Love is the Way

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya

Love is the Way

Beloved in Christ,

Last week, as our nation reeled from the events at the Capitol, I encouraged you to hold fast to prayer. This week, as we approach the inauguration of our next president amid increased security around government buildings, impeachment proceedings, and deaths from a pandemic that continues to ravage the disadvantaged disproportionately, my exhortation to you is the same: root yourselves, day by day and moment by moment, in the person and power of Jesus Christ through prayer.

Over the past several days, there have been two sources of particular nourishment for me. The first was Friday evening, when I joined those in formation for ordained ministry at their annual Integration Retreat. One of the chaplains for that event, the Rev. Joanie Delamater, opened the evening by leading us in a breath prayer. Joanie invited us to slowly and deeply breathe in the name of God and slowly and fully breathe out a simple request or thanksgiving. While our words were personal to each of us, and while we were separated by hundreds of miles and all of the limitations of Zoom, when I opened my eyes I felt grounded and intimately connected to those I’d just prayed with. The conversation that followed was vulnerable, caring, and courageous. I believe that the act of shared prayer helped to nurture a sense of community and kinship.

The second is that I spent yesterday reading Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s newest book, Love is the Way. In it, he calls us to embrace a universal love as the way forward as individuals and a nation. His understanding of what love is, how we find God, and how love has the power to change the world and see us through these challenging times is deeply grounded in his own very real experiences of both suffering and hope. It’s one of the most energizing and inspirational things I have read in a very long time, and I highly commend it to you.

I look forward to finding strength in prayer with many of you tomorrow morning, as we begin a new chapter in the life of our nation, and continue our work of seeking good for one another, and loving the world as Jesus has loved us.

Grace and Peace,‌

The Right Reverend Craig Loya
X Bishop
Episcopal Church in Minnesota