Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring House of Bishops, Day 1

We're at Camp Allen, the outsize conference center owned and operated by the Diocese of Texas, about 60 miles northwest of Houston.

This meeting has a more humane pace than the other two I have attended, especially the one a year ago at Kanuga. There was an attempt among the planners to invoke more of a retreat atmosphere. Each morning there is a meditation by one of our colleagues on one of the vows from the liturgy for the consecration of bishops. Today we were heard from Tom Shaw, Bishop of Massachusetts, on the place of prayer and scripture in the life of a bishop.

In the afternoon, there was a working session, with presentations from committees on two issues. The first was the development of a process--a canon, actually--to govern those relatively rare occasions when a bishop and the others leaders of a diocese come to an impasse in their relationship. There was vigorous discussion, and, I would say, a fair amount of pushback on the draft presented by the committee. I must confess that, while the situation that calls for such a canon does indeed occur, and can be quite vexing, it seems bad policy to make law based on exceptional cases. I could not help also observing that those who are advocating for defining the process of reconciliation/dissolution in minute detail are those who oppose the Anglican Covenant for being too juridical and prescriptive. Ironic.

Item the second was the use of social media at HOB meetings--specifically Twitter. A draft policy is now in circulation. IMHO, it's a little unrealistically restrictive, and fails to take account of the undeniable fact that if some can be done, it will be done. We shall see.

Dinner was too much of a good think, as in too many yummy choices. Blessedly, nothing but social time (with a little NCAA watching) in the evening. I got in a good workout on the treadmill after dinner.

Humorous moment of the day (one that I can repeat, at least): The office hymn at Morning Prayer was "nearer My God to Thee." At moments, it does indeed feel as through we're on the Titanic! (Trust me, I wasn't the only one who made the association.)


C. Wingate said...

Given the current state of affairs, I'm extremely wary of all "dispute resolution" or disciplinary measures; my first thought is always "how are they going to use this against Bishop L_?" And there is a distinct air, as you say, of "discipline is for thee and not for me."

Ann said...

Thanks Dan for posting your thoughts about the meeting. I agree about both the process - we love to make laws for exceptional cases - must be careful on this AND social media -- oh my 2 things in one day. The apocalypse is coming for sure.