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Bishops on retreat at Kanuga

The bishops of the Episcopal Church are meeting at Kanuga for their Spring retreat. Bishop Dan of Nevada blogs on their first day:

After a day of training in coaching skills (led by Eric Law, ed.note) – mostly listening well and asking provocative questions – we are on to Day 1 of House of Bishops proper. The theme: FOSTERING A CULTURE OF CURIOSITY, COMPASSION, AND COURAGE IN CHRIST…

Synopsis of the day: I feel as if I have been whopped upside the head by a moral 2 x 4 – but in a good way. Sometimes the Church has to get our attention.

Following table check-ins, we prayed the daily office leading into a Meditation on Race/ Color by Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta. Bishop Wright is always profound and engaging as I know well from my years in Atlanta and as many of us know from his presentation at last year’s conference of The Episcopal Network For Stewardship. I can’t summarize his excellent speech, but there are some points that stuck in my mind. The racial divisions in our nation are deep, painful, and destructive. To the extent the ball is in White America’s court, there are two responses that are worthless copouts (Rob put it more eloquently): denial and self-flagellating guilt. What we need instead is action that “respects the dignity of every human being” and shares power accordingly….

The most important piece of the discussion in my mind is the school to prison pipeline. We now have more African American men in prison than we ever had in slavery. I confess I have not yet read the seminal book on this subject, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. http://newjimcrow.com But this seems to be a must for anyone who wants to understand American society in our time.

The Episcopal Office of Public Affairs has a press release here.

Morning Prayer was followed by a stirring meditation by Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta on Race/Color. Bishop Wright challenged the House to a holy curiosity that opens ourselves to our own inner struggles with difference and motivates us to confront the structures of racism in the world.

The Rev. Canon Eric Law of Los Angeles set the theme for the table conversations and discussion by asking the bishops to name challenges and affirmations, based on the theme.


posted by Ann Fontaine

Image from Kanuga.org