On Saturday afternoon, after all the excitement was over, Staci and I had the opportunity to spend some time on the phone with ECMN’s Bishop-elect, Craig Loya, and his wife Melissa. It was a warm and wonderful conversation as they shared their thoughts and emotions, and we reminisced with them about how we felt when our call came. We extended the full hospitality of ECMN, as well as a welcome to the House of Bishops and Bishop’s Spouse Network. I am so grateful for their willingness to follow the call of the Holy Spirit and bring their family to serve in our midst.
Earlier on that afternoon, I had reached out to the four other candidates. Offering your gifts in an episcopate transition process, whether you are elected or not, requires extreme vulnerability. ECMN was blessed to have five very faithful, gifted priests who offered themselves in this process. We owe each one of them gratitude and our ongoing prayers as they continue to live into their ministries.
As I stood before the gathered body of ECMN on Saturday, and as we sang the first hymn, my heart was filled with an incredible joy. Looking out on so many familiar, faithful faces, with whom I have been blessed beyond measure to share in God’s mission of the Beloved Community for the past decade, was honestly overwhelming. Especially on this critical day in the life of ECMN, to hold Holy space and invite the Holy Spirit to lead us, was a privilege, an experience of kairos time for me in my role serving in ECMN.
At 6:45 that morning, as I waited at the stoplight across from St. Mark’s Cathedral, I saw a number of your Missioners arriving to begin a day of heavy lifting. Their dedication in using their gifts over the last several months to prepare for our Electing Convention has been extraordinary. Likewise, the staff and volunteers of St. Mark’s have been incredibly dedicated partners in making Saturday what it was. And the devotion of the Transition Committee, not only in the planning of the Road Trip, but in partnering with St. Mark’s and your Missioners to plan and execute the Electing Convention, was incredible. Shortly after your Missioners arrived, a strong cadre from across ECMN showed up to pitch in. I once again felt such a strong sense of blessing for how resource-rich we are.
And on countless days leading up to Saturday I have given thanks for all those who have carried the heavy water that was needed leading up to the election: Standing Committee, Council, Search Team, Transition Team, Missioners, those who provided hospitality on the Road Trip and those known to God alone, all offering their gifts with the Holy Spirit to bring forth the election of the Xth Bishop. Deep, deep gratitude for ECMN. Your faithfulness to follow in the Way of Jesus, the Way of Love was made manifest on Saturday! Thank you one and all for being a blessing!
Stay tuned. Next week, I will answer one of the two questions that people across ECMN are consistently asking me!