Episcopal Diocese of Washington
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Bishop Mariann’s Blog
Thursday, June 21, 2012
My pilgrimage training not only strengthened me, it taught me about having to give up one good thing for the sake of another. I could not have everything I wanted without letting go of something....If anyone wants to accomplish something significant in work or personal life, it usually does not happen automatically. Choices have to be made. We must give ourselves to the necessary preparation for what we desire.
---Joyce Rupp, Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino
For as much as I like riding my bike to work, I would be the first to tell you that I’m not a serious cyclist. And those of you who took part in the first two Bishop’s Bike Rides know that I’m also not a fast cyclist. After the last ride, I told my husband that I was sure I needed a new bike in order to keep up with the other riders. “Perhaps,” he said. “But you also need to pedal faster.”
New friends of ours here in DC have just completed their first Century Ride, which, as the name implies, involves biking for 100 miles, often in support of a particular charity. Listening to them and following their blog throughout the long months of preparation, culminating in their glorious ride, I found myself wanting to do the same thing. I really want to do a Century Ride. But it won’t happen just because I want it to. I would have to make choices and give myself to the necessary preparation, which would take me away from other things.
Often in conversation with clergy and congregational leaders, I hear the deep desire for renewal and growth of their communities. But renewal and growth, both numerically and spiritually, don’t happen simply because we want them to. We have to make certain choices, and give ourselves to the kind of preparation that would allow renewal and growth to happen. Often most painful of all, we would have to give up something that we value, or as Joyce Rupp put it, “giving up one good thing for the sake of another.”
I love the Episcopal Church and have committed my life to this Diocese, in the firm conviction that who we are and what we offer as Episcopalian Christians is of priceless value to God’s mission of healing and reconciling the world. I also know that for our church to thrive in a changing world, we need to let go of some things in order to preserve the best of our particular expression of Christian faith. And that, as a people we must give ourselves to the necessary preparation and transformation that such change requires.
I’m committed to the long process of preparation for the renewal of our diocese. And this summer, I’m also preparing for a Century Ride. Who wants to join me?
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