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What Bishops Do – compassion edition

What Bishops Do – compassion edition

Ali Symons briefly sketches Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, on a recent trip to the Church of Melanesia in the Solomon Islands.

I was so sick on our Fiji stopover. There we were in the Nadi airport, on our way to the Solomon Islands, and I was throwing up in every available receptacle, excusing myself from my coworkers because, of course, this was a business trip. What could be more awkward?

But Fred found me. I was at a low point, crouched on a curb between two taxis, and then there was the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, sitting down beside me, bringing some tissues, his face all kindness, his brow deeply furrowed.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has an antenna up for the vulnerable.

Reading this reminded me of the care and support I received yesterday in Baltimore from Northwestern Pennsylvania’s bishop, The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, when I suffered an unexpected moment of disorientation and nausea after giving a presentation at the Episcopal Church Building Fund’s “Buildings for a New Tomorrow” conference. I rarely have to play hurt, and my ego suffered more than my body, but Bishop Rowe just looked after me with equanimity and grace, insisting that No, this is really no big deal.

But it was for me. I sort of have this thing about bishops caring for their clergy, but it doesn’t get a lot of play in my life. Our bishop back home in Iowa, Alan Scarfe, is a very caring man, but I try not to turn myself into a charity case in his presence. At any rate, it was good for this priest to have the support of a bishop at an odd moment so far from home.

Antennas up, please, for the vulnerable.


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Rod Gillis

Cute. The Canadian House of Bishops is meeting this week.

It will be interesting to see if the Anglican Journal provides something more than human interest coverage.

Ann Fontaine

I love these stories

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