Giving thanks

For a brief moment the question caused me to pause… “How is your experience as the Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota?”  But almost immediately, the word exhilarating came to mind.

On deeper reflection, I was able to articulate that I feel this way because I not only have an incredible sense of being blessed but I’m also filled with gratitude for the opportunity to serve as your Bishop.

Every single day I bear witness to Minnesota Episcopalians using their gifts for ministry — from our team of Missioners, clergy and lay leaders, to our children, youth and elders. And likewise, each day I’m thankful for the call to minister as your Bishop.

This Thanksgiving, it is with particular gratitude that I bear witness to the gifts of one of our leaders, the Very Rev. Spenser Simrill, who has served for the past 10 years as Dean of St. Mark’s Cathedral, Minneapolis.

As you may be aware, Spenser resigned as Dean just last week to spend time with his family and discern what’s next as he begins this next chapter of his ministry. Over the past decade, Spenser has used his gifts of warmth, compassion and care for literally thousands in this community and — though his work for the Anglican Communion — has touched many around the world.

Our Gospel  for this last Sunday proclaimed, “For I was hungry and you gave me food,  I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (MT 25).

Time and time again, from the streets of Minneapolis to small villages in Cuba, I have been blessed to witness Spenser’s gifts for ministry as he embodies these words from scripture. I am truly thankful for the opportunity I have had to serve with Spenser. Together, he and I share the hope that in some capacity we will have the opportunity to serve together again in the future.

This Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for you, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. It is a blessing beyond measure to be a part of sharing your gifts for ministry. In fact, it’s exhilarating!

May God bless you this Thanksgiving!

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