A joyous and hopeful entry into the Diocese. Once again, I want to thank each and every one of you for a blessed consecration; words are cheap substitutes for my gratitude. I will attempt to show it each day. Thank you.
We began this journey on Monday sprinting and had not stopped. Planning is underway for the pilgrimage where I will visit all our churches (separate from official visitations) with the intent of listening and serving. The second initiative is reading the Bible every day as a diocesan community. You will find out more about reading the Bible effort in the coming weeks.
We are reorganizing the date and time of staff meetings (Tuesday’s). We will also have as a Morning Prayer on Monday and Friday and the Holy Eucharist on Tuesday through Thursday. I am learning more and more about the dedication, hard work and faithfulness of the Diocesan staff. This week when one of our parishes did not have air conditioners, Canon Deming and Mark Klinger went out purchased and delivered. Little steps to build the Kingdom of God. You have a dedicated staff working for you, and we will serve you.
A few meetings were with Archdeacon Nesbitt determining how we continue to strengthen our Diaconate program. I met with Fr. Winter, and we will involve our retired clergy and the widows/widowers in the activities of our diocese. If someone is ill, alone, or needs a simple “we are with you.” Please let me know and I will call or visit.
I met with candidates seeking to be the rector of one of our parishes, and yesterday had a late dinner with directors of our EFM (great program). Today (Saturday) I am touring a church to understand the structural needs of many of our aging facilities. However, we will be creative, prudent, intentional and hopeful as we move forward. Tomorrow I will be with the community of St. Lukes and my good friend Fr. Roger.
Finally, we are going to strengthen communication on all levels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and every conceivable option. I have asked Linda Hollingsworth to keep scheduling every moment. Only sadness is that Jude and Suzanne returned to Albuquerque. I will be posting pictures of the pilgrimages, and I am so excited about this Diocese. May you continue to be settled in God’s tender care. Jesus is on the move in this Diocese of Love. Come and See!
Friday, July 22, 2016
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G.P. Gutierrez will begin pilgrimages to all parishes immediately after his consecration.
The pilgrimages will be to visit all parishes in the Diocese within the next 6 months.
The mission of these pilgrimages will be to establish personal relations with clergy and lay leaders within the Diocese, to strengthen our connections with one another, and affirm our mutual calling in Christ.
Bishop Gutierrez says, “The purpose of the pilgrimage is to listen and be present to the Rectors, Vicars and Laity of the Diocese. I want to hear your stories and continue to learn how your Diocesan Office and staff can serve your ministry. Together we will proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and go out into the world.”
Deans from the respective deaneries will be in touch with clergy to arrange the time and date of the Bishop’s visits.
As the Diocese turns a page in its history and begins a new chapter with a new episcopacy, it is time to renew our commitment to Christ and our life together as a community of faith. As we embark on these pilgrimages together let us call upon Jesus to bless this new era in the life of the Diocese and to bless each and every one of us who share the Good News of our Lord and Savior as we proclaim the Gospel to those who Come and See.
Sunday, June 12, 2016
50 people killed and more than 50 wounded. This story transcends tragedy. Our minds cannot seem to rationalize or make sense of the horrific violence. It prompts outrage, shock, and despair. It's hard to find the Kingdom of God today. Do we live in a world filled with such hate?
To paraphrase the words: “If hate such as this is accepted, then love has no place in the world. It may be so; it may be so. But I don't have the strength to live in a world like that.” It may be so; it may be so. I do not want it to be so. I pray that it is not so. Beautiful lives ripped from our arms in Orlando Florida.
We cannot keep silent. We cannot accept this as normal. We must not give life to the darkness of hate, marginalization, violence, political rhetoric and discrimination. We cannot be enraged for the moment, today, or the next week. We cannot sit silently until the next mass murder. We discussed the necessity of assault rifles after children were murdered at Sandy Hook and nothing changed. We argue over the senselessness of violence and lives are taken on the streets of Philadelphia, Albuquerque, Washington DC and Chicago. Brothers and sisters brutalized daily, and we deliberate whether hate and discrimination exists.
Through our tears, pain, bewilderment and sadness we must envision something new. It has to begin today, and it must start with us. I believe in the goodness of humanity. We have seen it time and time again. Hopeful people whose lives express a deep and abiding love for all creation. A world where forgiveness is stronger than revenge, where empathy abounds over hate, acceptance mightier than exclusion and that the light of love and life is shining brighter than the darkness of hate and death.
