All posts by Brian Seage

Statement on HB 1523 – March 24, 2016

Statement by the Rt. Rev. Brian R. Seage,
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
HB 1523 Press Release
March 24, 2016
By the Rt. Rev. Brian R. Seage

The Mississippi State Senate has on its calendar an unwise, unnecessary and imprudent bill. I would urge that it be allowed to die at the coming deadline for legislative action.

House Bill 1523 would codify discrimination, rather than prevent discrimination as claimed in its title.

One of the hallmarks of our system of laws is a wise principle of separating religious beliefs and practices from the statutes which are enacted into law.  This “Trojan horse” would provide protection under sectarian religious pretense for those who would choose to discriminate against citizens who have the same rights as any of us. The bill would clearly violate the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment to our nation’s Constitution and would likely lead to our state spending its limited funds for an unsuccessful defense in federal courts.

I am aware that the world is changing and familiar norms are fading, partially because of the Supreme Court and partially because of evolving awareness and understanding. I know that such change is painful for many, but we must be mindful of the pain of those who have suffered under old structures. Our baptismal covenant asks us to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”  This is often a challenge, but God calls us to do no less.

I pray that our time and energy will be invested in building a just society that recognizes the gifts of all its people, molding an educational system that is second-to-none, providing healthcare to the needy, and developing an economy that encourages and rewards all our people. During this Holy Week my prayers continue for our elected leaders. I give thanks for their commitment and passion. May the miracle of Easter bring blessings and hope to all.

A Letter from Bishop Seage

Dear Friends,

Thank you for taking the time to read this note. I suspect the attacks in Paris reminded you of the uncertain world in which we live. I share those sentiments. Shortly after the attacks our Presiding Bishop produced a video, which I shared, calling us to pray for the victims, families and people affected by this horrible tragedy. I appreciate Bishop Curry’s pastoral leadership. Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe issued a statement Saturday thanking us for our prayers and support. I urge you to continue to pray for everyone affected by the events in Paris and wider issues.

Several days have passed since the attacks and I would be remiss if I didn’t identify a growing concern — namely, a rising tide of “anti Muslim” sentiment. We are called as people of faith, in our baptismal covenant, to “respect the dignity of every human being.” Muslims throughout the world are speaking up on social media and denouncing the perpetrators of these attacks with the hashtag #NotInMyName. Many Muslims, in France and elsewhere, are continuing to raise their voices in prayer for the victims of this horrendous crime and for their families and loved ones. On Sunday following the attacks, Imams in Paris gathered at the Bataclan concert hall (site of the worst attack) to sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, in solidarity with the city and the nation.

My dear friends, I beg of you to love, hold dear, and pray for the beautiful people who have been harmed by these terrorist acts an those who represent the Islamic faith in its true nature and form. We are all part of the human family. Terrorists do not define the Muslim men and women who have been part of our country and world since the earliest of days. As you pray personally or corporately, I invite you to offer the following prayer from our Book of Common Prayer (pg. 840 #7).

For the Diversity of Races and Cultures

O God, who created all peoples in your image, we thank you for the wonderful diversity of races and cultures in this world. Enrich our lives by everwidening circles of fellowship, and show us your presence in those who differ most from us, until our knowledge of your love is made perfect in our love for all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May the Peace of the Lord be Always with You,

+Brian Seage

Gencon – 2015 – My First Report

Most of you are used to my blogging being 140 characters or less! However, after a historic day at the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church it seems like a little longer blog might be more appropriate. So allow me to use the next couple of paragraphs to give you a run down on my experience at #GC78 thus far. Let me begin by saying that this is my first General convention. That’s right I never attended as a deputy or a visitor prior to being elected bishop in 2014. I arrived on Monday blank slate with no idea what to expect.

I started by checking in with my assigned committee, dispatch of business, on Tuesday. The dispatch committee is chaired by Wayne Wright from Delaware and the Vice-chair is our neighbor to the north, Don Johnson, from West Tennessee. This committee is responsible for keeping the house on track in regards to daily agenda and calendar. Dispatch is also responsible for the supervising elections including the coming election of our new presiding bishop. The other members of this committee are outstanding and really know what they’re doing! Thank God for their wisdom!

Convention stuff began on Wednesday with an introductory remarks from the presiding bishop and the president of the house of deputies. After lunch both houses met in the house of deputies for a forum with the 4 candidates for presiding bishop, Ian Douglas, Michael Curry, Dabney Smith and Tom Breidenthal. The 3 hour forum provided opportunity for each to speak and answer questions. I was impressed with each of the candidates. My day came to a close after viewing a movie about Howard Thurman.

Convention officially started on Thursday. We worshiped together at a prayerful celebration of the Holy Eucharist followed by business in the House. In the evening I attended a hearing with the Task force on marriage. I got up early on Friday in order to work out with SALT Masters swim team. This team works out on the University of Utah campus. It was a great way to start the day but I quickly learned that Salt Lake City sits at a much greater altitude than Jackson (gasp)! Upon arriving at the convention center I learned about the Supreme court passage of the marriage equality act. A very joyful mood could be sensed. In the evening I attended the UTO banquet with our ECW contingency.

Saturday began with an early meeting with the dispatch committee. The major focus of the meeting was related to the election of our next presiding bishop. It is our responsibility to facilitate the election and count ballots. After our morning Eucharistic celebration the bishops boarded buses and we were driven to St. Mark’s Cathedral where we would be sequestered until we elected a new presiding bishop. After roll call, saying prayers and singing hymns the ballots were cast, collected and taken to a room for counting. It was really strange to be one of the tellers for the election! After counting the ballots the house was reassembled and the report was made. On the first ballot Michael Curry of North Carolina was elected.

The announcement of Michaels election was not only historic but extremely emotional! I think for me the most incredible moment was signing the testimonials. The first to sign the testimonials was a group of bishops of African American descent. I had to wipe away tears when Eugene Sutton of Maryland helped Barbara Harris make her way to front in order to be one of the first to sign the testimonial. We signed the testimonial while singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” It was an amazing moment. I feel blessed to be part of it.

Michaels election was then reported to the House of Deputies who after following their procedures and rules consented to the election. After receiving word of their consent we boarded busses and went back to the convention center for him to be introduced to the House of Deputies. It was another amazing moment.

Yes, I voted for Michael. He’s been an amazing friend to me and our diocese. Most important, however, he has unique gifts for reaching people and inviting them to meet and know Jesus. While talking with other bishops I said, “he’s like a ‘jam band.’ You never know for sure how he’s gonna perform a song or sermon but you wanna listen because you know it’s gonna be amazing.”

We are blessed with the love of our Lord. We are blessed to have Michael as our new Presiding Bishop. He is full of joy and passion for presenting Jesus to the world. Thanks be to God!

The Supreme Court Ruling on June 26, 2015


The decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. The United States, over the last 240 years, has sought to become a haven of liberty, justice, and a home for those seeking to exercise the rights bestowed on them by our Creator.

I applaud the decision. It stands alongside previous courageous decisions the Court has made, such as Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia. The LGBT community has patiently awaited full inclusion in society and recognition of human rights granted to all people through our Constitution. This is certainly something they should celebrate. It is also something that we should all celebrate because, as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “No man is free until we are all free.” There is now a recognized layer of freedom for all that did not exist before this ruling.

I understand, though, that there are some who do not celebrate this decision. They may see this as a threat to much-beloved institutions of our society. Those fears are to be acknowledged. We need to walk with those who dissent from this opinion as they face these fears. Many people of good conscience disagree, and we must keep the doors of our churches and institutions open to them. They, too, are our brothers and sisters.

The court’s ruling raises questions as to the meaning of potential actions by the Episcopal Church’s General Convention being held in Salt Lake City. I would offer a way of viewing those considerations.

First, there are issues of justice, which the Supreme Court has addressed quite fully in its decision. These are issues of equality under the laws of the United States. The Church has already taken significant steps to address issues of justice and we may speak even more clearly in the days ahead.

There are also theological and sacramental issues, which the Court could not address. The Church is the appropriate province for those discussions. We may be asked to state – in our canons or our constitution – whether there are adequate theological foundations for the church to create and offer a sacramental liturgy of Holy Matrimony for those persons in same-sex relationships. These are not simple, one-dimensional discussions. Support of equality under the law does not preclude appropriate discussions from the viewpoint of sacramental theology. The mind of the Church, gathered in General Convention, may make that decision.

These are times which are both exciting and challenging. I hope that all people of faith will hold God’s reconciling mission in their prayers in the weeks ahead.

February 2015

February 1
With no scheduled visitation I spent the morning at home working on my address to council. Sunday lunch with my daughters is followed by household chores. In the afternoon I attend an evening service at St. Philips and then on to a superbowl party with friends. Go Seahawks!

February 2
I’m still in shock over the outcome of the Super Bowl! I understand the need to stop the clock but give the beast a chance!

Kyle and I are on our way to the college for bishops conference in Richmond, VA. Looking forward to time with the other new bishops. Upon arrival we learn that 2 of the new bishops are delayed due to issues with weather.

February 3
It’s our first full day at the college for bishops gathering for new bishops and spouses. The conference center is lovely!

This is a great conference and helpful in many ways. I’m most appreciative for the opportunity to talk with other new Bishops. It’s amazing how many of us have similar questions as we begin this new ministry.

February 4
Another full day at Roslyn with the College for Bishops. Over lunch Kyle and I meet with the Rev. Dianne Vie. Dianne is completing a D.Min project on clergy couples within our church. We happen to the be first ever bishop and priest couple, in active ministry, serving in the same diocese. The number of clergy couples across our denomination is significant!

In the evening we attend a reception hosted by the Diocese of Virginia. Shannon and Ellen Johnston are in attendance. It’s great to see old friends from Mississippi.

February 5
After breakfast and morning worship we head to the airport with the other participants. All flights leave on time and we arrive early into Atlanta! Early enough to catch an earlier flight to Jackson. It’s good to be home. We enjoy supper with Katie and Betsy.

February 6
Morning workout.
Council. Council. Council! I spend a little bit of time reviewing my address to council. Thank God for Peggy Jones! Her editing of my work is fantastic and it’s formatted into an easy to read document. I have a midmorning meeting with Canon McCormack and go over the agenda. In the afternoon there’s a press conference along with Bishop Gray at the Convention center.

All the events of Friday night are fantastic. I feel like a 1000 pound weight is lifted off my back after finishing the address. I’m particularly thankful for the musical talents of Walton Jones as he pulls together a musical thank you for the Grays. When the evening comes to a close I attend an AA meeting at the convention center. It’s wonderful to have a strong recovery community in our church.

February 7
Saturday of council goes well except for some A/V issues which are outside of everyones control. The details related to this event are numerous to say the least. Thankfully we have many outstanding volunteers and staff. Many thanks to all the new committee members and all those who finished their respective terms.

In the evening Kyle is tied up with some host church stuff so I have a quiet supper out with my daughter Betsy.

February 8
The closing worship service of council is outstanding. The music and liturgy are really well crafted and rehearsed. Thank you to all the liturgists and musicians! Bishop Gray preached an excellent sermon. I am so grateful for his ministry and the incredible way he cared for us. It’s a very humbling and surreal moment when he passes the Crozier to me. It’s a joy to practice ministry within this church.

Me, Kyle, Katie and Betsy relax at home in the afternoon. In the evening we eat out. Supper is followed by me and Betsy watching the mid season premier of The Walking Dead. Spoiler alert … I can’t believe another one of my favorite characters met his demise!

February 9
Morning workout. Day off!

February 10
Morning workout. With Allin house closed in observance of Annual Council I take the day off. The bulk of the morning is spent doing laundry! At noon I enjoy lunch with the Very Rev. Edward O’Conner.
February 11
Early Morning workout. First day back at the office after annual council. First meeting is with a photographer for Portico magazine. Later in the morning I meet with the Rev. Chris Colby. Chris, now retired, is the former rector at Trinity in Pass Christian. We spent a great deal of time talking about the evangelism courses he’s been taking in New Orleans at the Baptist seminary. Chris is a wealth of information with tremendous knowledge on Church growth.

In the afternoon I meet with Tim Ryan from All Saints in Jackson. Late afternoon appointment with Nell Knox a reporter from Portico magazine.

February 12
In the morning I spend time in the office catching up on correspondence. In the afternoon I have a meeting with 2 parishioners from St. Peter’s in Gulfport. One of them spent a great deal of his life in California. It’s great to make a California connection.

February 13
Early morning workout. In the morning I catch up on emails and phone calls. After a lunch appointment with an old friend I head home to spend the afternoon with my daughters who have a minimum day at school.

February 14
Morning meeting at Gray Center with the board of managers. In the afternoon Kyle, Katie, Betsy and I enjoy Valentines day and a relaxing afternoon.

February 15
The service for the seating of the Bishop at the Cathedral takes place at 11am. A reception follows. St. Andrew’s has been a gracious host for all these important events in the life of our church. Thank You!

In the evening I head to Gray center for supper and a meeting with the Post Ordination Consultation (POC). This gathering provides time for fellowship and a good discussion with the newer ordinands in our Diocese.

February 16
Early morning workout. Day Off!

February 17
Busy day! Staff meetings in the morning. In the afternoon I meet with Tammie Stephens the director of the Storybook program for our Diocese. I’m very grateful for this ministry. Later in the afternoon I meet with Ralph Maisel and Margaret Ayres, diocesan representatives, from the order of St. Luke.

February 18
No workout due to early Ash Wednesday commitment at St. Andrew’s Lower School. After returning to the office I keep busy with various projects. In the afternoon I drive to Forest for a service with St. Matthew’s and Forest UMC. It’s a really well attended service. After the service a meal is served at St. Matthews.

February 19
In the morning I meet with David Johnson to discuss the GOE results. The rest of my morning is spend looking over the exams. Over lunch and into the afternoon I meet with the convocational deans. I appreciate them filling me in on so much of what’s going on in the Diocese. Late afternoon phone meeting with the Rev. Lynn Philips-Gaines.

