7 AM in the Park and Ride lot off Sir Francis Drake Blvd with coffee in hand, I joined fellow delegates from St. John's, plus two deacons, one a writer and the other an FBI Chaplain. Our plan was to leave sufficiently early to get a parking place close to Grace Cathedral,where we were going to help elect a new Bishop of California. The morning flew by, beginning with a multi-lingual Liturgy of the Word, followed by ballotting and caucusing and more coffee. I don't know that I've ever been at a church gathering with as much energy and sense of good business about to be conducted.
My overall experience was the grandeur of the silence that threaded through the day. Over and under and around the multitude of words, I was keenly aware of a grand silence, not just the silence of the beauty and largesse of the cathedral, nor the silence of the prayers of so many, but the profound silence of the Love which drew us all into this moment and would sustain us and impel us into the work ahead of us - work, along with our new bishop, to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives and recovery of sight to those blinded by greed or need or alienation.
The day ended earlier than we'd imagined, with the election of Mark Andrus, after only three ballots and a remarkable showing of trust and respect by the laity of the clergy. After communion, I leaned over to another clergy friend and said I was ready for a nap - at only 1:30 PM!
Instead my 24 year old daughter picked me up from the steps of the Cathedral and we drove down into the Haight to go second hand clothes shopping. Stepping into a tattoo parlor with her so she could purchase a new nose ring, I sat down on a low red velvet couch to wait for her, underneath dramatic posters of arabic words and full color zodiac signs available for tattooing. A young couple noodled sweetly on the next couch....
It was a full circle kind of day - the church in dialogue and service within the cathedral and the church in dialogue and learning and leaning and gleaning within the world. And threaded all through was Love in glorious glorious forms and disguises and manifestations.
Welcome Bishop Elect Andrus.
and Yay for the Suns win tonight!