It's the hymn tune I woke up with in my head today ... some of us know it as General Seminary ... and one line I've always liked particularly is "seven whole days, not one in seven, I will praise Thee." But today I'm singing "years" instead of "days" in my head.
Seven years ago today I was in New Hampshire ... headed to a hockey rink where the Holy Spirit and the Diocese of New Hampshire would make a bishop in the church of God out of my friend Gene Robinson.
It was an amazing day of grace and power and challenge and opportunity. We made our way into the arena past protesters, media trucks and bomb sniffing dogs, through metal detectors and security checks. And at the end of the day New Hampshire had a new bishop and the Episcopal Church had taken another step forward on that arc of history we are promised bends toward justice. And inclusion.
And this morning when I woke up with General Seminary in my head it was REALLY early. Some call it "oh-dark-thirty." Others call it "the crap of dawn." It was actually 4:15 a.m. when the alarm went off to get me up and out and on the way to the airport. And so here I am -- seven years to the day that we were in New Hampshire together -- on my way to another "New" place ... New Orleans.
I'm writing this between flights (thanks for the free wifi, McCarren Airport!) ... and I'm honored and excited to have been invited to come to New Orleans to preach a bit, speak a bit, meet-and-greet a bit ... to talk about "Common Ground & Social Justice" in the Diocese of Louisiana.
The last seven years haven't all been easy but they've been blessed. All seven of them ... not one in seven. Blessed by opportunities to continue to move the church forward toward the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments. Blessed by chances to witness to the world the Good News of God's inclusive love. Bless by the God who loves us -- as +Gene keeps reminding us -- beyond our wildest imaginings. And who calls us to go and do likewise in Her name.
And seven years ago as we worked our way through the lines outside that hockey arena in New Hampshire I could not have imagined that seven years later I'd be heading to New Orleans. Heaven only knows what God has in mind for the NEXT seven years ... but whatever it is, I know General Seminary will be the background music!
So Happy Anniversary to Bishop Robinson ... to the Diocese of New Hampshire ... to the Church of God ... to ALL of us.
And now, on to New Orleans!