February 20
Early morning workout. Morning meeting with the Rev. Bruce McMillan. The meeting with Bruce is followed by a meeting with Canon McCormack and Canon Johnson. After meeting with the Canons I walk over to the Cathedral with Gib Ford for an “official” photograph for the Diocesan archives. After lunch I meet with the prospective priest in charge of Trinity, Pass Christian and his wife. They’re great and, if called, will be a wonderful addition to our Diocese. Later I have a phone meeting with the Rev. Stephen Kidd, Priest in Charge, of St. Mark’s Gulfport.

After a long day I enjoy supper out with Kyle and some good friends. Following supper we attend New Stage.

February 21
Quiet Saturday at home.

February 22
Early morning departure for services at Trinity in Natchez. At the principal service I confirm 3 and receive 2. Following the service there’s a wonderful reception in the parish hall. After the reception I meet with the vestry. There’s a lot of great ministry going on at Trinity. In the afternoon the rector, Walton Jones, and I drive to Christ Church on Church Hill. This is the first church planted in the Diocese of Mississippi. It’s a really cool old building with lots history. At the service I baptize a baby girl. A reception follows the service. Upon returning to Natchez I check in at the Green Lea’s Bed and Breakfast. I was honored to dine with my host’s, Philip and Stella Carby members of Trinity.

February 23
No workout. I’m still in Natchez. Early in the morning I preside at the Junior Class blessing for Trinity Episcopal School. The blessing is followed by a tour of both campuses at Trinity School. I preside at chapel for the Lower School. At lunch I dine with the Rev. C.J. Meaders, Chaplain to the School.

In the afternoon I drive back to Jackson for meetings. During my drive the ice conditions and winter weather begins. In order to keep it safe I cancel an evening meeting and head home.

February 24
In spite of the threatening weather the meeting with the Trustees goes on as scheduled! I spent the afternoon catching up on paperwork before heading home.

February 25
No workout. Day off. The supposed snow day that keeps the girls at home ends up being the “phantom storm day.”

February 26
In the morning I keep a phone appointment with Chuck Barlow regarding our Uganda Overseas mission. Later I meet with William Ndishibandi about his ministry at All Saints and Jackson State. After that meeting I have an annual consultation with the Rev. Canon Jennifer Deaton from St. Andrew’s Cathedral. In the afternoon there is a meeting the Diocesan Giving Task force. Following the meeting with the task force I drive to Port Gibson for a visitation with St. James.

February 27
No workout. I’m tired and it’s Katie’s birthday and Betsy’s sick with the flu! I reschedule a morning meeting in order to take Betsy to the doctor. After getting her set up at home I head to the office for a meeting with the Rev. Patrick Sanders from St. Timothy’s in Southaven. In the afternoon I keep a meeting with one of our committee chairs. Later I rush home in order to get Katie to DOY and then relieve Kyle who is caring for Betsy before heading to Gray center for a vestry retreat.

February 28
I spend the day taking care of Betsy. In the evening after Kyle returns I go to the Yacht Club to be judge for the Girl scouts Desserts First competition. This years theme is Girl Scout Samoa Cookies!

January 2015

January 1, 2015
Happy New Year! Drove to Camp Bratton-Green in the morning to pickup Katie from Winter Solstice. She had a great time. I am so grateful that we have youth programs like this. I am equally grateful for the leadership and support that steps up to make programs like this possible.

January 2
Early morning workout. In the office for a sizable portion of the day. Meetings with Canon McCormick and Canon Johnson. I have a multitude of emails and letters to catch up on.

January 3
A quiet and calm day at home. Tension is building around the house related to school starting on Monday! I can’t wait!

January 4
Given that I have no scheduled visitation the girls attend church at St. Philips. After church Kyle joins us for lunch. People can probably imagine that it is very rare that we all have lunch out after church … so this is where everybody goes after church! In the afternoon I make a couple phone calls related to the Presbyter discernment retreat that begins tomorrow. My prayers are with the aspirants, their families and the committee.

January 5
Early morning workout.
Day off.

January 6
My office flooded over the weekend so there’s some chaos within! Staff meetings in the morning followed by meetings with Bishop Gray, Canon McCormick and Peggy Jones. At noon I have a lunch meeting with Canon McCormick, the Rev. Kyle Seage and the Rev. J.R. Lander from the Episcopal Network on Stewardship (TENS). It’s a very informative meeting and really helpful. TENS offers our churches a variety of resources.

In the afternoon I have a phone appointment with the Rev. Chuck Robertson from the Presiding Bishops office. They have assigned me to the Dispatch of Business Committee for the General convention … oh boy! Later in the afternoon I return more phone calls.

January 7
Early morning workout.
Gray Center for a meetings with the Presbyters discernment committee. Many thanks for the sacrifices made by these talented individuals and their assistance in our discernment process. Thanks also to those who come to this discernment committee seeking clarity about their call to serve God.

After the morning meetings and lunch I remain at Gray center and work on emails and another project. Later in the afternoon I depart for a vestry meeting at St. Georges in Clarksdale. I arrive home at 9pm … it’s been a long day!

December 2014

December 1
Early morning workout. In the evening Kyle, Katie, Betsy and I attend the an interfaith service at Millsaps for National Aids day. The service and preaching are very moving. After the service Betsy and I take time to observe the Aids quilt. I was really touched to see a panel in memory of the son of deceased parishioners from St. Columb’s.

December 2
Traveling to New York with Kyle for the new bishops and spouses meeting with the Church Pension group. I’m told this is an excellent and informative event. Kyle and I are able to enjoy a show together. Lots of fun!

December 3
In New York for meeting but find time in the morning to catch up on some work including emails and phone calls.

December 4
On our way to the pension group meeting Kyle and I are distracted by about 100 Santa Clauses who are picketing in herald square with signs reading #baconforsanta.  Turns out a simple Twitter message from me with that hashtag will feed 10 hungry people during this holiday season. I quickly tweet the message after taking a selfie with one of the saint nicks. After that we take a detour in order to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller center its really striking and beautiful. The Pension group meetings start with lunch at noon during which time I meet several other new bishops. It’s nice to meet some of the folks who will be in my college for bishops class. The meetings are a tidal wave of information … Wow! The evening ends after a reception at the presiding bishop’s home and then supper at the Yale club. We get back to our hotel just before a protest rolls through in response to decision to not indict a local police officer involved in the choking death of a suspect.

December 5
CPG meetings in the morning and then to the airport for flights home. Again it’s a tidal wave of information. An uneventful flight home with no delays. It’s great to be home!

December 6
Katie and I enjoy an easy mid morning workout. Errands around the house before settling in to watch the SEC championship game. My wife is elated that Alabama defeats Missouri to win the SEC title and in all likelihood a berth in the first CFB playoffs. After the game I leave for Ocean Springs where I will preach, preside and confirm at 2 services. I arrive on the Coast well after 10:30pm.

December 7
At St. John’s in Oceans Springs I preside at 2 service and confirm 2 new members. I also meet with the Rev. Jim Lancaster for his annual visit. After services and a reception I spend time with an aspirant for Holy Orders. It’s a great visit. St. John’s was one of the 2 parishes where I practiced my ministry as newly ordained curate. It was nice to see so many people who were integral to my formation. On the way home I stop by Singing River Hospital to make a pastoral call.

