The morning had a slightly gentler start than an ordinary weekday, but I did have to be dressed, packed for an overnight, and at the diocesan office for a 10am meeting of the Commission on Ministry. Deacons Bill Howard and Ann Tofani were interviewed and recommended for ordination to the priesthood. We then discussed some broader conceptual matters regarding the work of the COM.
Southbound on I-55 shortly after noon, arriving at my hotel in Marion just before 3:30. Met by Fr Keith Roderick, Rural Dean, who kindly offered to do the driving for both of us for our appearance at the special 5pm Eucharist at Redeemer, Cairo. There were 21 people in the room, which, in that context, is a bumper crop. Redeemer is in a relationship with the ELCA congregation in Cairo, Emmanuel, that is rapidly becoming much closer. This is an opportunity for Bishop Roth and I to get creative about exploring some of the dimensions of Called to Common Mission, the covenant between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Most of us who were in church promptly adjourned to one of the handful of still-open local eateries for some food, fellowship, and conversation. I enjoyed some tasty fried catfish. Do remember that Cairo is closer to Nashville (Tennessee) than it is to Springfield, further south than Richmond, Virginia; and closer as the crow flies to New Orleans than it is to Chicago.