Thursday, July 9, 2009

Staying Together

"I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay together in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."Luke 24:49
I fly very early today to join the throng at General Convention in Anaheim. This is the first time since I was elected bishop that I will not stay the whole time. I am going only for a few days so I can return to New York and begin my work in All Saints' Church. Though I have mixed feelings about being there for only part, I know that God will grant me wisdom to do those things which are necessary. Staying together with my brothers and sisters in Anaheim is very important. Staying together as a family is also very important and is my first ministry. Being with the people who have committed to join me in ministry is crucial. And so I pray for God's guidance and power as I do a new thing and live a different way of being a bishop in this church. As I fly I will think of those disciples who waited together for power from on high. When Pentecost came they set out and ended up in very different places and with very different understandings of ministry and the church. It has always been this way. May God bless us all as we attempt to minister faithfully and stay together compassionately.

Dear God, we are called and sent
on different roads, facing east or west
some north or south, companions on the way
but not the leader, nor the guide.

Be our leader, be our guide for we are lost
without you, without your daily touch.
Like the first disciple we argue and dispute
we are confused and frightened alone
and in holy company.

Be our compass, our north and south
our magnet and center so that we together
might find your way and your gift of faith.

Help us very ordinary humans
to be extraordinary disciples who stay together
so that love might flourish in the city,
so that hope might blossom in the desert.

We ask this all in the faith of the trinity
one God, staying together for us, for ever. Amen.

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