December 8
Day off! Morning workout.
Lunch with Kyle.

December 9
Staff meetings followed by a luncheon and meeting with the Standing committee of the Diocese. Afternoon meeting with the Rev. Penny Sisson for her annual consultation.

December 10
Early workout.
Busy morning! Early meeting with the Rev. Jamie McElroy. After meeting with Jamie I met with the Very Rev. Robert Weatherington for his annual consultation. The morning concludes with the start of the Deans meeting.

In the afternoon I attend a reception honoring the ministry and work of the Rev. Dr. Ruth Black at University Medical Center. Ruth has given so much for Pastoral care department at UMC. The Interfaith Chapel is dedicated in honor of her ministry.

After the reception for Ruth I head to Hattiesburg for confirmations at Trinity Church. While en-route I have a phone meeting with a colleague from another diocese. At the service I baptize 3, confirm 6, receive 2 and bless 1. The blessing was over a companion dog who showed his appreciation by licking me on the face! The evening concluded with a reception at which time they presented me with several gifts including a Smoothie King gift card! On the way out town I bought a smoothie for the road.

December 11
Pre-work meeting at Starbucks for coffee. The couple I’m meeting with informs me that they met while attending the walkabouts during the Bishop search process! Wow.

I continue my morning at Allin house for a meeting with Bishop Gray after which we head to St. Andrew’s Cathedral for a meeting with the Diocesan finance committee. After the finance meeting I returned to the office to finish paper work and other projects.

December 12
Early workout.
Meeting with the Rev. Sam Godfrey rector at Christ Church, Vicksburg for this annual consultation. After meeting with Sam I rush downstairs for a meeting with George Penick and Bishop Lloyd Allen from Honduras. This is my first meeting with Bishop Allen. Following this meeting we walk over to the Cathedral for lunch and a meeting with members of the medical mission. I learned a great deal about the medical mission at that time.

Later in the afternoon I met with members of St. Mary’s in Vicksburg. That meeting was followed by a meeting with a couple friends who I’ve known for a while from Camp. My day ends with a phone meeting while heading home.

December 13
In the morning I attend the Day on Diaconate at Grace Church in Canton. Great attendance! I’m really impressed by the commitment of the leaders and those interested in this program. In the afternoon I enjoy some quiet time at home.

December 14
A rare Sunday morning without a visitation! I’m not sure what to do with myself. The girls and I take our time waking up and then attend services at St. Christopher’s in Jackson. It was a lovely service with a really warm spirit! After church the rainy day keeps me inside watching football. In the evening I attend the POC supper and gathering at Gray center.

December 15
Morning workout. Day off! Kyle and I systematically do our Advent decorating and find a tree! After lunch I learn that the Rev. Hunter Isaacs is in serious condition at Singing River Hospital in Ocean Springs. Early in the evening I receive word that Hunter has died. I will miss him. He’s such a warm and kind soul. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

December 16
It’s a busy day in the office. Much of the morning is spent in staff meetings. Later in the morning I prepare for a meeting and gathering with the executive committee. After meeting with the executive committee I meet with the Diocesan treasurer Fred Page. After meeting with Fred I join Bishop Gray for a meeting with James Lueth the worship leader for our Sudanese ministry. On the way home I stop to buy some Christmas gifts.

December 17
Early morning workout. Things are moving slowly back home with both daughters suffering from the flu. I get to the office later in the morning and deal with a variety of phone calls. Including discussions about the funeral for Hunter Isaacs. In the middle of the day I rearrange meetings in order to go home to help my sick children. In the afternoon I’m back in the office for a conference call and meeting with board for All Saints school in Vicksburg.

December 18
In the morning I manage to do a little more Christmas shopping. The staff Christmas party and lunch takes place at noon at the Capitol club. It’s a lovely gathering. Many thanks to Bishop and Kathy Gray for hosting this gathering. Following lunch David Johnson and I leave for a meeting with the Vestry at Christ Church in Bay Saint Louis. I return home to later that night.

December 19
Flu like symptoms! I skip workout and call the doctor. Tamiflu is prescribed …

In spite of not feeling well I attend a graveside funeral for Eddie Demiller. Eddie was 97 years old, the son of a priest and a long time member at St. James, Jackson. A great guy and really faithful Christian.

December 20
I think I started the tamiflu at the right time because I feel better!

December 21
I leave the house really early in order to Celebrate and preside at St. Pierre’s in Gautier. This is the first Sunday since the death of their vicar, Hunter Isaacs. The mood is very somber. The Rev. Chris Colby preached a great sermon. After church I meet with Mission Committee and then head home.

December 22
I’m following doctors orders and skipping working out today in order to get over the flu and finish my prescription. I spent most of the morning driving to Gautier for the funeral service for Hunter Isaacs. I arrive in time in spite of traffic and a big pile up on the interstate. It’s a beautiful standing room only service. Prayers remain with Cissy and their family. Rest in peace my friend+.

Most of the afternoon is spent in the car driving home. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook “Unbroken.” I can’t wait for the movie to debut on Christmas day. Supper at home with the girls.

December 30
In the office for staff meetings. After the staff meetings I spend time with Bishop Gray and Canon McCormick. It’s strange to look around Bishop Gray’s office and see the boxes that are being packed in preparation for his move and subsequent retirement.

Later in the morning I meet with the Rev. William Ndishibandi for his annual meeting. William has so much energy and passion for doing

December 31
Early morning workout.
Spent the morning working at home on various projects. Began some early brainstorming for my address to council. In addition I was able to catch up on journal entries. Also, found time for several phone calls. As I finished my morning I recieved the formal notice that the Rev. Melanie Lemburg was called to be the Priest in charge at my former parish St. Columb’s. I am excited for Melanie, her family and for the people of the parish.

In the evening I quietly ring in the new year at home with Kyle and a couple good friends.


November 30
No visitation today. The girls and I celebrate our own sabbath service on the deck attached to our home. We spend some time discussing Advent and preparation for Christmas. The rest of the morning is taken up with household Advent and Christmas decorating. In the afternoon and evening I enjoy a Saints victory! Who Dat! Betsy and celebrate our normal Sunday evening hour of television watching the mid-season finale of the Walking Dead. Wow … it was a shocker.

November 29
In the morning we straightened and cleaned up after the company of the past few days. The afternoon and evening is all football. The day starts out perfect with USC demolishing Notre Dame … Fight on Trojans! Great joy continues to be experienced especially for Kyle as Alabama comes back to destroy Auburn in the Iron bowl. Congratulations to Ole Miss on winning the Golden Egg.

November 28
Yes, even after thanksgiving I manage to attend an early morning workout. After returning home we spend the morning helping family get packed and saying goodbye. It was a lovely visit with all my in-laws.

November 27
Thanksgiving day 2014. It’s kinda nice to hear early morning commotion in the house from little children. It’s also nice to know that I don’t have to wake up with them!

Time with family, great food, football games and a phone conversation with my mom and dad … I have lots to give thanks for.

November 26
Early morning workout. I spent at least half the day working at home on various projects. The other half day is spent getting ready for Thanksgiving company. All Kyle’s family will be joining us, tonight, for the holiday. That means 6 adults and 3 children under the age of 4 in addition to the 4 of us. I made at least 7 trips to the Kroger for various things that we “kept forgetting.”

