Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Later today I will be leaving for the the Spring meeting of the House of Bishops. We will gather at Kanuga, the Episcopal camp and conference center just outside of Hendersonville, North Carolina.
We will conduct some business, but our spring meetings are mostly a retreat time. Our theme this year is "Godly Leadership in the Midst of Loss." Events such as the shootings in Newtown and Aurora, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and the personal losses of several of my brother and sister bishops lead us to reflect on how to proclaim the Good News in times of personal and community sorrow.
In a manner of speaking, we are always in the midst of loss. We live in a world populated by broken hearts, including our own. God's love for us provides the Gospel medicine we need to heal.
But let's help each other to remember that following Jesus is more than seeking healing for ourselves. On the contrary, as disciples of Jesus we offer ourselves as the instruments of his consolation and grace.
Paradoxically, Jesus frequently mends our hearts when we are most focused on the needs of others. He heals us as we tend to the physical want, emotional bruises, and spiritual scars of our neighbors. When we forget ourselves in his service, we become the most healthy self we can be.
Continued blessings for a holy Lent.
In Christ's Love,
The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby, PhD, DD
The Diocese of Western Louisiana