March 31, 2005
For all bishops
Dear brothers and sisters:
As we begin our journey through the Great Fifty Days with its message of hope and new life, I find myself reflecting upon our time at Camp Allen. I am profoundly aware that whatever is called for from the House of Bishops at this time is already deeply present among us. Gifts of wisdom and imagination present within the community itself were given articulation in our conversations and then in our Covenant Statement and Word to the Church.
I have long spoken of the "diverse center" as persons of different and often passionately held points of view whose over-arching desire has been to walk together as integral members of Christ's risen body in the service of mission to our broken world. The diverse center was able to speak with force and conviction in a way that has given hope and confidence to many and opened the way toward strengthening our relationships with other parts of the Anglican Communion.
Though some of us are more comfortable when things are carefully spelled out, I think the fluid structure of the meeting provided opportunity for the leading of the Spirit to be honored in ways that might have been constrained if the agenda had been more defined in advance.
Our ability to move through our meeting and adjust to the various moments of invitation as they presented themselves without a great deal of unsettlement spoke well of the life we share and an increasing level of trust among us. I believe we will be able to build further trust as we continue to live trustfully rooted and grounded in Christ's love and open to the movements of the Spirit.
Some of you expressed the sense that we are ready to release ourselves from our past history as a House and our preoccupation with what has been. I share this view. While self-examination is always an appropriate discipline for persons and communities of faith, it can become an invitation to inversion. Being overly focused on our internal life can obscure our call to be engaged in God's work beyond ourselves. Looking to the past is only helpful if it liberates us and orients us toward our future in God.
In sum, it is an immense gift and encouragement to me to share the ministry of episcope´ with such a thoughtful and wise community of fellow ministers of reconciliation.
Yours ever in Christ,
Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate