Day Two of the bishop training here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Last year’s session for beginners on the management of hat ‘n stick has been followed by sessions on the Bishop in the Liturgy. I’ve been realising for myself how significant are the liturgies where the bishop is in the center – ordinations, institutions, consecrations. They are powerful dramas and in that sense accessible – as they need to be when many in the congregations at such services are there to support a person rather than because of their own faith commitment. We’ve been looking at the theology which the liturgy expresses – and which shapes how it should be done.
We’ve had a go at the BVP – Bishop’s Vocational Profile – 360 degree appraisal. That’s been fascinating – an opportunity to take a walk on one’s shadow side. I’m going to practise doing anodyne when I get home.
And finally the contacts – which are priceless. It’s not like being at a conference – we’re actually working together. So the Class of 2009 is a pretty close-knit group. It reminds me of something that I learnt in my past – one always assumes that other groups are more coherent, united, stronger, etc., than one’s own. The reality of course is somewhat different – no matter what the context in parish, diocese or province, we are all dealing with stresses and strains as we work out how to cohere in difficult times.