Our Simple Central Calling
Beloved in Christ,
Last Wednesday, I gathered in Waubun with a large congregation of laity and clergy to celebrate and give thanks for the life of the Reverend Doyle Turner, who served as a priest in a variety of ECMN faith communities. He was also a judge for the White Earth Reservation, and served for a period of time as the chairman of the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council.
I never had a chance to meet Doyle, but from the outpouring I have heard from people who worked closely with him, as well as reflections shared during the funeral service, I know that he was a man of deep faith, boundless generosity, and contagious joy. He inspired and mentored so many, and left a legacy of love wherever he went.
What the world and the church need more than anything is more people like Doyle: disciples whose minds are so molded by God's wisdom, whose spirits are so saturated in God's Spirit, whose hearts are so tethered to God's living power of love, that everything they do renders a sense of God's loving-kindness, justice, and peace in the world. As I looked around at the faces I knew at Doyle's funeral, I was overwhelmed at how many lives one person can touch and transform for the better. Some of the most faithful and outstanding leaders in our diocese are among those who count Doyle as a mentor and friend.
For all that is hard in our lives and ministries right now, there is a simplicity to our central calling: to cultivate lives of holiness that communicate light in the darkness, joy in sadness, and God's never-failing faithfulness. I'm so grateful Minnesota is full of saints like Doyle to show us something more of how to do that, and I'm grateful to be following his example with all of you as together we offer whatever small contribution we can each make to God's project of healing the whole world with love.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota