Archive for May, 2015

It Doesn’t Get Easier

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

After I sent out an announcement of the death of a long-time parishioner and volunteer, Tom Southworth, a former colleague wrote to me: “I struggle with the number of losses associated with ministry (and realize the other perspective is gratitude for the number of connections.)”

I responded, “I totally agree about parishioners dying and you can be sure the grieving only gets worse.” As I walk around Murray Hill, I pass the apartment buildings of former members, now-deceased, and I think of how I still miss them. While the Lord provides new servants to do their work for the church and no one is irreplaceable, it is also the case that no successor is ever the same.

No one is exactly replaceable; losses are permanent. But, for that, thanks be to God! —J. Douglas Ousley


More Candidates

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Last Friday, the Episcopal Church web site announced the official nominees for the upcoming election of the next Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

I will have more to say about this election in due course. As I have previously observed, the Episcopal Church identity or “brand” has become more confused during the reign of the current Presiding Bishop. It isn’t currently clear who of the four nominees is most liberal or conservative–not to mention, most competent. It is clear which one is a person of color and therefore would be the first non-white elected to lead the Episcopal Church. That Bishop Michael Curry is an engaging and charismatic pastor and preacher can only help his candidacy.

There are no women on the list and thus the rumor has already started that the current PB has changed her mind about not running for a second term and will have herself nominated from the floor. One may hope and pray that after eight years of decline, the bishops of our church will choose a new leader. Like the other presidential campaign of 2015, this one promises to be difficult and highly contested. —J. Douglas Ousley