Archive for January, 2014

How Episcopal is Our Church?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Tomorrow, I will be traveling to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to meet with the Bishop of New York. We will be making final plans for Bishop Dietsche’s official visit to our link Diocese of London later in the month.

This will be the first time I have entered the office of a New York bishop since I was ordained to the priesthood in 1973. I note this not to express disappointment at not being favored with the attention of my superiors all these years. Rather, it has struck me that, given the time and effort our church puts into electing and supporting bishops, they should somehow be more crucial in day-to-day parish life. Unless the bishops need money or the parish has problems, hierarchy and parish function on separate levels that barely touch.

The word, “Episcopal” in our title means, “having bishops.” We do indeed possess bishops, but the extent to which their presence defines us seems to me to be exaggerated. —J. Douglas Ousley