Six years ago today I was consecrated a bishop in the Episcopal Church. It was a wonderful celebration, held at St. Paul's College in Virginia and I was overwhelmed by the kindness of supporters, well wishers and family. It was a perfectly beautiful spring day in Virginia. I have always been grateful to God and the people of Southern Virginia for being called as their Suffragan Bishop. My love for them has not diminished in the least. I had to make choices for my family and for my integrity that would lead me away from that place. I had to step away so that healing and transformation could occur and it was hard. But I will never forget, regret or be anything but completely grateful for that day and those wonderful people.
I particularly remember several young female students from St. Paul's who wanted my autograph. They told me that as a Indigenous woman, I was a symbol for them that they too could take a leading role in the life of the church. These women are my mountain top experiences -and are the ones who I recall when the days are bleak. These past weeks and months, as doors have closed, I have felt bleak at times. But those beautiful young faces always come to mind. My daughters always come to mind. What I do, I do for ones such as these and not for myself alone.
I pray on this day we can all remember those places, times and especially people who have been mountain top experiences for us. God gives us their presence, their visitations, so that we can make it through times such as these. God visits us with angels and humans who hold up a vision reflected through the eyes of God. A place where all people have a seat at the table. A place where our hearts can burn with the love of God and one another. A place where Christ walks the road with us, shares our simple meals and offers us truth and integrity, despite the world's greed. May we all keep our eyes on that vision - a vision where all of creation reflects the beautiful and generous welcome of God.