” journal is not that charming or poignant. It is mostly worries, prayers, appointments, promises, gym routines, and lists of what I’ve made for dinner and where I drove in Pennsylvania. I haven’t even looked back at it these many months- I’m not sure, really, what I expect from it, but it’s there. A record. A log. For posterity, I suppose.
I did spend the last three nights in Baltimore, MD at the Maritime Training Institute. No, I am not getting my seafarer’s license. This facility is a favorite of The Episcopal Church to rent out for large meetings of church-folk through the course of the year. I‘ve been there twice before.
This time, I was there to begin work with the Interim Body of General Convention to which I’ve been appointed: “The Task Force to Assist the Office of Pastoral Development.” There are about a dozen of us from all over the country (Washington State! Colorado! Missouri! New York! New Hampshire! to name a few) who have been selected by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to do two important and large pieces of work: design a process that will screen candidates for ordination for issues with substance abuse and other addictive behaviors (and develop a protocol for those already ordained, who require support for their addictive behaviors) AND review, evaluate, re-design and expand the process for those discerning a call to the episcopate (becoming a bishop) and the election and transition process for bishops. It is a huge charge, but so important. The subcommittee that I’m working on is to develop resources and processes that will increase the diversity of the House of Bishops.
So- for three days we sat in a conference room, talked and tele-conferenced with the Bishop who inhabits the office that we are to support and assist, The Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, and began to get our hands around the work that we’ve been given to do. We have 2 years to do this work, which will end up, I hope, offering a number of fine resources to the Church.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to. Thinking, talking, praying, eating, talking some more, writing, a little sleeping and more meeting.
I got home just in time to welcome the snow to Central PA and have spent today watching the snow fall and catching up on Central PA work!
The year has a rhythm, doesn’t it? This week and last week seem to offer a bit of a lull before the beginning of the building drum roll of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christ the King Sunday… that yields to the steadier beat of Advent…. that comes to a great crashing of cymbals at midnight on Dec. 24thwhen we welcome the Prince of Peace.
Live on. Log on. See you in the pages.