Wednesday, October 7, 2009

episkope and other matters

Reflecting on the picture of His Grace in my last post (dear me, that sounds quite military and sad, doesn't it)...I remember my very first encounter with things Anglican, indeed with the episcopate in any form.

It was sixty years ago this past summer (merciful Heaven...the Rambler goes into Ancient Mariner mode here for a bit) "in a galaxy far, far away" -- well, no, but it was in the Yukon Territory, at a place called Carmacks, on the Yukon River. There was a coal mine at Carmacks, and my father managed it.

Along about midsummer, visitors arrived, by boat -- an "outboard" -- and stayed for lunch and for an afternoon's visit: the Anglican Bishop of the Yukon and his curate, the Rev. Randall Stringer (son of the Rt. Rev. Isaac O Stringer, "the Bishop who ate his boots." You could look it up). My Dad and Randall had known each other growing up in Dawson City, and they and my mother had a lively conversation around the table after lunch. But Bishop Adams sat down on the floor with me. We didn't play tea-party; but I had some plasticine, and he made me an entirely charming pig complete with curly tail.

I checked the Diocese of Yukon website just now -- he was a man of 70 when I met him. Visiting his diocese, in an open boat on a not-altogether-tame river through the wilderness...stopping wherever he encountered a human being...and taking the time to play with a little girl.

Yes, I think that's leadership.

(And as my friends say at this point: "And then, you became ordained.")

Busy times at MH & U -- baptisms and confirmations scheduled for October 18th beting St. Luke, and parish anniversary, and the Rambler's 13th anniversary of ordination; we have young adult, middle-aged, and senior candidates for both sacraments as well as adolescents and infants.

And I have three major pieces of writing on my plate today along with Clericus, hospital communion service, wedding interview, and spiritual journalling meeting. Whee! More coffee is called for!


Paul said...

Now that's the kind of person I like to see as bishop. What a wonderful memory!

Tim Chesterton said...

Isaac Stringer's picture used to hang in the vestry in All Saints' Aklavik - one of those 'resolute and determined' photographs! He was quite a hero in the Mackenzie Delta although he was never bishop of that area - he had been a missionary down on Herschel Island in the first decade of the 20th century.

Jack Sperry was good at that 'getting down on the floor and playing with the kids' thing too - which won't surprise you.

Terri said...

wonderful stories!

Jim said...

So we may take it that "bishops is [not] all swabs?"