Arriving early at the Episcopal Cathedral in Havana with 17 (6 clergy and 11 lay ) of my colleagues from the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, I was quickly whisked away by our Presiding Bishop. With significant enthusiasm in her voice she said, “Brian, there is something I want to show you!”
And thus began a tour through the bishop’s office, home, sacristy and cathedral. All places I had been before, yet the purpose of this tour and ++Katherine’s enthusiasm was to show me the numerous pictures and plaques of Minnesota’s first bishop, Henry Benjamin Whipple. As you may know, he is held in great reverence in Cuba as the instigator of The Episcopal Church in Cuba.
Shortly after my tour by our Presiding Bishop, I began to move through the very large crowd that had gathered this day for the installation of Bishop Griselda. Numerous times, as people stopped to greet me, they would look down at my pectoral cross. To a person, a smile would come upon their face. Each, clearly, immediately knew that the cross was Bishop Whipple’s and that I was the Bishop of Minnesota.
I must confess, it was an amazingly proud moment. To be wearing Bishop Whipple’s cross, to be the Bishop of Minnesota, to be joined by such a significant group from our church was truly a blessing.
Our shared history and our emerging partnership in mission with the
Episcopal Church in Cuba is incredibly grace filled.