Hi. Yesterday, May 18th, marked my first anniversary of my ordination as Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Colorado. I remember standing in Saint John’s Cathedral, facing the Presiding Bishop, and making my vows. I vowed to be faithful in prayer and in the study of Holy Scripture. I vowed to boldly proclaim the Gospel. I vowed to be a chief priest and pastor and encourage and support all baptized people. I vowed to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the church. I vowed to share and fellowship with other bishops in the whole church and sustain my fellow presbyters and take counsel with them. I vowed to be merciful and show compassion to the poor, welcome to strangers, and to defend those who have no helper.
But we know a lot can and did change in a year. There was nothing in the diocesan profile for Colorado that mentioned a global pandemic. There was nothing about sheltering in place, and there was nothing about nourishing and nurturing an online church. And yet, here we are in this place. And I found yesterday as I renewed my vows of ordination, as I renewed to myself and to my God, my commitment to you to be your bishop, to love and care for all of you. That even in this time of pandemic, even living with this horrible coronavirus, we are being Church.
We are learning that we are not only church gathered in our buildings. We are Church deployed in the world. We are learning how to walk in faith and not by sight. We are learning that there is so much for us to do and learn and know and renew our commitment to walking in the way of love, to walking in the path of discipleship. A lot can change in a year, but I want you to know that my love for you stands, my commitment to you stands, my faith in you stands. And with God’s help, our next year will be even better than this one. Thank you. Thank you, Episcopal Church of Colorado, and God bless you.