November 25
The day begins with staff meetings. After those meetings I have a phone call with meeting followed by an annual visit with Elizabeth Wheatley-Jones. Elizabeth and I were in seminary at the same time. It’s great to catch up and hear about her ministry at All Saints in Grenada. After meeting with Elizabeth I walk over to the Cathedral to videotape an Advent meditation for their Advent reflections. It’s a great project.

November 24
Early morning workout. The girls are on thanksgiving break so it’s kind of a lazy day. I don’t think either of them woke up until noon.

November 23
Visitation at St. Pierre’s in Gautier. At the principal service I celebrate, preach and confirm (2). After church we enjoy a great meal in the parish hall. Following lunch I met with the Mission committee. Many thanks to Cissy and Hunter Isaacs as well as the parish for their kind hospitality.

November 22
Morning meeting with the LGBT ministry task force.

November 21
After breakfast we have concluding meetings. On my way to the airport I give thanks for these colleagues who will be mentors, advisors and partners in ministry.

November 20
The day is full of meetings and discussions. My head hurts from trying to digest all the new information and on several occasions I find myself saying “Toto we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

The day ends with a celebration of the Eucharist in Mandi’s chapel a gorgeous worship space given in loving memory of a deceased camper.

After worship we enjoy a delightful meal and fellowship.

November 19
I have to skip my normal workout in order to catch the first leg of a flight to Jacksonville for the Province 4 HoB gathering. After arriving at the airport it seems that my flight is delayed and then delayed again! I take advantage of the new departure time by leaving the airport and going to the pool for a workout … a great way deal with a delay. After another delay in Atlanta  I finally arrive at Jacksonville, FL and begin the trip to Camp Weed.

The camp and conference center are located on an aquifer. It’s really a beautiful setting. I’m pleased to see many of the Bishops I’ve already become acquainted with. It’s also nice to meet others for the first time.

November 18
Early breakfast meeting with Bishop Kopacz of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jackson. It’s nice to spend time with another new bishop.

Upon returning to my office I realize that the heat doesn’t work at my end of the Allin house! That needs to change! You could hang meat in here. Staff meeting in the morning followed by paperwork and correspondence. Over lunch I meet with Bishop Gray, members of the disaster response task force and Katie Mears from episcopal relief and development. This is a crucial and important ministry that I hope we won’t need but, know that we will.

In the afternoon I meet with the Rev Jody Burnett. After meeting with Jody I do my best to get things straightened out in my office before tomorrow’s trip to the province 4 meeting of the house of bishops.

November 17

Early workout.
Day off!

After an early supper with Kyle and girls I attend an Ultreya gathering. The group is made up of cursillistas from St. Philips, St. Peter’s, St. Andrew’s and Chapel of the Cross. It’s great to pray and enjoy fellowship with members of this community. I appreciate the chance to share my journey of faith and vision.

November 16

Visitation at St. Christopher’s in Jackson. It’s really nice to have a short drive! At the service I baptize 2, confirm 3 and reaffirm 2. It’s an awesome service with great music! I love the service music from Lift Every Voice. After church we enjoy a lunch in the parish hall followed by a short discussion led by me. The visit ends after a meeting with the mission committee. I’m very grateful for the ministry of this parish and their Priest in charge Cecil Jones.

Made a visit to a friend who is hospitalized. Its good to spend some time catching up and even better to see that he looks good and seems to be getting better.

I return home and watch the 4th quarter of the Saints loss to the bengals. They’re killing me!

Afternoon nap and supper out with Kyle and girls. Yay!

November 15
Morning trip to Gray center for a short visit to the ECW conference. Bishop Michael Curry is the speaker. I’m sure everyone appreciates Michael’s passion for preaching.

In the afternoon I attend a visitation for a former parishioner. Following the visitation I have a short meeting and phone call appointment. I return home in time to watch the Bama-State game with Kyle. Great game. I hate that somebody had to lose! I like the watching Dak Prescott play and I’m impressed with how Dan Mullen leads the Dawgs.

November 14
Early morning workout. Morning meeting in the office with John Lever. In the afternoon I meet with a company that designs Apps for organizations. Yes … I’m looking at the possibility of an iPhone and Android App for the diocese!

November 13
Morning and early afternoon meetings in the office with Bishop Clay Matthews from Presiding Bishops Office for Pastoral Development. Bishop Matthews and I meet in the morning to discuss the changes relative to my new vocation. Over lunch and into the afternoon Kyle joins us for discussions relative to the transition within our family. It’s really good and helpful!

November 12
Early morning workout.

Morning meeting with an aspirant for Holy Orders.

Lunch meeting with the Mississippi Episcopal Aids Committee. Major focus of the meeting is planning and details for the upcoming Aids remembrance the first week of December. There are a number of events planned including opportunities to pray and view the Aids quilt.

Afternoon meeting with Bishop Gray for the continuing exchange of information.

November 11
Morning prayers include those for Veterans, I can’t help but think about my dad who served in the RAF and US Army Air Corp during World War 2. I need to make time for trip to California to visit him!

Staff meetings in the morning. Those meeting are followed by several phone appointments. In the afternoon I meet with Chuck Barlow regarding our continuing relationship with the Anglican church in Uganda.

November 10
Morning work out. Day off.

November 9
A busy day with visitations at St. Alban’s, Bovina and St. Mary’s, Bolton! At St. Alban’s I preach, celebrate, baptize (1), confirm (5), receive (2) and reaffirm (2). At the service I’m assisted by the Rector, Billie Abraham and the parish Deacon Josie Williams. Following the service there is a luncheon and adult forum in the parish hall. The St. Albans portion of the day closes with the a vestry meeting at the rectory. I am really impressed by the vitality and energy within this parish!

After the vestry meeting Billie and I drive to Bolton for the afternoon service at St. Mary’s. Prior to the service I have the opportunity to speak with the congregation in a forum setting. During the service we are joined by the Mississippi Girls choir. They offer a prelude and offertory anthems … it’s beautiful … they are a talented group of young women with excellent leadership. Following the service I enjoy fellowship and then stuff my pockets with snacks for the drive home.

November 8, 2014
After breakfast with other visiting bishops I attend the service of Ordination and consecration for the diocese of East Carolina. It’s a beautiful service. There is much joy and celebration. After the service I head to the airport for flights home. I arrive home around 9pm with enough time to watch the end of the Alabama-LSU game with Kyle and the girls.

November 7, 2014
Early morning workout. I worked from home in the morning while getting ready to travel to Greenville North Carolina for the ordination and consecration of their new bishop the rev Robert Skirving. Rob will soon replace me as the newest bishop in the Episcopal church! I arrive in Greenville in time to enjoy supper with others attending the ordination  including Bishop Marble.

November 6, 2014
Breakfast meeting with bishop gray, chancellor Tate, canon McCormick and canon Johnson. I appreciate the sharing of information and wisdom at these meetings. After returning to the office I have further meetings with bishop gray and canon Johnson.

Later in the morning we proceed to St. Andrews cathedral for a meeting with the delegates and alternates to 2015 general convention in Salt Lake City.

