What a joy it was to attend The Episcopal Peace Fellowships reception honoring Ed and Patti Browning last night! Not only did the then Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning ordain me as Bishop of Iowa in 1988, but I served under his leadership on Executive Council for six years during some very difficult times at the Church Center and in the Church at large.
Ed and Pam Chinnis, then the President of the House of Deputies, used to give fairly formal addresses at the beginning of each Executive Council meeting. I always looked forward to them and came away, particularly from Ed’s, more inspired and more committed to this church and to our common mission to spread the Gospel and work for justice and peace in the world.
Patti and Ed are known most in EPF circles for their work for peace in the Middle East and their passionate commitment to the Palestinian Christians in the Holy Land, many if not most of which are Anglicans. But Ed worked for peace in the Church as well as in the world and was always willing to listen, and take seriously, those persons and opinions different from his and to seek to make a place at the table for all people.
His biography is being completed, not quite ready for publication at this Convention. It will be entitled “The Heart of a Pastor.” As his old comrade, Canon Brian Grieves said last night, “It could equally have been called ‘The Heart of a Prophet’ but Ed’s prophetic perspectives always originated out of his deep compassion and from his pastor’s heart.”
I could not agree more, and was so happy to be able to join in honoring the Brownings at this 76th General Convention!