Wow, today is New Year’s Eve…
Do we have plans for a big time tonight? Nope. Just a not so quiet night in with two of our grands. We will probably do popcorn and movies, maybe a game. Meanwhile, the kids are playing outside for a little while.
So it is on this lazy get-ready-for-the-brand-new-year-day that I am just sort of browsing through the web. In my surfing, I checked out the Diocese of Fort Worth web page for any new missives that might have appeared. In the past few weeks, I have read pastoral messages from numerous bishops all over this church sending out Advent or Christmas messages to their ‘flock’. Nothing of the sort to be found from Jack Leo Iker. No tidings of comfort or joy; no prayers for peace or unity. The only thing that suggests the diocese knows that Advent and Christmas came is the picture of a Christmas pageant with its Merry Christmas! greeting. There is no indication that the leadership of the diocese even understands what Advent was all about, much less Christmas.
Then there is the article in which he responds to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Advent message. Hardly pastoral. The opening address from the diocesan convention can be found there. That certainly isn’t very hopeful or contemplative – too much “demonizing” going on in it. All sorts of other articles pertaining to the “crisis” that the current leadership of the Diocese of Fort Worth obviously deems more worthy of note than a message of hope and love.
I think that is incredibly sad. One would think that even those people who are firmly behind the current bishop have need of a pastoral message that speaks of hope for the future (without demonization of any group). Yet, no, nothing for anyone.
Who are these people who have no need for messages of hope, peace and love? Honestly, I think it is a mistake for anyone to think that too many of these types reside within this diocese. I believe that the majority need pastoral care that is not focused on division. I truly believe that most people need to believe that hope is our faith; that love is truly the ultimate goal; and that peace will be attained through that hope and love.
Most of all, I believe that the greater part of this diocese, regardless of their self-identified conservative or progressive appellation, will soon come to understand that they are starving to death spiritually under this current leadership.
May the New Year bring with it truly good tidings of joy. May we all strive to love. May we rely totally on our hope in God. May we work to bring about peace to all those who suffer from hunger, fear, injustice, oppression, and sickness. May that peace that passes all understanding come to this diocese, to the church at large and to the world.