Afternoon meeting with the rev. Seth Walley associate rector at St. James in Jackson.

November 5, 2014
Early morning workout after which I drive to Parchman state prison for an 11am service at St. Vincent’s. The start of the service is delayed so I spend time catching up with the rev. David Langdon and the very rev. Julia Moore. The service finally starts about 60 minutes late. I preach, celebrate, baptize 2 and confirm 3. It’s a really spirit filed and awesome celebration. After the service I enjoy. Late lunch with the congregation. Our ministry at Parchman touches many lives. Many thanks to David Langdon and others who keep this important ministry going.

While driving home I keep a phone appointment and make several other contacts.

November 4, 2014
In the office for staff meetings. These meetings are followed by an annual visit and lunch with the Rev. Will Lowry, rector at epiphany, tunica. Following lunch

In the afternoon bishop gray and I meet with canon McCormick and the rev. Jody Burnett regarding the various services at council in February.

November 3
Day off. Early morning workout followed by rest and relaxation.

November 2
Visitation at St. Paul’s in Corinth. This is my first time in this far north part of the state. It’s really pretty and there’s lots of history. I need to spend some time up here visiting the parks and learning the history.

At the service I preach and celebrate assisted by the Rev. Ann Benton Fraser, rector. The Rev. Billy Walton, Deacon at All Saints, Tupelo serves as my Chaplain. It’s a great service with lots of joy and healthy spirit. Following church we have fellowship during a pot-luck lunch. After lunch a parish forum takes place with Deacon Walton and I speaking. Naturally my segment is a “meet the coadjutor” while Billy speaks about the vocational diaconate. I’m amazed to meet 2 parishioners who were professors at Pepperdine and resided in my hometown of Thousand Oaks, CA! Small world! Also, in attendance at the service are members of the EYC at All Saints, Tupelo.

Long drive home and then supper with the girls.

November 1
In honor of All Saints Day … I slept in! Later in the morning I accomplish a number of tasks around the house.

I leave in the middle of the afternoon for a workout followed by the drive to Corinth for a visitation at St. Paul’s. It’s nice to workout before a long drive!

I arrive in Corinth in time to catch the end of the Ole Miss/Auburn game. I can’t believe how the game ended! I hate it for Ole Miss and Treadwell! It hurts to watch!

Tales from the Golden Road

Come Holy Spirit come.
Come as Holy fire and burn in us.
Come as Holy light and lead us.
Come as Holy truth and teach us.
Convict us, convert us, consecrate us and
Make us wholly thine.

You may have heard me offer this prayer. I use it frequently before worship, meetings, presentations and gatherings. A mentor, Joel Keys, offered this prior to worship at St. Thomas in Diamondhead. I heard it a couple times and quickly committed it to memory. It is actually a shortened version of a longer prayer from an anonymous source. The words, to me, are so familiar that they’re comforting but more than comforting they are empowering. Empowering because this invocation is us, God’s people, reaching out to the Holy Spirit and asking the Spirit of God to set our souls on fire! We don’t often reach out to the 3rd person of the Trinity but perhaps we should.

It’s really difficult to articulate how we experience the Holy Spirit (or Ghost). I suspect that all of us have different ways of attempting to explain its presence to newcomers, friends, children or parishioners. The Holy Spirit is indeed a Holy mystery. Maybe when we seek to understand or explain the Holy Spirit we should simply refer to the words of this prayer and see the Holy Spirit as a fire that burns in our souls, while providing light and truth for our journey of faith.

As I continue making visits to the missions and parishes of the Episcopal Church in Mississippi you will hear me offer this prayer over and over. Feel free to offer or use these words in your personal prayer life or when asked to pray before a meeting or even a meal. The Spirit of our Lord is indeed with us but it never hurts to invite that same Spirit to guide us into mission and ministry while making us “wholly thine.” My continued prayer is that our souls will be set on fire for doing God’s work in our families, missions, parishes, cities, state, country and world!

Peace be with you!

October 2014

Wednesday, October 31, 2014

Early morning workout.

In the office to work on a sermon and prepare for my visitation at St. Paul’s in Corinth. Afternoon meeting with the Rev. George Woodliff.

Neighborhood Halloween party. The Saints win last night ensures that I will proudly wear my Saints Jersey to the gathering! Who Dat!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spent time in the morning catching up on my journal and bringing my webpage up to date. I also worked on an article for the Mississippi Episcopalian.

A quiet evening at home.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Early morning workout.

Morning meeting with Bill Cruse, Director of Youth Ministry at St. James, Jackson and soon to be joining the Diocesan staff as our part-time youth coordinator.

Lunch meeting with Andy Young a good friend and parishioner at St. Columb’s.

I spend most of the afternoon working on materials and letter for stewardship.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

First day in the office since clergy conference. Staff meeting first thing followed by meetings with Peggy Jones and Canon Johnson.

Lunch meeting with the Deacons council. This council is great at keeping up the discernment, formation and ministry of our vocation deacons. I’m really glad for their level of commitment and the amount of time they give.

Afternoon meeting with the Very Rev. Billie Abraham regarding my coming visit to St. Albans, Bovina and St. Mary’s, Bolton.

Late afternoon meeting with Chuck Barlow a parishioner at Chapel of the Cross in Madison and one of the leaders of the our Mission trips to Uganda.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day off.
Morning workout. Lunch with Kyle. Afternoon errands.
Sunday, October 26, 2014

It’s a later morning than normal with Sunday responsibilities at the Cathedral for the 11am service. I drank lots of coffee and watched the NFL today … nice. Katie and Betsy accompanied me to St. Andrew’s for the worship and celebration of their 175th anniversary. It’s a really worshipful service and Bishop Gray preaches a great sermon.

The girls and I grab lunch on the way home. At home I relax watching football and dozing off. The Saints looked great in their evening match up against Green Bay. I hope they can look equally good against Carolina on Thursday night!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

We spent the morning in Birmingham with family. We packed up and started for home after breakfast and goodbyes.

Upon arriving home I did a quick change of clothes in order to attend a gathering and celebration at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in honor of their 175th anniversary. It was a great party! I was glad to see a space for die-hard Ole Miss fans … so sorry about the eventual outcome of the game!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The funeral service for Kyle’s grandmother, Annabeth Dickerson Carter, is this morning at All Saints Church in Birmingham, AL. Kyle will preach and I will officiate. Grandmother Carter is a wonderful person. She was present when I first met Kyle’s family 20 years ago and couldn’t have been more welcoming. I am so thankful that Grandmother passed her love of reading to the generations that followed her including my daughters. The rector and staff at All Saints are wonderful. Everything is in place and ready for us. Kyle preached an outstanding sermon.

After the service we return to the Dice’s home for a reception and gathering with the extended family. In the evening we enjoy supper out and more family time. I’m tired and stuffed with good food!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

It’s the last day of clergy conference. I survived. The closing Eucharist is quite emotional as Bishop Gray celebrates the Eucharist in this intimate gathering for the last time. Before the final blessing the clergy sing “An Irish Blessing” for their Bishop. His ministry has been a tremendous blessing to all of us.

