So many formative memories came flooding back yesterday as I attended the funeral of onetime Presiding Bishop Ed Browning at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. Here are a few:
Processing into the church next to Bishop Fred Borsch, my New Testament professor in seminary and a primary mentor over the years. Listening to retired PB Frank Griswold, my old boss at the Episcopal Church Center in New York preach the sermon, and seeing him join retired PB Katharine Jefferts Schori and current PB Michael Curry presiding at the Eucharist.
Being led in the intercessions by a dozen of the Browning children and grandchildren. Precious time with Patti Browning at the reception as she grieves and prepares for the immediate future without her life partner, her beloved Ed.
Private dinner after the funeral with dear friends and former 815 colleagues: my predecessor as ecumenical officer David Perry; peace and justice officer Brian Grieves; Chancellor David Beers; House of Deputy Presidents Bonnie Anderson and Gay Jennings; old friends and colleagues Don and Carol Ann Brown. So many Browning-era memories shared, so much laughter, so many tears.
My life has been enriched and blessed by all these folks and more with whom I was able to spend time yesterday. The communion of saints stretches across time and space into eternity…but it begins with shared commitments, adventures, and friendships with people like these.
This morning I am filled with gratitude for the life and ministry I was able to share with these dear ones. God is good…all the time! All the time…God is good!