Across the river and into farm country our journey took us. Our destination was Appleton, Wisconsin. Our purpose for the trip? To fulfill a part of my Episcopate obligation. More importantly though, I was there to be present with, pray with, and lay hands on my friend and colleague for close to 20 years, Matt Gunter, as Bishop VIII of Fond du Lac.
It was a grand occasion filled with a palpable feeling of hope and new life. The Very Rev. William Stafford asked the gathered faithful in his sermon, if there could be a better time for an ordination of a new bishop than Easter week. He went on to suggest that this day was a proclamation of the Good News!
Trekking back across the farm country, the fields just beginning to bring forth a hint of green, I felt a strong sense of the blessing of sharing the journey of faith with others, and I was grateful for the words of “Now the Green Blade Riseth” in my head:
“When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain, thy touch can call us back to life again, fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been: Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.” John Macleod Campbell Crum