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House of Bishops retreat ends

House of Bishops retreat ends

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops, meeting at Camp Allen Conference & Retreat Center in Navasota, TX, concluded today.

Mary Frances Schjonberg of Episcopal News Service on the Bishops “growing together as a house more deeply”. Her report after Tuesday includes:

“You cannot work as effectively as colleagues if you are not also friends, and there is emotional and relational capital – spiritual capital – that’s generated in these gatherings that we depend on at other points in the life of the House of Bishops,” Diocese of Kansas Bishop Dean Wolfe, vice president of the House of Bishops, said March 25 during a telephone news conference.

Diocese of Eastern Michigan Bishop Todd Ousley, co-chair of the House of Bishops Planning Committee, agreed. “As we continue to embrace the spring meeting as a time of retreat and reflection, we’re growing together as a house more deeply in that embrace with each successive meeting,” he said.

The bishops, Ousley said, are “beginning to deepen our appreciation for one another” and, by way of hearing reflections from their colleagues, are building bridges between “our own personal spirituality and the spirituality of what it means to be a bishop serving in the church at this time.”

The meetings are now over, and the bishops are tweeting goodbye”

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Bruce Robison

I was struck by this from +Dan Martins’s blog:

“The time with colleagues was invaluable, and all the retreat meditations were very much worth hearing. What we did during the plenary sessions was, I have to say, disappointing. Some have called it a waste of time, and while I am not inordinately annoyed by what we’ve experienced, I don’t know that I could muster a case to challenge that assessment. The outside world thinks we talk deeply about important things, but the fact is, we don’t talk deeply about anything. We hear reports and talk superficially and briefly about lots of things, but, even then, not about the most important things we should be talking about. Over my three years in the House, we have sometimes skirted the edges of engaging the wrenching divisions this church has suffered over the last decade, but always in a technical and juridical context, and always with much more “reporting” than free-flowing discussion. We talk around and past the really important things, and distract ourselves with a host of secondary and tertiary concerns.”

Bruce Robison

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