Posted on in Saints Are Us by The Rev. David Marshall
When a Bishop visits parishes in his or her diocese it is called “Episcopal Visitation,” which is required by canon law. At least once every three years the Diocesan Bishop must visit every congregation under his or her jurisdiction. That being said, the bishop is the chief pastor of all congregations in the jurisdiction and is the direct descendant of the Apostles of Jesus.
The role of the bishop is spelled out in the book of Common Prayer on page 855. It is a great honor and a weighty responsibility carried by this person, being answerable for the doctrinal, sacramental, and spiritual life of each congregation. The bishop is also a teacher, as was Jesus.
We in the Episcopal Church have a process in place that requires the approval of the whole church, laity and clergy, from each diocese before that person can be ordained and consecrated to that ministry. In the Christian Scriptures the role of the bishop is explained in 1 Timothy 3:2-7. So on the 24th welcome our chief pastor and teacher, the one who carries the historical and living Church, the one who guides us in our life in Jesus.
See you next time,
I am your bro. John, O.C.P.