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A Message from Bishop Kym Lucas:
Greetings beloved in Christ. I come to you this week from the Southwest region of the diocese. For those of you unfamiliar with the Southwest region, it is the region that is furthest afield from the office of the Bishop. The closest congregation to my office in the Southwest region is Good Samaritan in Gunnison at 208 miles or three hours and 25 minutes. The furthest congregation from the office of the Bishop is also here in the Southwest region and that is St. Barnabas and Cortez at seven hours and 10 minutes or 388 miles.
Most of those miles are driven over spectacular terrain and beautiful mountain passes. It is one of my favorite commutes, even if it is the longest to visit this region. While I am here, I will be meeting with congregations and congregational leaderships from six of our congregations. Most recently, I visited with St. Patrick’s in Pagosa, with St. Augustine’s in Creed and with St. Stevens in Monte Vista.
While I was in Monte Vista, the Bishop’s committee shared with me the cowboy code of ethics. You may not have heard of it. I hadn’t, but I want to share that code with you. It is taken from a book by James P. Owen and it says this. “One, live each day with courage. Two, take pride in your work. Three, always finish what you start. Four, do what needs to be done. Five, be tough, but be fair. Six, when you make a promise, keep it. Seven, ride for the brand. Eight, talk less and say more. Nine, remember that some things are just not for sale. Ten, know when and where to draw the line.”
That cowboy code of ethics encapsulates so much of the resilience that I see in these plucky congregations. These congregations who are determined to be the Episcopal voice in their communities, to be the voice of the inclusive, welcoming, gracious love of God. They are loving their neighbors in tangible ways. They are making huge impact in their communities, in giving and serving.
It’s a long way to get to the Southwest region from Denver, but it is one of my favorite trips. In the coming days, I will be heading to Gunnison, and Ouray, and Delta to be in further conversations with the congregations about what the holy spirit is doing in their midst. It is my joy. It is my pleasure to see the Episcopal Church in Colorado loving its neighbor, caring for people, and serving the world in Christ’s name.