... and it was a total honor welcome our Bishop Suffragan, Chet Talton, to confirm or receive 48 new members into the Episcopal Church.
+Chet retires next year so this was his last official "episcopal visit" to All Saints Church and we were deeply blessed by his presence.
It is amazing for me to stop and realize that +Chet has been our bishop suffragan for EIGHTEEN YEARS now ... both how much has happened in those years and how quickly they've gone ... and I was remembering today his consecration up the street from All Saints in Pasadena at Lake Avenue Congregational Church.
+Barbara Harris was the preacher -- I was in the choir -- and as we stood in line to receive communion from her ... the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion ... I felt like we were totally touching a piece of the history of this church.
Today I looked out at the congregation gathered ... a church full of people there to support these new members in their life in Christ ... and I realized a bunch of those about to be confirmed hadn't even been BORN yet when +Chet became our bishop suffragan. They have never known a church that didn't have women bishops; never known a diocese without bishops of color; never known a parish that didn't have gay clergy or bless same-sex unions; never had a rector who didn't challenge them to put their faith into action.
It's not the church I grew up in -- this church we confirmed or received 48 new members into today. It's better.
And part of the reason it's better is +Chet Talton. So tonight I'm offering grateful prayers for his work and his witness -- for his 18 years among us as bishop and friend and for the time we have left with him before his retirement. AND for the "good time that was had by all" at All Saint Church today.
Here's a little taste of that good time ... AKA Confirmation Day 2009!