After the service I have a meeting with the Rev. Hunter Isaacs from St. Pierre’s in Gautier. Following the meeting with Hunter I meet with the Rev. Taylor Moore from St. Peter’s, Oxford.

I go home long enough to pack a new bag before heading to Birmingham, AL for the funeral of Kyle’s grandmother. We pick up the girls from school and head to Birmingham.

After arriving we dine at Nabeel’s in Homewood. After supper we head to the home of Kyle’s parents Joe and Patty Dice. I’m exhausted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In spite of being at Gray Center I wake early and drive into Jackson for an early morning workout. I feel “off center” when I skip morning workouts with my teammates and fellow swimmers. There’s a guest from Chicago at the workout who like me has roots in Southern California. It’s nice to catch up with somebody who knows some of the same Southern California Swimming locations.
Clergy conference participants have the morning off with some optional activities. I have several meetings with clergy including an annual visit with Peter Gray, rector at Nativity in Greenwood. I additionally have meetings with the Rev. Annie Elliott and a group of clergy who attended General Theological seminary. An extended conflict at General has disturbed the alumni. I sensed a great deal of confusion and disappointment regarding the difficult times at their seminary.

After lunch we begin with more issues Diocesan matters. Hank Holmes, Director of the Depart of Archives and History for the State of Mississippi, shares a presentation about the pending Civil Rights museum which is under construction in Jackson. Our church has made a significant pledge to the museum. Parishes and individuals are being asked to join in raising funds for this incredible project. Gifts will be given to the museum in honor of the ministries of Bishop Gray, Jr. and Bishop Gray, III.

Several other presentations follow. Reggie Sims from the Executive Committee Task Force on Giving spoke about parish stewardship. The discussion was very spirited and important.

Supper was BBQ. It was Awesome! Equally awesome was the evening entertainment provided by various participants. We are a really talented bunch!

The annual gathering for Dead Priest takes place outside Cottage 3. It is a particularly poignant time to remember those men and women who have been integral in our formation. This year I especially remember the Rev. Ray Goodman. Ray was the first priest I worked for after being ordained. I will never forget how he used to slowly and deliberately say, “this is my body” during the Eucharistic prayer. His deliberately slow cadence always left me knowing how important that moment was to him and all of us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

First full day of Clergy Conference! I’m scared. My morning presentation highlights the obvious thing in our common life … the transition. I’m delighted with the response of the clergy. Following my presentation small groups spend time in discussion before reporting back to the large group. Feeling the healthy spirit in the room eases my anxiety dramatically!

After lunch we hear a presentation from the Kathy Garner, chair of the Mississippi Episcopal Aids Commission. This diocesan committee is an outstanding outreach of our ministry and mission.

The evening program goes well with more discussion about transition and vision. We talk about revising, One Church in mission, Inviting, Transforming and Reconciling. At that time I introduce looking at it as a command to practice our faith as we Gather, Guide, Grow, Give and Go.

The day concludes with worship in the chapel. I’m relieved and thankful for the leaders in this Diocese.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Early workout.

Last minute work on program for Clergy Conference. I head to Lake Caroline for golf with the Bishop’s open. My team doesn’t win but I’m very pleased with our performance!
After golf I head home to say goodbye to the girls before heading up to Gray Center for the Bishop’s banquet and Clergy conference. The banquet was great … awesome food and fellowship! The evening closes with worship and a meditation led by our Spiritual director the Rev. John Fritschner.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Visitation at Church of the Mediator in Meridian. At the service I preach, celebrate and confirm 14. During the liturgy they presented me with a beautiful chasuble made by parishioners. We celebrate the new members of the church and their stewardship drive with a banquet. It was a wonderful morning and afternoon!

Quiet evening at home with Kyle and the girls. I spend a little time at night working on my presentation for Clergy conference.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Drive to Biloxi for the South State High School Swimming championship. Katie competes in 2 individual events and records new personal bests in both events. Our family has really been caught up in my transition over the last few months. I’m really pleased that she has stayed focused on swimming and school. We arrive home late that night.
Friday, October 17, 2014

Early morning workout. In the office working primarily on clergy conference.

Lunch meeting with Barry Howell from St. Columb’s. We spend most of the time talking about baseball and our children (not necessarily in that order).

Back at the office Octoberfest is taking place on the street in front of Allin House. It’s a festive environment!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I spent the day working at home. The bulk of my time is spent working on my presentations for Clergy conference and the other surrounding details. I also found time to make several phone calls and do laundry.

In the later afternoon I took Katie to swim practice.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Early workout.

In the office I finish a meditation for an Advent publication at the Seminary of the Southwest. In the late morning there is conference call with the finance committee for the Diocese.

Lunch meeting with the Jan Gadow from St. Columb’s.

After lunch I spend time getting ready for an evening presentation at the Cathedral. Late afternoon meeting with the Rev. David Knight. David is a really helpful resource for my teaching at the Cathedral.

In the evening I teach at the Cathedral regarding a report put together by the Task Force on Marriage for the National Church. My segment is about the resources for Same Sex blessings. It’s a good conversation. I appreciate their openness.

Tuesday, October 14

Staff meeting first thing followed by meetings with Canon McCormick and a meeting with both Canons and Bishop Gray. After the round of meetings off to the Marriott for a luncheon with Catholic Charities. It’s a fundraiser lunch highlighting the many ministries of this organization. I’m honored to be seated at the same table as James Meredith.

In the afternoon I meet with the Rev. Gates Elliott for his annual visit. Gates, the priest in charge at Chapel of the Cross, has done an outstanding job. With the new rector coming on board later this month he will resume his duties as the Associate rector. Gates and I have similar stories given that both of us came to the diocese through marriage! It’s good to catch up.

I spend the rest of the afternoon working on various projects including an Advent meditation for the Seminary of the Southwest.

In the evening Kyle and dine at Ruth’s Chris in celebration of our anniversary … 19 awesome years of marriage.

Monday, October 13

I slept a little later and went to a later workout (7:30).

Attended the funeral of Scott Lenoir’s brother James. I golfed with James several times. Great guy. I know his family will miss him but they are thankful for his life. May the faithful departed rest in peace.

Lunch at home and working around the house. I actually caught up on my journal!

Sunday, October 12

Morning meeting with the vestry at St. Paul’s in Columbus. After the vestry meeting I spend some time talking with the 12 confirmands. They tell me they’re “stoked” to be there. I’m still trying to learn all the liturgical stuff that a Bishop needs to know so I’m ever grateful that Deacon Pam Rhea is able to show me around the Nave. It’s a really pretty church. Deacon Pam is really helpful pointing out some of the intricacies of the worship space.

Service goes great. I baptize 1, receive 1 and confirm 11. There’s a real joy in the congregation that I suspect is due all the holy celebrations related to Christian initiation as well as football. Wonderful festive brunch following the service.

I arrive home in time to supper. Over supper Kyle told me about the wonderful “Goat Roast” celebration at St. Philips. It was a good day … and a great weekend!

And the season premier of the Walking Dead is tonight! Yay!

Saturday, October 11

Mental note! Today is Mom’s 84 birthday. Give her a call!

Morning swim meet with Katie and the St. Andrew’s Swim team. I’m really proud of Katie as she swims a couple personal best times. I also had a great time watching the competition and talking with other parents.

