“I will pour out my spirit on all people; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old ones shall dream dreams, and your young ones shall see visions. … in those days, I will pour out my spirit.” Joel 2:28-29
As we come closer to the day we gather in Special Convention on July 15, might we prayerfully consider being gathered as a people called to reframing and reforming our life and ministry together with our next bishop? Since hearing these words of the prophet Joel, encapsulated in Peter’s daring speech that first Pentecost Day, I looked over the many gathered in hope and joy at our Regional Confirmation this Pentecost Day past at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, and these words have been riveted to my eyes and heart. We are close to joyfully meeting the five candidates in person during the Walkabout sessions on June 28-30 – Laura, Scott, Michael, Patty, and Kevin – hearing their stories of faith and their dreams of our ministry together if they are to be called. Soon we stand together, being attentive to the living Spirit of God to guide us to and with our 11th Bishop in Delaware. Soon … very soon …
What has brought us to this time, and will bear us into our future, are being people of prayer, the essence of our Episcopal and Anglican traditions. PRAY for each of our candidates who have given of their time, talent, and hopes — Laura, Scott, Michael, Patty, and Kevin. PRAY for your delegates and clergy who will seek the guiding Spirit of God into our future, not as a politicized process but a time of holy speaking, listening, and serving your parish and our diocese. PRAY for the coming of Joel’s vision upon the hearts and lives of ALL people – and please note that this vision did not restrict this to ONLY the bishop or ONLY the clergy, but to ALL God’s people, together!
For me, this has been a remarkable time and humbling journey of service, seeking to be a source of support to our Search and Transition Committees, our remarkable diocesan staff, our ongoing diocesan committees, councils, and commissions, and to each and every person who has prayed us through these past fifteen months of transition, and particularly through these past five months of “in-between times” without a seated bishop. It has been a remarkable journey, for which I am grateful to serve.
As we move to July 15 and, after prayerful movement of the Holy Spirit, into the call and journey with our 11th Bishop of Delaware, I am reminded of the one thing that comes from a not-so-religious source. In the 1991 movie, City Slickers, Billy Crystal stars as a wise-cracking but lost soul city boy who, with his friends, go to spend time on a dude ranch. He meets their guide, a wizened and well-weathered trail boss named Curly, played by the late Jack Palance. As they ride herd one hot, dusty afternoon on the trail, they strike up the following conversation:
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? [Curly holds up one finger] This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: No, One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean squat.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly: That’s what you have to find out.
May that one thing first and foremost, now and always, be the prayers of ALL God’s people to lead us forward in this place, in our time, together. For we live as people of the Jesus Movement into the eternal promise by faith, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Grateful always, your servant in Christ,
The Reverend Paul W. Gennett, Jr.
President of the Standing Committee