We must find our voice. It must begin in our churches and we must take it to the powerful. We can make a difference. It is the only path we have in a world that has a tendency to slip into the darkness. May we all believe in the transformative power of hope, peace, goodness and love. May we bring the healing and love of Jesus Christ to this world. This is the world we envision. May it be so, may it be so. I pray for those affected by today. May the Lord hold us close.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
I was blessed to be the homilist at the diaconal ordinations this past Saturday. A friend who is on Facebook asked that I post the portion of the homily that spoke to his journey. Steven, this is for you: Eventually the power seeking apostles moved beyond prominence, status, titles and power. They finally understood the only thing that could change the world was Christ. I am going say something disturbing in this day and age. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Jesus is not a concept, theory, great teacher, guidepost or spiritual guru. Jesus Christ is Lord, King, Savior and Son of God. Thus, You will not be the savior of the world. Only Jesus is the savior and you are called to serve. Preach Jesus, Baptize in his name, live with him on your lips and in your hearts. Let the love of God live and grow inside you. lf a person doubts, encourage their questions and seeking. You may be the only face of Christ they meet. Be an exploring companion. Today is a great gift, your call has been answered. You are now made new.
Friday, May 27, 2016
It is one of the most moving and thought-provoking national holidays. Memorial Day is set aside to pay tribute to those who were killed in battle while serving in the United States military. Flags will fly, people will celebrate, attend barbecues, spend time on boats or at the park.
We walk by the monuments and graveyards and at some point the twinge of remembrance must go deeper than the celebratory. It has to go deep. We must come together to remember why. Politics and division should give way to memory and sacrifice. The names, the wars, the battlefields, the granite markers are not simply numbers or words - they are real stories of beautiful lives.
The stories of who we are as a people and a nation. The son, daughter, husband, father, wife, mother, brother and sister who believed in this country. They stood and served. They walked forth in service, and their blood spilled. Precious lives for the ideals and promise of the United States. Why? The knowing that all want the same thing - freedom, kindness, hope, love, laughter and liberation from oppression. The belief this country can make a difference in this world for good. The United States represents hope - for everyone. Let us remember and call forth the “better angels of our nature.”
The words written long ago should mean something. There is a reason for “we the people” rather than “I the individual.” Meaning in “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” Clarity in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
This weekend, go deep and recall the more than 1.3 million Americans killed in our wars. Let us take a moment to pray and offer our gratitude. O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. (Book of Common Prayer pg. 839)
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
While visiting a hospital in Nepal, Philip Yancy encountered a woman consumed by leprosy. Her body calloused, deformed stumps for limbs, blind eyes mottled, and one could see far into her sinus cavity. She was not what the world would consider beautiful. When she heard his voice, she pulled herself toward him with her elbows. She leaned her head on the shoulder of Yancy’s wife and they began to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” She knew the song and believed it. This child of God had an all-consuming belief in the power of Jesus Christ.
Yancy wrote “Out of that deformed, hollow shell of a body, the light of God’s presence shines out. The Holy Spirit found a home.” What a beautiful and hopeful statement. To realize the Holy Spirit continuously moves and lives in unexpected places. Moves and lives in each one of us. Hope and light sparked by the all-consuming belief in the transformative power of Jesus Christ. A woman with leprosy, the faithful, the hurting and those seeking a path forward. To realize that even through the seemingly deformed hollow shells of our lives, the light of God’s presence will shine. The Holy Spirit seeks and finds a home in our lives. Imagine the opportunities and possibilities.
Jesus loves me this is know….
Monday, May 02, 2016
Prayer. The sacred conversation between God and God’s breathtaking creation. We pray in church, in times of need, to make a request, out of love, or only to become vulnerable before God. I find that when I do not pray, I feel adrift. When I pray, I breathe deeper, I move easier, the sense of peace is transformative.
In the movie Shadowlands, Anthony Hopkins plays C. S. Lewis and says of prayer: “I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
The world needs prayer. Take a moment to grasp the number of people in the world in need of our prayers. Pick one person that you will pray for this week. It can be someone you know or someone you don’t know. Pray for them throughout the day, every day for a week.
A teacher, the police officer, the lady cleaning our hotel room, the waitress, a child on the playground, a prisoner in jail, the soldier away for her children, your Priest, your wife. Pray. That God holds them, and they sense the presence of Jesus Christ. Share Jesus Christ with them and reaffirm in a spiritual way that they, that we are never alone.