It’s 8:45 on Saturday morning and the first person for the bishop chats has arrived. For the next three plus hours, I engage with a wide variety of individuals and groups on various topics – all of their own choosing.
Shortly after noon I leave St Mark’s Cathedral to head to St. Christopher’s in Roseville. Billed as Deacon Discernment Day, I have the opportunity to individually greet folks as they enter a room that is soon filled with energy, activity and excitement. This is followed by a chance to give the “big picture” of both the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and the emerging mission-discernment-formation-empower process. After a short Q and A, it’s out the door.
Arriving at 3:15 at Gethsemane, I find that there are already folks on the court ready to “Play basketball with the bishop!” It’s a fun group of all sizes, shapes and ages from a number of Metro faith communities.
After shoveling down 2 pieces of pizza with my fellow teammates at 5:45, I am back on the road heading toward St. Stephen’s, Edina. I know how to get there, but anyone in the Twin Cities could have found it from the glow of energy being generated by this packed house of middle schoolers.
A very brief presentation, a chance to individually meet every young person and to find out where they hail from, and an old favorite camp grace is followed by delicious lasagna. Afterward, the young people at Winterfest are off for games and shortly after 7:00pm, I am heading home. I am just in time to put the finishing touches on tomorrow’s sermon and to prepare for the next day which would see me out the door at 6:00am and have me return well after 7:00pm.
Thus begin the first days of the Bishop’s Area Gatherings. They are unquestionably full.
Full, not only in activities and gatherings, but also filled with wonderful opportunities to be Engaged in God’s Mission with the good folks of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota!
All of which I find incredibly invigorating.