Yesterday was the annual ECMN clergy conference, and while I was not able to attend it live (I was in group at the hospital for Clinical Pastoral Education) I did in fact watch the recording that one of our Missioners sent to my e-mail. Thanks be to God & technology.
Bishop Prior made it perfectly clear that he is healthy and leaving at a time when he still wants to be here as our bishop. In his words he said, I don’t want to go and that’s what makes now the perfect time to do so. Bishop-elect Loya spoke on his love for MN and then his view and vision for ECMN and what he see’s as a continuation of the mission that he saw in the profile that ECMN sent out when they went looking for a bishop candidate to take the helm. Bishop-elect Loya see’s the bishops place as being out among the congregations around the state and furthering our mission of being God’s church in the world.
Bishop-elect Loya will be moving to MN on May 28th at a time when everything will (or should) still be locked down and then getting consecrated as our Tenth Bishop just a few days later with, as he said, only about 15 people in attendance. He won’t be able to say the in person physical goodbye to the cathedral in Omaha and he won’t have the physical, in person hello here in MN.
Many things have changed! But, we are still the church, we still love and worship our God and we still love and care for one another, and Bishop-elect Loya and his family will feel the love and joy in their hearts that we all have for them.
The Bishop elect closed the conference in prayer and I have copied it below for you to read:
“Loving God, in this season, thank you for the gift of this space that you have given us to be together. Thank you for the gift that you have given us as colleagues and siblings. Thank you for the gift of sharing our lives and our vocations with each other.Help us in these days of darkness to shine your light into the world! Help us in these days of uncertainty to become your peace. Help us in these days of challenge and isolation to be agents of your loving embrace.Sustain and guide the clergy of ECMN. Up hold us in all things to show forth your great love to a world that continues to cry out for it. Through you son Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen”
I will remind us that we are all priests in God’s church!
God’s peace be with you.