A message from Bishop Diana: Tending the garden of our diocese
Dear friends in Christ,
My father was a masterful gardener. Although he was not a “master” gardener by those official terms, he loved gardening and everything about it. Our family summer vacations had to be planned around his garden because we couldn’t be gone if something was fruiting or producing. Of course, in the earlier months, the garden needed watering. And weeding. And fertilizing … and tending.
I learned a great deal about gardening from my father. I also had bad allergies and hay fever, so gardening was never something I could fully embrace as a practice. It is, however, something I learned from watching and listening to him as he prepared starter plants with seeds and little pods of dirt placed carefully under grow lights in our basement.
Plants have seasons - even in tropical environs, plants have seasons. There are plants that need alkaline soil, and there are plants that need more acidic soil. There are plants that crawl, creep, or spread - they seem to defy containers or barriers, so exuberant are they to grow. Over time, plants need to be repotted or moved to better soil or into better sunlight. I even learned that some plants need their roots trimmed so that they will continue to be healthy and vibrant.
I am reminded of my father’s gardens and his methods as I look out over the landscape of our diocese and our diocesan office. Change is difficult - this we all know from the pandemic that we continue to endure. Some of the changes in our diocesan office might make us anxious; change does that to us. Today, we also know so much more about our capacity to adapt and walk together in changing times. The analogy of a garden gives a frame for the ways our diocese is growing and adapting. It reminds us that, as a diocese, we are growing where we are planted, and we are also invited to thrive in new soil, new locations, and new opportunities to live into the fullness of our gifts.
Continue reading Bishop Akiyama's message here.