Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bp. Howe on the Bishop's Meeting

We have discussed Bishop John Howe of Central Florida a few times. A very critical commentary was followed by a more positive one offered by a personal friend of mine. Then, in January, we heard some very strident words from Bp. Howe regarding border crossings.

Jim offers us the Bishop's response to the recently concluded meeting of the House of Bishops. Here's a couple of segments worth noting:

I want to give you a few impressions of this week's meeting of the House of Bishops as it moves toward its conclusion tomorrow. Let me give you a couple of positive reflections: First, Katharine Jefferts Schori has done a stunning job in leading this meeting.

One of the Bishops said tonight, "If you had told me six months ago what a good leader she is, I would not have believed you." She has been absolutely even-handed, and I have had less a sense of being "managed" than I have in any meeting of the House in 18 years. When asked questions she is clear, and she allows this House to do it's business in a totally straight-forward manner...
Yes, you heard that right; praise for Bp. Katharine from one of our most conservative bishops. But there's more...

...There was a very unkind article in USA Today yesterday about Bishop Schori regarding this. However, Bishop Ed Salmon (retired and acting Bishop of South Carolina) assured us tonight that Bishop Schori "bent over backward" to get this election ratified, and the problem was with the Standing Committees. A sufficient number actually was received, but some of them were in improper form, and some of them were unsigned...
My reason for highlighting this letter is to make an observation that I think is needed. Sometimes I am very quick to try and place a person in a particular box. Things are so much easier then. Are they progressive or conservative? High church or low church? Republican or Democrat?

The reality is that very few people actually fit so neatly into any particular category. Bishop Howe is emerging as one of our leaders who keeps climbing out of the box that I try to put him in. Thanks be to God!

In the future, I am going to try to take more care with my generalizations about other people. After all, as the priest who is mad constantly reminds me, I could be wrong.


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