I was ordained a Bishop in the Mystical Christian Tradition on December 5, 2020 (as evidenced by COVID era the mask!). This ordination and initiation deepened my relationship with the inner divine as well as my responsibility as a teacher and trainer of Deacons, Priests and eventually other Bishops. It's an extra-ordinary thing to be ordained in today's world as our culture moves away from formalized, institutional religion. And it's hard to shake the history of religious damage done in the Name of God. For me, this very personal and powerful initiation has led to more service, more sacrifice and more simplicity in ways I could not have imagined on that day.
I call myself an accidental bishop because I never set out to become a Bishop. I was ordained as a Priest in 2005 and was happy with my role as a Sacramentalist and pastoral counselor. During COVID I offered daily Communion and Rosary services online for about a year and folks started to gather to receive these offerings. Eventually some of those same folks said they wanted to become Priests, so I reached out to some Bishops I knew to inquire about the process of becoming a Bishop so that I could tend this flock of would-be ministers.
The Mystical Christian Initiatory Path, unlike other mainstream christian sects, focuses on healing, raising consciousness, and supporting people in spiritual growth toward union with the inner divine through sacraments (sacred ritual) and initiations (blessings for the growth of spiritual awareness) and ordinations (formalized vows of service to God and humans). (More youtube videos describe this as well.:)
The internal process aside, I was ordained and have in turn presided at nearly 30 Deacon, Priest and Bishop ordinations since that time. What many folks want to know about, however, is not the ordinations so much as the life of one who calls themselves a Bishop. So, I thought I'd let you in on the weekly round as I experience it. Let's start with Sunday Service...
Since there are quite a few Priests and Bishops in our group, I'm only on for service on Sundays about every 6 weeks. If I am presiding at a Sunday Service, I pray about the topic that would best serve those who gather and generally get an idea, a piece of scripture, or story. I show up in my Sunday finest...generally that includes a robe, stoll, ring and pendant of the Bishop, and share whatever the Spirit moves me to share with those gathered. At the end of the Service, I invite all present to receive the sanctified Eucharist (Communion) and send them off with a Benediction or blessing for their week. (See my youtube channel for recordings if you're interested.)
After Sunday Service, those gathered generally share brunch and conversation about the Service or upcoming retreats or ordinations. The Bishops gather on Sunday afternoons for a zoom call to continue those conversations and speak about their experience of serving the inner and outer Divine. This gathering is a Bishops' support group of sorts, giving us time to commune with those who have taken on the same level of service and who make the same weekly offerings to our spiritual community, Sacred Balance.
Monday through Friday I meet with counseling and spiritual direction clients, attend to my university courses (both those I teach and those I am enrolled in myself as a Doctor of Ministry student), participate in the intentional community in which I live, offer Tuesday morning Contemplation and Communion (much like a mini- Sunday Service), teach classes in our community related to spiritual development and pastoral training, and spend time twice daily in our Sacred Home chapel engaged in intercessory prayer for the earth, the world, and the people and situations of concern that have come to my attention.
Currently, I am supporting a new community member in preparing for the Sacrament of Baptism, two people preparing for Deacon Ordinations, and a Priest in preparing for the Bishop Ordination. I have the regular relationships and responsibilities of others in the world as the mother of 3 young adults and the daughter of an 80 year old mother (who also lives in our intentional community).
Sometimes I travel as a Bishop doing intercessory prayer and energy work (which I call earthworks) to release stuck souls from the planet and reconcile the energies between the heavens and the earth (mostly where humans have made a mess of things with wars and other injustices). I travel quite regularly and people often think that I'm vacationing as they do when they travel, but in fact the role of Bishop doesn't have a punch clock, so anywhere and everywhere I go, I am in service to Spirit in whatever way arises in front of me.
I don't even have my nights to myself as I am often awoken with the knowing that people and situations need intercessory prayer and blessings and so spend time most nights offering those while others sleep. Though many things that the average person takes for granted...like sleep, vacations and personal time, even money...I have vowed to give for God's purposes, I do not experience these things as losses. The blessing and joy of service is so great because I can see that I am a helper to the Christ in alleviating the suffering of humankind and bringing healing to individuals and the planet. There is nothing else I would rather do and so these things consume much of my time, energy and money.
I live in community with other ministers and participate in the daily round of cleaning, cooking, paying bills, etc. I watch very little television, but sometimes we have a Sacred Home movie night or go out to eat and enjoy a movie in a local theatre (most recently Barbie). Even still, I am watchful for who I might come across that needs something that I can offer be it a blessing, a meal, a hug, an ear, or physical help. God takes care of me and I take care of God's children. That is the promise I have made.
I gather donations to support our non-profit, Saving Graces, and disburse those donations to causes that I feel strongly about, currently a trade school in a poor African country the helps the underprivileged and undereducated to become self-sufficient. I give to many causes and am always on the look out for those who need financial support as I am blessed with a good job and income enough to share.
Life in God is beautiful. The Spirit guides my life in all things. I experience the joy of living and the bliss of union with the divine. My mind, heart and spirit are free and open. Sometimes I am asked to love those who are unloving. I do as I am asked. Sometimes I am asked to travel to meet or serve someone. I do as I am asked. Sometimes I am asked to feel the deep suffering of the world in my mind, body and heart so that I can help transmute it and relieve people from those burdens. I do as I am asked.
Mine is a life of purpose, joy and pain. I give gladly and gladly receive. I consider everything I do an act of service to God, people and the earth. I am blessed beyond measure...and sometimes I write about it. :) <3