Over the last twelve years, the rhythm of my life and ministry has been the Sunday visitation. Each week begins early on Sunday morning—sometimes even the previous night, or before the sun comes up, depending on the distance to be traveled. What a rich and varied experience it has been to worship with you from the ocean to the mountains and the desert. Over the last twelve years, the rhythm of my life and ministry has been the Sunday visitation. Each week begins early on Sunday morning—sometimes even the previous night, or before the sun comes up, depending on the distance to be traveled. What a rich and varied experience it has been to worship with you from the ocean to the mountains and the desert.
Most Sundays have included confirmation, reception of people into the Episcopal Church and folks taking the opportunity of a bishop’s visitation to reaffirm their faith. And many times, my visitation has appropriately included baptisms. Indeed, it is the Baptismal Covenant that is the continuous piece of my experience with you. Almost every Sunday I was privileged to renew my baptismal faith with you.
As I prepare to take my leave as your diocesan bishop, I find myself thinking so much of these visitations, filled as they were with joy and always a focus on our promises to God and to each other to continue in the apostles’ teaching, the breaking of bread and in the prayers. We say also that we will be a gospel-proclaiming people of forgiveness and repentence who seek Christ in the other. And this leads us to strive for justice and peace, respecting the dignity of every human being.
All that we have become and accomplished together in these years has been because we have been true to our baptismal vows. I would assert that when we have erred it is because we have lost sight of the promises we made. We are called by God through water and the Holy Spirit to exercise our Christian vocation.
And now I prepare to leave for Virginia Theological Seminary to continue my baptismal ministry as well as my call as a bishop. Rest assured, I will take you with me. You have been an essential part of my formation as a follower of Jesus. I pray that I have, in some measure, been able to contribute to your vocation as a fearless follower of Jesus Christ. Words cannot describe the gratitude that Terri and I feel toward you for your love, companionship, and support. Know that the people and clergy of the Diocese of San Diego will be in my daily prayers. And we look forward to continuing our relationship to what will always be our diocese. May God bless you always.
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