The Profile for the X of Bishop has been posted and ECMN, and much of the Episcopal Church, is all abuzz. Personally, I continue to be grateful for the work of the Search Committee, the Transition Committee, and the Standing Committee. This is good and holy work. I will again invite us to continue to pray for all to open ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst.
This process also, to state the obvious, in many respects has long-lasting effects. The experience of the Walkabout was a very positive experience for my family and me. Spending countless hours on a bus across the great state of Minnesota provided the opportunity to create relationships that are still strong to this day.
This last week, one of the great present-day saints of ECMN, and an integral part of the last Episcopate transition, went on to God’s greater glory. From the time I met her in the search process until her death last week, Gail Sheddy from St. Mary’s, Ely, was a highly valued companion on my journey as the IX Bishop of Minnesota. It was not just me; it was my entire family who continued to be blessed by Gail’s deep care for all of us. Cards, calls, notes, texts, gifts for the four of us never waned over time. My personal favorites were her late night texts during basketball season cheering on her favorite team—Kansas—or ours—Gonzaga.
Gail was a faithful Minnesotan Episcopalian, serving both in her local faith community and in her neighborhood, on ECMN’s elected bodies, and as Deputy to General Convention. Yet my deepest experience of her faithfulness was lived out in her relationship with me and my family. One of my greatest prayers for my successor is that they will be as blessed with wonderful companions such as Gail for the journey.
Rest eternal grant to Gail, O Lord; And let light perpetual shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.