My mom calls before I can get a quiet moment to call. I wish her a happy birthday. She tells me that she is speaking to me on her new iPhone. I’m in shock. She had an antique flip phone until this moment. This is the first sign that something amazing is happening.

Home in the afternoon where I watch football and take a short nap. I’m really excited for Mississippi State as they clobber Auburn. Kyle (the Bama girl) appreciates State immensely! I leave for Columbus before the Ole Miss game is over. Way to go Rebs! Two undefeated teams in Mississippi!

I spend the night at the home of the Rev. Anne & Marc Harris. Wonderful hospitality. This great day is made complete when USC holds on to defeat Arizona! My mom gets an iPhone, both Mississippi football teams win and SC wins. Whoa.

Friday, October 10

Early morning workout.

Morning meeting with Tammie Stephens regarding the Storybook project. It sounds like a great ministry where inmates are taped reading a book to their children! They hope to expand this awesome ministry beyond Central Mississippi.

Late morning meeting with Sekila Argrett, a parishioner at St. Mark’s and girl scout leader. She invites me to be judge at a desert contest this spring! It’s the 40th anniversary of the Samoa (girl scout cookie) so all entries will incorporate the cookie. My sweet tooth is already rejoicing.

Afternoon meeting with Whitney Robinson regarding some Christian education ideas.

Annual visit with Deacon Scott Williams.

I left the office early and I don’t feel remotely guilty. It’s been a busy week.

Thursday, October 9

Morning meeting with Stephen Stray, a member of the Cathedral who has served in various diocesan ministries.

Today’s standing committee meeting was cancelled so I am grateful for the time to work on sermon and preparation for my visit to St. Paul’s in Columbus.

Afternoon meeting with an aspirant for Holy Orders. We are blessed to have thoughtful and spiritual individuals willing to discern how God is speaking to them.

Evening at home with Kyle and the girls.

Wednesday, October 8

Early morning workout. The pool is swamped as the high school swim teams from Brandon and St. Joe’s are moving inside. It is kind of nice though as the commotion reminds me of swimming past.

Morning meeting with Grae Dickson. He’s an old friend so it’s good to catch up and to hear more about Gray Center.

I intended to begin working on a presentation for next Wednesday at St. Andrews church but the telephone and email conspired against me!

Afternoon meeting with Carol Spencer it turns out to be a great opportunity for me to learn about Hope Federal Credit Union. After the meeting with Carol there’s a meeting of the Trustees of the Diocese. My head is swimming after hearing all the numbers fly through the air! I am so grateful for and Trustees and our investment counselors!

Tuesday, October 7

Busy morning! Early meeting at the Trustmark building with our Chancellor, Granville Tate, Bishop Gray, Canon Johnson and Canon McCormick. Another helpful opportunity for me to learn more about some of the “administrative intricacies” of my new position.

Back to the office for staff meeting. It’s been a busy couple of days so it’s really good to catch up with everyone. Various meeting continue into the lunch hour. During that time Chuck Barlow and Molly Meeks from the Chapel of the Cross in Madison and Wiliam Ndishibandi of All Saints, Jackson visit with the entire staff sharing stories about the Uganda Mission trip. This is a really interesting new ministry of our church. It is also a mission field that we can learn much from.

I spend the rest of the afternoon planning and preparing for clergy conference.

In the evening Kyle and I attend an awards ceremony put on by Youth Villages. The 2014 award winners are the Revs. Janet and Luther Ott. It’s great to hear about the work of Youth Villages and Janet and Luther!

Monday, October 6

Day off
Enjoyed an afternoon movie with Kyle
Supper with Betsy

Sunday, October 5

Official visit at St. Peters Gulfport. I preach, preside and receive 1 at the 8am service. At the 1030 service I preach and preside while baptizing 1, receiving 3 and confirming 11. It’s an awesome experience to preside at confirmation for the first time with this vibrant congregation. After services there is pot luck lunch and great fellowship. I met with vestry after lunch and discussed the mission of the parish. I am excited to learn that they just started a Saturday night service.

While driving home I am energized by the Saints come from behind win against the Bucs. It wasn’t pretty but I’ll take it.

Arrived home and enjoyed take out supper with Kyle and the girls.

Saturday, October 4

Easy morning at home. I manage to spend a little time catching up on emails and finishing preparations for services tomorrow at St. Peter’s. This will be my first ever confirmations … I think it might be a good idea to look at the rubrics in the BCP.

Afternoon swim meet with Betsy. She did great. I was very pleased. Talked with Katie before she departed for homecoming at St. Andrews. Kyle is trying to balance helping Katie get ready while simultaneously watching the Ole Miss/Bama game.

Supper time is quiet around our house as Kyle mourns the Bama loss. She consoles herself by admitting that at least they lost to a Mississippi team. After supper I head out for Gulfport where I will spend the night. On the drive I have to deal with Southern Cal losing to Arizona State on the last play of the game! Ugh! Thank God the Dodgers managed to beat St. Louis!

Friday, October 3

Started the day with breakfast and getting some work done in my room in DC. I took a moment to catch up by email with an old friend, Chase Ackerman, who is attending General Seminary in New York. The controversy there has left him, rightly so, a little worried but he is enduring and dealing with things “one day at a time.”

I head out to the Uder Halzey Air and Space Museum which is near Dulles Airport. It’s an awesome display of some really great aircraft. I spent several minutes staring at a 707 on display in the commercial aircraft area. My dad flew 707’s for a number of years and I remember him complaining about the nearly non-existent head room in the cockpit! The other highlight for me is the Space Shuttle on display in the space area. What an incredible piece of technology it is.

I left the museum with enough time to catch my flight. After getting to the airport I find that my flight is delayed due a storm in Atlanta. I finally got back to Jackson around 10pm. Nice surprise was running into a good friend, Robert Mahaffey, in the Atlanta airiport.

Thursday, October 2

Drive the girls to school and then set out for Jackson-Evers airport. I’m flying to DC today to attend a meeting at the National Cathedral along with Canons Johnson and McCormick. We will be attending The Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) meeting. My Flights are uneventful and on time.

After supper we attend the meeting where I run into an old Seminary friend. Joining us for the meeting are, Morris Thompson and Will Compton, seminarians from our diocese. The meeting starts on time and was really interesting. This committee assigned from General convention in 2012 has done a great job. The meeting starts with Bp. MIchael Curry leading a short Bible study. He is tremendous and is a remarkably gifted communicator. The various speakers leave me with a great deal to think about.

Wednesday, October 1

Early morning workout. It’s hard to wake up but really nice to workout with the rest of my team. It feels kinda normal.

First day in the office after the ordination … I still feel really strange putting on a purple shirt. During the morning hours I’m busy trying to catch up on emails and phone calls.

At noon I attended the meeting of the Mississippi Episcopal Aids Commission. This committee does great things for men and women living with Aids. They are committed group of Christians that I’m humbled to work with.

After the meeting I head home to scoop up Betsy and get her to swim practice. After dropping her off I head over to Cups for coffee and a place to work. Cups on Lakeland is quickly becoming my second office. I love their dark/bold blend!