From Bishop Loya
May 31, 2023

Beloved in Christ, 
This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday, one of the seven principal feasts of the church year. If you want a good laugh to prepare for it, I recommend this classic take. 
A common joke among clergy is that this is a good Sunday to find a guest preacher, since most of us don't relish the opportunity to explain a mind-bending piece of doctrine in a sermon. The idea that God is Trinity is, I think, often met with a lot of suspicion, or simple lack of interest. This is particularly true in light of the historical fact that it was worked out in councils of the church that included vehement fights about very fine points about language and philosophy.  
You should know me well enough by now to know that I think holding fast to our confession of God as Trinity is critically important. What we are saying when we confess that God is revealed as three persons in unity of being is that God's very heart is an eternal relationship of mutual love. As Christians, we are saying the most basic thing that is true about all of reality is a community of loving, mutual relationship. That's a profound thing to say about what is most true and real in and about all of creation. 
And if you think the Trinity is incomprehensible and irrational, then you've got it exactly right. Indeed, all those fights about the finer points of how we define the Trinity in the creeds was a deliberate attempt by the earliest church to establish that God is not a concept that we understand, but a mystery that we encounter, and a deeply personal love that enfolds us. The doctrine was developed precisely to keep us from thinking God is something we can fully understand within the confines of our rational, human brains. It reminds us that our faith is not something we think, or something we agree to with our brains, but a way of life that we commit to, a God that we give ourselves over fully to. 
There is nothing that is truer about creation than that loving community is its most powerful force. Loving community is the beginning and the end. In our own small, finite, broken, and imperfect way, we are called in the church to be so drawn into the loving embrace of the Trinity, that we reflect that truth in everything we do. It really doesn't make any sense, and I hope this weekend you will bask in the weird and wild gift of proclaiming the unity, and beholding the mystery, of God in three persons, blessed Trinity. 
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
X Bishop
Beloved in Christ,                                     May 23, 2023
Loneliness is killing us. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recently issued a report that called loneliness as deadly to our health and well-being as smoking. We live in an age when connecting has never been easier, and yet on the whole, study after study has confirmed that we are lonelier than we have ever been. Our bonds with one another affect every aspect of our emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being, and nearly everything in contemporary American society conspires to impede it. 
Pentecost, the major feast we celebrate this Sunday, is God's subversion of human isolation. It is God's answer to Jesus' high priestly prayer in John 17, that we "all may be one." We are told that "there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem." When the apostles are praying, the Spirit descends on them like flames of fire, and everyone hears the apostles speaking in their own language. In the midst of that staggering cultural, political, racial, and linguistic diversity, Pentecost is the great miracle of community and communion. At Pentecost, God draws us from scattered fragments into the Beloved Community. (Incidentally, the mitre traditionally worn by bishops is meant to evoke this image, and is a symbol of the Spirit's ongoing presence in and with the Church).
But make no mistake, Pentecost doesn't erase the differences and diversity present. It's not that everyone speaks or hears the same language, it's that deep connections are formed across differences. The Church's mission is not uniformity, but community and connection. The Church's purpose is to join God's ongoing work of subverting human isolation with loving community.
This week, I invite you to pray, every day, for the Spirit to be poured out in new and fresh ways on our diocese. Pray that in a culture of exclusion and isolation, we might be agents of connection. Pray that our faith communities may be places of big, crazy, expansive, and life-saving embrace. Pray that you, and I, might fully take our part in patching the fabric of the creation God longs to heal in the eternal embrace of God's love. 
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
X Bishop