Sunday, August 29, 2010

...and for the Diocese of Springfield

I had placed the Diocese of Springfield on St. Mary's daily corporate prayer list when it was publicly announced that I was a candidate to be a candidate back in June. When I was not selected as a candidate at the Synod in August, I removed the intercession from our community prayer list (though I continued, and continue, to pray).

Except. It seems as many times as I remove the Diocese of Springfield from a corporate prayer list, it pops up on another. At our 8 Eucharist this morning, once again, in the Prayers of the People, as we prayed for the Church, there those Illinois clergy and people were again, as our Deacon Russ prayed, ".......and for the Diocese of Springfield."

Since this week is when the three candidates will be walking about and meeting the folks in Springfield, I guess the Holy Spirit, once again, knew better than I did who St. Mary's was to lift in prayer. After all, St. Paul did write in his epistle to the Christians gathered in Rome (Chapter 8):

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Pray for Christ's body, the Church, especially for the clergy and people of the Diocese of Springfield as they take counsel together to select the bishop whom God has already chosen.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Two waitings....over!

August 3, Austin Jack Fain was born.

August 7, the Synod in the Diocese of Springfield selected three men to be candidates for the bishop election in September. The Archdeacon from Springfield and I traded votes for five ballots to see who would be the fourth candidate. The Archdeacon had more clergy votes, and I had more lay. At nearly 10 PM, the Synod decided that three candidates were good enough.

I was delighted to have been strongly supported by the laity of Springfield. My prayers continue to be with them as they seek to make their voice heard. My prayers also continue to be with Springfield that they will elect a bishop who will bring health and new life to that precious part of God's creation.

It was a very difficult process to be in. I had no voice (much less personal) contact with any person in the diocese in the the four or so months that was my time in their election. I knew them only through a very few emails and what I could discover on the website. They only knew me through the nine papers I wrote and the video that my brother so graciously made of me speaking my answers. In an incarnational Church, the important piece of person to person contact was missing.

After the fact, I have had chats with a few lay folks from Springfield. After conversation with them, I am certain that God had me in their episcopal process, once again, for God's good reason.

But the Springfield process has left me tired. Weary.

In God's graciousness, the election was followed by a trip to meet my new grandson--what better healing in the world than holding my first grandchild?

I continue to pray about where God is calling me to serve. For today, once again, God has made it clear that St. Mary's continues to be the place that God is calling me to serve. For that I am very, very grateful.