[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting in Nashville, TN (Diocese of Tennessee) through September 24. The following is an account of the activities for Friday, September 20.
The theme for the fall meeting of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops is Transforming Loss into Possibilities.
The day began with Morning Prayer, observing John Coleridge Patteson and His Companions.
The emcee for the day was Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce, Diocese of Los Angeles.
The morning discussion focused on Bridge-building Mission. Presenters were:
- Bishop Suheil Dawani of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem on Bridge-building Ministry of the Diocese of Jerusalem.
- Dr. Hisham Nassar, MD, Bishop’s Coordinator for Healthcare in the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East, on the services of the Diocese.
- Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, on Christian-Jewish Partnerships.
- Canon David Porter, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director of Reconciliation, on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Vision for Reconciliation
Each table of Bishops was asked to engage in discussion on how their dioceses might engage the work of peace and reconciliation in the Holy Land. The House of Bishops thanked the presenters with a standing ovation for their work and their presentations.
In the afternoon, Bishop Andy Doyle of Texas, Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina and Bishop Sean Rowe of Northwestern Pennsylvania presented a report from the Task Force to Reimagine the Episcopal Church (TREC). Following an overview of work to date, the bishops were provided with questions for small group discussion: What do you want to hold on to? Let go of? What is the best possible Episcopal Church future? What initiatives are needed for the Episcopal Church to reach this future state? What is our role as a bishop and as the HOB? They also talked about an engagement kit that will be released in October.
A report was provided to HOB from the Ecclesiology Committee. Following table discussion, a panel answered questions from HOB – Bishop John Buchanan of Chicago; Bishop Bill Franklin of Western New York; Bishop Bill Gregg of North Carolina; Bishop Pierre Whalon of Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe; and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies. The House discussed the importance of the founding of the church and its past as primer for the conversation about the future of the church.
The day concluded with Eucharist, celebrated by Bishop George Councell of New Jersey; HOB chaplain the Rev. Stephanie Spellers of the Diocese of Long Island, preached.
Media Briefers for Friday, September 20
Bishop Rob Wright, Diocese of Atlanta
Bishop George Young, Diocese of East Tennessee