Thursday, April 26, 2018

Reflecting on Barbara Bush and The Episcopal Church

From Texas-

The passage today, from John's gospel, has that one sentence that has been with me all week long, "I know my sheep, and my own know me." Yesterday I had the privilege of serving and giving the blessing at the funeral for Barbara Bush. The procession of Presidents, First Ladies, dignitaries, and national leaders was grand to be sure. The music was transcendent. The eulogies from people that I know, some of them well, were all touching in their own way. As the Rector said, it was indeed a good day for the Episcopal Church. There were many moments, as I thought about this last night, to be remembered. There was a lot of laughter and there were tears. There were moments that were funny and odd and there were some mistakes. There were some moments that were sad and there were some moments that were joyous.  And then there were tender moments. The body was received into the church, as it always is, when a body is present, and I sat there with my pastoral shepherd's crook, and watched as the ladies gathered around the coffin - some of whom were Barbara's friends; some were members of her church needlepoint group; some were Altar Guild - and they draped the funeral pall over the casket. And then I watched, as I have watched at many funerals before, as those Altar Guild ladies fussed over that funeral pall to get it just right, just as they always do. Like Altar Guilds all over the Episcopal Church, they did what we do for both First Ladies and for the least of our members, those who will go unknown. We do what we do for Barbara Bush, just as we have done for Carol Watson, Paulie Israel, or Don Morris, here in this congregation (All Saints’, Crockett).  It is what we do because we know our sheep and our sheep know us. 

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