For those of you who were not at church on Sunday (tsk...tsk...tsk), I present to you a few items that you might find interesting:
1. There will be an LSU / Auburn football party beginning at 1:30pm on Saturday, October 23 in the Parish House. The church will provide the soft drinks, so all you need to bring is some form of snack, appetizer or finger food to share with the other hungry Tiger (purple and gold ones, of course) fans. The kids can play on our new playground and a good time can be had by all.
2. On October 30, which is the Saturday before Hallowe'en, we will have a party at the church to celebrate the Feast of All Hallows Eve. There will be food, fun and, I am led to believe, entertainment in the form of an age appropriate scary movie. Come one, come all; and bring a guest with you. Invite a friend or a co-worker or a family member to come to the party and then to come to church on Sunday. Let's show Mansfield what a great place Christ Memorial is for families and people of all ages.
3. The Diocese of Western Louisiana held its annual Convention in Alexandria this past weekend, and there are a couple of interesting developments. First, Christ Memorial will have two people going to Indianapolis in 2012 to represent the Diocese at General Convention. Karen Nash was elected to serve as a Lay Deputy and I was elected to serve as a Deputy from the Clergy Order. It is a great honor to serve, and also a lot of work, so both Karen and I will need and greatly appreciate your prayers. Second, because of the great bounty that God as given to the Diocese through the oil and gas revenues produced from the Garland Scout Camp property right here in DeSoto Parish, the Bishop announced in his address to Convention that he was granting a waiver for every parish 4th quarter asking. This means that we will not have to make our final contribution to the diocese this year. This is a one time benefit, and by the Grace of God, we now have that money that we can use for the spread of the Gospel and the furthering of God's Kingdom right here in Mansfield.
4. Another item from Convention deserves some attention as well. The Bishop, again in his address to Convention, alluded several times to an upcoming period of change in the diocese. He was referring to his impending retirement as our Diocesan Bishop due to the achievement of the 72nd anniversary of his birth. This will happen in mid-summer of 2012. Therefore, the Bishop announced that he would be calling for the election of the IV Bishop of the Diocese of Western Louisiana some time in the Spring of next year. The process of electing a bishop is a long and complex one. If it does indeed begin in the Spring of 2011, then, and I believe this is the Bishop's desire, our new Diocesan would be elected, consented and installed prior to General Convention (July 2012). Bishop MacPherson is a gift of God to this diocese, and we should all give thanks to Him for that gift. Bishop MacPherson has worked tirelessly to be a good steward for this diocese and to be a true Defender of the Faith in the face of sometimes daunting opposition. He is a loyal man of God, a believer of the first order, and I will miss not having him safely ensconced at Diocesan House (or Hoose, depending on from what side of the border one comes). I am asking everyone who reads this blog post to begin now to pray fervently for God's guidance and protection as we seek to follow His Will in selecting a new bishop. This will be a decision of the utmost importance.