Bishop Steve reflects on the House of Bishops meeting

Since returning home, I’ve reflected a bit on the bishops’ time together. It seems to me that part of what it made it feel so jam-packed was that what we were discussing – ministry with young adults and conversations with Islam – is so very challenging. Our assumptions about the value of the church are not shared today by many in Western culture. Indeed, many young adults have no experience of or interest in the church at all. And in our increasingly pluralistic communities, Christianity no longer corners the market on meaning or morals. Other religions/philosophies have passionate adherents. Like the early church, we are in the position of having to show the world our good news, to take what we believe on the road, and to risk the encounters of the marketplace. And, frankly, we don’t know how. We have some ideas. There are successful programs in a number of places. But a lot of our congregations are stuck in a manner of life that no longer serves.

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    If we get outside our comfortable church walls and cherished traditions, we will find people eager to connect with our mission. We need to walk around, observe, and connect. For example, at St. Luke’s Cathedral several of us are working with the Portland Maine Bicycle Communing and Portland Green Streets to offer the third annual Blessing of the Bicycles. At noon on May 15 in front of the cathedral, a rabbi, an iman, and at least two Christian clergy will lead a group of bicyclists with their bikes and walkers from the Portland community in prayers for safety and commenoration. St. Luke’s holy water will mingle with holy water from the well of Zum Zum in Mecca. Then we will eat together and share our travel stories. This year we hope to organize a group ride around town. The event brings a disparate group together to sanctify a fun activity that promotes healthy bodies and a healthy world.