July 19th, 2006

HTOC

Bishops

Archbishop Job, bishop of the OCA's Diocese of the Midwest, made a pastoral visit to Holy Trinity on both Saturday evening and Sunday.  He was there primarily to ordain a man to the priesthood and a man to the deaconate.  This was essentially my first experience with a bishop of any kind, never knowing the biblical and theological importance of the episcopate until this last year.  The bishop is the center of the Church's unity, because to him it has been given to celebrate the Eucharist, which is the sacrament of the Church's unity.  The bishop is given the task to "rightly divide the word of truth", and to be the staunch conservative who is wary of any change driven by society and popular opinion.  Generally, bishops seem to appear like ancient grumpy men (minus one bishop, Benjamin), and perhaps this appearance is not all bad.  St. Paul's epistles to Timothy are tied together by the incessant charge to preserve sound doctrine and to avoid all distractions. 

Pleasantly enough, Archbishop Job was not nearly as grumpy as one could have expected.  His presence was a blessing.  I and several others of my age sat around a table with him for a half hour or so and enjoyed conversation.  I learned that the Midwest Diocese office is actually right across the street from Moody Bible Institute, the Evangelical Christian school that I was hoping to attend before my life took another path.  What a strange twist: it's not that I didn't make it to Moody, it's just that I seem to have ended up across the street.