During the March for Life, I got a beautiful and powerful depiction of what a Bishop’s role is to his diocese. We, as the Anglican Church, marched together with our neon green signs, hats and scarves. As we walked, I was shocked at the lack of protesters. That thought, however, went away as we got to the end of the March and reached the Capitol, it was quite a hectic atmosphere. There was loud music (albeit Kanye’s new Jesus is King album), the police lining the road to keep us safe and then people yelling at us. All the sudden our fun walk and dancing to Kanye’s Jesus tunes turned into walking a little faster to get through what we now call, The Gauntlet. I was worried that the protestors would start yelling at our students, so I tried to keep them as close as possible to us. However, the only remarks that were thrown at us, were directed at our Bishops. Someone made fun of their vestments, which is very mild to what it could have been.

Bishop Meditations (1)
“As we search and pray about our new Bishop, it is vital to be praying for a man who has a heart towards our youth and the uniting between generations. Our youth are thirsty for adults who believe in and support them. Having a leader who seeks them out, encourages them and believes in them will aid their spiritual lives in ways we could never fully express. ”

2020 March for Life

This encounter struck a chord with me and I began to process why it was so profound as we walked to our busses. To me, this was such a beautiful representation of the ministry that our Bishops do for the ACNA. These men put themselves in front of us spiritually. In this instance, this Bishop put himself in front of our youth and protected them from what could have been a very traumatic experience. He kept our youth emotionally and spiritually safe. He prayed with the youth when we were a safe distance away and checked in with them when he saw some of them crying because of how scary the experience was. As I thought more on this, I became quite emotional and thankful. I myself, am a leader in ministry. I know how hard it can be leading people and receiving spiritual attacks. Seeing this tangible example made me so grateful for the men that lead our diocese.

The second reason why this image of our Bishops joining us in the March for Life was profound, was because they joined together multiple generations for a singular cause. Typically, you’ll hear about different generations resenting one another or not understanding each other. However, during this March and the conferences before the March, there were teenagers, parents and Bishops joining together in spirit and heart towards a single cause. There was unification and understanding. My heart was so touched by seeing these men stand up for justice and care for our youth all at one time. This March provided an image of our Bishops and their youth walking hand in hand towards a unified cause, multiple generations aligned and passionate about the same thing! This is what we have been praying for and working towards in our own Diocese of the Southwest.

As we search and pray about our new Bishop, it is vital to be praying for a man who has a heart towards our youth and the uniting between generations. Our youth are thirsty for adults who believe in and support them. Having a leader who seeks them out, encourages them and believes in them will aid their spiritual lives in ways we could never fully express. We are in the unique position in being able to elect a man who not only desires to lift up and encourage our existing Church and Clergy, but also does this for the youth and young people around us. Join me in praying for discernment and wisdom!

Blessings,
Kristie Cossel
Diocesan Youth Coordinator

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Kristie Cossel

Youth Pastor - Church of St. Clement, El Paso, TX

Kristie came to know Jesus better and was mentored by adults at St. Clement's. She loves to love youth and help them know God's love for them. She is also currently serving as Youth representative for our Committee on Nominations. Kristie plans to go to seminary.
Want to get involved with Diocesan Youth? Email her at: youthministry@stclements.com

2 replies added

  1. Carlie Pine June 3, 2020 Reply

    Beautiful story by Kristie Cossel. I’m praying we find the right Bishop to lead us all. Thank you.

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