This is one for my Episcopal readers, and especially for Episcopal chaplains. The rest of you are certainly welcome as well.
If you've spent much time here, you know that to your left I have a link to The Bishop's Notebook, the blog of Bishop George Packard, Suffragan Bishop for Chaplaincies for the Episcopal Church. While he is directly responsible for Military and Federal Chaplains, he is also the contact person and advocate for healthcare and other chaplaincies at the Offices of the Episcopal Church and the House of Bishops.
You may have seen the story from the Episcopal News Service of the visits of Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori with Bishop Packard and members of his staff to service members and veterans at Bolling Air Force Base, Walter Reed Medical Center, and the Pentagon. However, Bishop Packard tells on his blog a story that ENS didn't report, a story demonstrating at the bedside the pastoral focus and skill of the Presiding Bishop.
I won't quote Bishop Packard here. Rather, go and read the post. When you do, I think you'll know why I found it so exciting.
This has certainly been a tumultuous year for the Episcopal Church, and next year looks to be even more - is exciting the right word? Maybe. At any rate, when you read this anecdote about the Presiding Bishop, you'll see why many of us are so enthusiastic about her direction and her leadership.
Have a safe New Year's Eve, and a happy Feast of the Holy Name.