Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Met with the Bishop.

Emory's out. The Director of Anglican studies is going on sabbatical for a year or two.

So that points me squarely to Sewanee. It is the kind of school I want, the right distance to family (or is it the right distance from?), and an Episcopal Seminary. It is important that I get an Episcopal immersion, not growing up Episcopal...

Here's what's on my mind about this meeting with the bishop: I didn't really want to go to Emory. No doubt it is a fine school but I didn't want to be a commuter student. I want to live the seminary life: daily worship, close knit student body, other priest wanna-bes, etc. I'm not going after an academic degree, I'm going to grow a priest!

Check it out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Father Dan, now Bishop Edwards

The first priest that I ever befriended is now the Bishop of Nevada. He's the bald guy, with his back to the camera. Dan Edwards and I used to talk daily, as my classroom at Montessori of Macon was right down the hall from his office.

Father Dan had everything to do with bringing me back to the Church and back to Christianity. He taught me that prayer is meditation and meditation, prayer.

Thank you Father Dan!

Also pictured, presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferets-Schori: Bishop Alexander, Atlanta; and second from left is PJ Woodall, former interim priest for Nativity.

What is...?

A bishop.

I'll talk about what a bishop is in the Episcopal Church. A bishop is the fourth in the four orders of ministry. The first three are the laity (regular folks), the deacons (more on them later), the priests, and the bishops.

I like to think of a bishop as the pastor for an unusual church. The bishop's church is the diocese. A diocese is a collection of churches, each church is a member of that diocese. Each church is an individual that is part and parcel of that larger community.

The current bishop of Atlanta is Neil Alexander. I meet with him on Jan. 17th to finalize the end of my aspirant stage and start the postulancy stage and talk seminary. A bishop has his job for nine years.

I guess you could say that the job title of a bishop is to maintain unity in the diocese. To do this, the bishop travels alot. I once heard the bishop say, "To be bishop you must love God and like to drive.

Above the diocesan bishops is the Presiding Bishop. The presiding Bishop is Katherine Jefferts-Schori, she was elected (by all the other bishops) in 2006. The Episcopal church does not have arch-bishops. Katherine is the bishop for the episcopal church in the U.S.

Bishops ultimately attempt to hold the union, or communion, of the church. This communion has been strained over the past few years, especially between the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and the Anglican Church. It's gotten so bad that some churches and even a few dioceses(local collection of churches) have sought out other bishops to give them oversight. There is a serious canon violation (canon's are church laws)when another bishop comes into another country to give oversight. More on this later.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Trivia Question #1

Who were the hermits of the early church who lived atop columns? The answer will come in a few days, feel free to post your answer.

Church can be Ugly

I serve on the vestry of my church. For an episcopal church, a vestry is like a board of directors. So we talk alot about budgets and how to keep the church afloat. It's pretty dry stuff, and can sometimes be disheartening. I see alot of people wanting everything from the community but giving not much except a seat on every other sunday. It's hard not to be cynical. I think to the early church where everything was held in common, The "priest" pretty much divvied up all the goods according to need, how wonderfully communistic! How nice that'd be now. Nowadays we deal with the IRS, planned giving, "giving units" (as opposed to people who try to tithe).

But it's been good, I'm learning alot. My priest said that she could write a book about the things you don't get taught in seminary. I'm glad I'm seeing the ugly side now and not later. Funny thing about the word disillusion. It implies being freed from illusion, we usually frame disillusionment in a chagrinned manner. Currently I'm having my rosy glasses taken off...and smashed on the ground