Chrism Mass and “Chili with the Bishop”

Chrism Mass and "Chili with the Bishop"

As of this writing, I am about halfway through the eleven Chrism Mass celebrations and Chili with the Bishop dinners that are being held around our synod this spring. With the help of our conference deans and our host congregations, we are gathering in each of the nine conferences in our synod.

In the morning we celebrate Holy Communion, bless the oils used in pastoral ministry, and re-affirm our callings in ministry as ministers of word and sacrament, ministers of word and service, and as members and leaders in our congregations and ministries. While the emphasis of these services has traditionally been a time for our rostered leaders to gather, I want to make clear that all are welcome to attend these services. Please contact your pastor or conference dean to let them know if you would like to attend.

Through the afternoon, I am holding “office hours” at the host congregation and, YES, cooking chili!  I am using a recipe given to me by my mom. These “Chili with the Bishop” gatherings have been a great opportunity for me to hear about what is happening in ministry around our synod, and to connect with members and leaders as we consider what God is calling us to be and do as the church in northern California and northern Nevada. A brief time for evening prayer precedes each of these gatherings.

Thank you to the pastors and members of the congregations who have hosted these gatherings so far: Cross and Crown in Rohnert Park, St. Paul in Oakland and Grace Lao in Richmond, Christ the Good Shepherd in San Jose, Trinity in Fresno, and Peace in Danville. Next stops: Light of Christ in Turlock, St. John’s in Sacramento, St. James in Redding, Faith in Meadow Vista, Unity in South San Francisco, and Trinity in Pleasanton. The schedule for these gatherings is on our synod’s website — please consider attending if you have the chance.

Thank you to all who have come out to participate in these times for worship, prayer, conversation, and chili! It has been a great gift to connect with the pastors and members of the congregations of our synod during these gatherings. I hope to see you at a Chrism Mass and/or Chili with the Bishop between now and Holy Week.

Bishop Mark W. Holmerud