The Spirit is working in DioCal
Submitted by St_Clinton on Sun, 03/29/2009 - 18:52
It's been a bit since I wrote anything here, but let me catch you up on a couple of things.
Several years ago, Bishop Marc asked me to be a guest blogger on his blog. I had asked him what he would like for me to write on, and he said anything that I desired, and he mentioned some ideas. I took one of his suggestions and wrote a blog on Being Black in the Episcopal Church. It was received well, and even part of it was put onto the Episcopal Cafe. People from all over kept telling me how much they enjoyed it. One of the things that I had put into it was a call for DioCal to come up with something visible to let people know that we are a multiracial church.
About 8 months ago people began telling me that they say my picture in DioHouse. I was shocked, but whenever I would have to drop by there for something, I never saw this picture. When I would be there I would look, and all that I ever saw were the white faces that we always on the walls. The other day I had to go to DioHouse for a meeting. I came in through the door on the Plaza level with someone, then came down the steps. As we reached the bottom of the steps, we stopped and talked with one of the other people who was going to be in this meeting. I turned and looked at the door that I should of come in, and noticed a moral. Their it was. There was the picture that people had been seeing of me. I was shocked. I walked over and looked. My diocese does really care for those of us of color.
I had been seriously thinking about leaving the congregation that I am in. I have grown tired of almost being a Lone Ranger in getting things done, and trying to get the congregation to grow. I've been trying to get the congregation to try and make the place look better. I have tried to get stewardship going, but have no help from the clergy person who will talk about stewardship as being everything but giving money, and in fact has said that stewardship has nothing to do with stewardship, and has come up with tons of reasons for not having people make pledges to help the church continue. The congregations is full of excuses for not doing something.
But I have changed my mind on leaving. Our Bishop and the diocese has come up with an idea called Area Ministry. Now what Area Ministry is varies depending on who you talk to. Now Area Ministry has never been spoken about in my congregation except for a couple of times. I am lucky enough to be on the Commission on Ministry in this diocese. I love it, as I have gotten to meet some wonderful people and it has helped me to grow spiritually.I love being on this commission.
One of the things that Bishop Marc desires is for all of us to become deeply involved in our local Area Ministry. My problem is that nobody in Oakland is really doing anything to get the congregations to even talk with one another about this ministry. I've been thinking lately that maybe I should contact a few people in other congregations just to sit and have a talk about it.
As part of being on the Commission on Ministry, we interview the people that the Bishop feels should be considered to become clergy people. This is called Vocations Day. Vocations day happened last weekend. We on the CoM are paired into teams of 4, and split into twos. Depending on how many people their are, depends on how many people we have to interview. At this past one, with one of the people that my team had to interview, I was really unsure. Yes I could vision this person wearing a clergy collar, but I really didn't see this person really doing anything beyond just being an Asst Priest at a congregation.
I had been attending a Lenten Series at another congregation that dealt with Prayer. Even though this person was doing some work at this congregation, this person wasn't at this event. I understand as they have a distance to drive, and young children. I had written the team report on this person, and even though the others saw more in her, I was still having a problem. I went to the other congregation today because the last of the series was being done after the service. I enjoyed the series, and had someone cover me at my congregation with the music.
What I was unaware of was that this person was going to give the Homily today. They did an incredible job. I was just blown away. We talked afterwards, and I let them know what a great job they did. They were able to take an event in their life, the lessons, and the description of Area Ministry on the diocesan website and make it work in a way that made my mouth just drop open. I wish that we had some of ordaining this person last year, as I see great things in the future for her and Christianity.
Well, let me end this here. I hope and pray that the Holy Trinity Blesses and Guides you always.