Thursday, February 10, 2011
Actions and Words-Brief reflection on the Presiding Bishop's Visit to St. Lukes
The Presiding Bishop's visit to our parish has come and gone. The experience was wonderful; great liturgy, bells and smells,lively music, liturgical dance and a beautiful message by The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Yet, after almost three weeks, other than the pictures, there remains very little memory or conversation about the pomp and fanfare of that day. Other things however,remain clear in the hearts and minds of people in this working class bilingual parish...things we still talk about!
First, was the illustration the presiding Bishop used at the close of her sermon! Reading from her prepared notes, she compared Christians to sunflowers always seeking the light of the sun, turning towards it even during the dark of the night ; So are we to always seek and turn toward Christ even in times of darkness and uncertainty. That the altar that day was decked with bright yellow sunflowers, surely a coincidence, made the remark even more memorable!
Secondly was the way she interacted naturally with old and young alike, taking time for pictures, questions conversation in English and Spanish to people from all walks of life. There was the moment she gave communion to Rosa our oldest parishioner at 101, and her foray unescorted into the kitchen to bless and thank the women who labored there. The fact that, she and her husband stayed until all the fancy stuff came down and people began to clean up for the day was so refreshing! She did not act like a visitor that day but became a member of family...our family.
The third extremely memorable image happened at the end of this wonderful but long day. It was an unexpected but joyful sight to watch the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church become a helper, assisting a young woman reset a table in the parish dining hall. I for one, had never seen that in over 40 years in churches. Preachers, priests, bishops, speakers... come, they minister, sample the goodies, thank the pastors and usually leave. Rarely do they take time to go chat or bless those working behind the scenes, nor become one with them as they lend a hand to help. That we will not soon forget!
Thank you Bishop Katharine for your visit, your words and example to us as one who leads and serves...!