BY SALLY BREEDLOVE
Is it redundancy to call the First Synod Ever of the Diocese of Christ our Hope the Best Synod Ever? As Bishop Steve’s wife, it might seem that I simply want to appear to be enthusiastic. (“She’s just saying that because she is the bishop’s wife. She has to say it.”) If you know me, you know I wouldn’t have agreed to write this report under those conditions.
The truth is it was a great gathering, with many moments to enjoy, laugh about and savor. Many moments that formed my soul and my understanding.
Thank you Dan Claire, for kicking off the yearly (I hope) Talent Exhibition with your exquisite remake of Pass It On. You made us all glad that, like you, we are Anglicans.
Thank you Lisa Puckett, for knowing that fun meals help make conversation and friendships grow. Restaurant night, and then banquet night, never once felt like stilted moments at a forced gathering with a required dinner. I love it that part of the heart of our diocese are people who are hospitable, and who love to be together.
Thank you Matthew Mason, for using incisive words and credible teaching to fill our imaginations and our minds with the beauty of what it means to be male and female. Thank you for helping us receive gender, marriage, and children as gifts. I never once felt preached at, moralized at, or warned. I felt invited into the broad expanse of seeing the beauty and goodness of God’s care for us. Thank you for tears of humility and compassion.
Thank you Art Going, for breaking us into small groups where new connections and conversations emerged in an unforced way.
Thank you Ben Bowman, for making the wheels of the bus turn flawlessly and seamlessly. It was so smoothly organized that everything seemed to unfold without a hitch or a glitch.
Thank you Jan Buchanan, for guiding us through our plenary sessions. Your leadership was kind and clear. And thank you Julie Cate Kelly and Tom Bost, for leading us in Morning Prayer. You enabled us to worship and pray together, not just go through the motions of a service.
Thank you Jonathan and Amanda Noel, for leading us into worship. With you are we were never just “singing songs:” we were at the throne of God.
Thank you Brandon Walsh and the team of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, for making our world bigger. It is never just about us. Walk with Rwanda calls us to live and give with a bigger heart and a bigger vision.
Thank you, all you presenters at the actual Saturday morning Synod business meeting. We had good reports with interesting content. We shared differing opinions, we listened to each other, and we left invigorated by all God has done. And miracle of miracles— we finished on time.
Thank you, the people of the Diocese of Christ our Hope, who came, and talked, and prayed, and listened, and worshipped together. You are the family that I love.
I am very glad I was there. For me, it really was the Best Synod Ever. (Maybe it was the First Synod Ever too!)
*For photos from synod as well as videos of the plenary sessions, please visit the Media page.