From Deacon Tom …

6/11/2020

WE DID IT! We said good bye to Bishop IX and consecrated Bishop X . The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya. The sermon was delivered by the Rt. Rev. J. Scott Barker, Bishop of Nebraska. I highly recommend that you go and watch or listen to it.  It can be found here :https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=916622358854630

Bishop Barker gave one of the most current and relevant sermons that I have heard in a long time. Bishop Barker explained that he has heard our new Bishop Craig Loya preach on numerous occasions.  Each time he finds a way of telling his audience that each and every one of them is a “cherished child of God.” regardless of race, class or ethnicity. This is something I, as a white, privileged, male have always believed. It is refreshingly validating to hears bishops in the Episcopal Church state it. We must then as cherished children of God find it in our hearts to love everyone, not just those who are like us, or who go to church with us, or claim the same political party as us. We need to find a way to love everyone.  

I’ve been struggling these past weeks with regard to the Minneapolis police officer (Derek Chauvin) who seemed to so nonchalantly kneel on George Floyd’s neck until his life had left him. I feel anger and resentment toward this former officer. I know I must find a way to let go of my emotional response and allow God to give me the resolution.

Bishop Barker said whenever we see evil and sin, we need to call it out even if it wears a blue uniform. Many of us saw it May 25th. It was replayed repeatedly and as I looked at officer Chauvin’s face, I saw evil.  God and our system will judge him. It is now our job to move on and find a way to foster hope and love. Bishop Barker said we have chosen the right man for that job in Craig Loya,“We have chosen a bishop who knows how to love.” In my contacts and meetings with Bishop Loya I must agree. I think that we as members of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota (ECMN) are in for a wonderful and loving future.

A few of you have asked about my ordination, here are the details. The date is now Wednesday, June 24th at 3 pm. St. Mark’s Cathedral in Minneapolis. At this point, only 10 people can be present in the room when I am ordained in order to facilitate physical distancing for the safety of all attending. I am allotted 3 or 4 slots. Alexis will be back from Maryland on Saturday and she is taking one of the slots. Various direct supporting family will fill the other spots.  Two members of my cohort may stay as witness also. Three of us are being ordained that day one right after the other.  The best way to attend will be virtually through a Zoom platform or a live link that ECMN communications will send out shortly.  Stay tuned, I’ll notify the office so everyone who wants to can watch.

I have also been asked what people can get me for a gift.  Thank you all for your generosity and support. My standard answer is you do not need to get me anything. If you feel compelled to get something,I have told several people that a gift certificate to CM Almy would be a great idea. I can use it for vestments or liturgical things.

As we move forward within ECMN and maybe especially here at St. John’s we are in a time of rebirth and change in many ways including the presence of our new Bishop Craig Loya. The time has come to embrace and celebrate diversity, give voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless.  This will not be easy work, but we must do the hard things that have been put off for far too long.

Peace to you,
Deacon Tom

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