Bishop Frank Logue: 0:00
And then life doesn’t become about measuring up and trying to be enough. You know, then, enough, rich enough, tall enough, mature enough, enough enough. You know what I mean. You know, then it’s about no, no, no, that’s already done. Everything that needs to be done has been done by Jesus. Right, I’m just living into that love now. And how do I share that with other people so that they understand that they’re not fighting for something here? This is For People with Bishop Rob Wright.
Bishop Wright: 0:40
Hello everyone. This is Bishop Rob Wright and this is For People. Today, we’ve got a friend as our guest, my brother, bishop Frank Logue, from the Episcopal iocese of Georgia. Bishop Frank, good morning, good morning, so good to be with you, glad to be with you. Bishop Frank and I have been colleagues for many years. He is, and we have become brother bishops as of May 30th 2020, where Bishop Logue was ordained and consecrated as Bishop of Georgia at Christ Church, savannah. He is a husband, he is a dad. He was born in Montgomery, alabama and grew up in Marietta, georgia. He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and, for his theological training, the Virginia Theological Seminary. We both are graduates of that wonderful and esteemed seminary. So, bishop Frank, I’m glad you’re here. It’s good that the two bishops of Episcopal bishops of Georgia are together, as we are in many other places and on many other occasions. It’s good to just be with you a little while and talk. I think, just out of the gate, I think so. You’ve become a bishop in 2020, which means you became Bishop really right in the middle of the storm, so to speak. Indeed, indeed, and at your consecration, we all were masked up and slathered up in hand sanitizer right, as the Lord, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, made you a bishop in the church, and so what’s this been like for you, being a bishop now, three years, and in all of the challenges that are afoot for the church in middle and South Georgia? What’s it been like for you, and where’s God been in all this?
Bishop Frank Logue: 2:41
Sure, you know. You were there that day at Christ Church, where just three bishops consecrated me, where usually there’s a host of people, our brother, michael Curry, told me. He said, frank, look, we know you ain’t got any friends anyway, so we arranged this. So it’s not going to look bad, that you only got a few bishops showing up and I appreciated the love from him.
Bishop Wright: 3:01
I did, I did.
Bishop Frank Logue: 3:03
But you know the gift was that I’ve been serving in this diocese for 20 years at the time of that ordination. I’ve been from seminary and spent my first 10 years planting a church in Kingsland, georgia. Then I came to Savannah, 13 years ago now, to serve as a candidate ordinary as the right hand for Bishop Scott Benhays, and so I knew the clergy and people of the diocese well, and that helped us in pandemic Sure, because we were in the midst of something that none of us saw coming in the way we should have, and yet our faith in Jesus Christ had prepared us to find ways to stay connected, even when our concern for public health kept us apart. And that was a challenging time. But you know there was more than one thing going on at that time the video of Martin Aubrey’s killing had come to light right before I was ordained a bishop. And on my first day, that Sunday following my ordination, I joined other clergy of the diocese of Georgia, particularly Savannah area clergy, as we, at the mayor’s request, to the streets to assist with a protest that was planned that day. It was around Breonna Taylor’s killing and George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and so we had, as you recall well, twin pandemics, that we were working with, the ongoing sin of racism, together with the coronavirus, and so we moved right into all of that right, and you and I have talked about this before. We both know well that really there’s no good reason to go to the streets and protest if you’re not willing to work on policy and if you’re not going to stick around and do the work, then there’s no reason marching and carrying a sign.
Bishop Wright: 4:55
We’ve had those conversations right, we have, and you know that’s. I’m so glad you underlined that, because otherwise it’s just a performance, right. I mean, yeah, you know, protest can be on day X, but there has to be a lot of stuff that happens before, during and after. That make it really eligible for significant change. Otherwise everybody just gets a little bit of a placebo and go that’s right, that’s right.
Bishop Frank Logue: 5:19
And their normal life. That gave us an opportunity to work together across time because you and I together got some grant funds from the Episcopal Church. You’ve used those here in Central and South Georgia as you have in to the North. I worked very closely together with Dr. Catherine Meeks and Absalom Jones Center and then when it came time for the trial that some of the funding that you helped me secure from the Episcopal Church had covered a facilitator working with the clergy of Glen County and I think we all saw the way they were united during that time of trial by that prior work so that if you listen to news reports you would often hear clergy from Glen County calling people to prayer. They were leading prayers daily in front of the courthouse and then you and me and Bishop Kevin Strickland together when the when the trial went, we issued a prayer and called people to it and then, after the trial ended, we were able to issue a statement together, having stood together during that time and I think its adversity shows what’s already present and Glen County Christians showed that their faith in Jesus Christ went all the way to the marrow and was grateful for that, grateful for you as a partner in ministry across that time.
Bishop Wright: 6:40
And I have to tell you, in a tragic situation it gave me a lot of peace even to know that there was someone in that vicinity who was a sort of pastoral presence in Glen County and beyond that was committed to both truth and justice. I think, the more I think about the work that you and I are called to do, the more I think and am getting clear about we’re called to always keep up this sort of North Star of what it means to be an alternative community founded by Jesus in the world. And it’s hard because it’s about energizing people and it’s about also offering critique. And nobody wants to be energized because that means there’s work to do and nobody wants to be critiqued.
Bishop Frank Logue: 7:36
Right. So it’s a that’s right, that’s right, thank you.
Bishop Wright: 7:40
It’s an interesting job, but nevertheless, I think it’s. It’s what fidelity demands is to hold both of those things in tension. Let’s, let’s zoom, let’s zoom out a bit. And and how did all this get started? I mean, you know how, you know, some people have a dramatic story to tell about. You know, they saw the light and Decided to drop everything and go to seminary and drag the wife and kids along, or the wife and kids drag them along, or however it goes. You know how do you come to all of this? Because we’re really sort of talking about the middle of the story so far.
Bishop Frank Logue: 8:16
Well, it started up in in your territory as, as you noted earlier, growing up Marietta, georgia, I was very involved in scouting. Boy scouts were very good to me. I traveled the world, even went to the world jamboree in Sweden, but Travel around the US. But but what it did it? It taught me a deeper sense of patriotism and what we can do together. And I found in my scout leaders an example of what ministry looked like to me. If you asked me anytime across my 20s or early 30s what ministry was, I would tell you I felt called to it and it’s that way in which you find Some place to give back from what you have received. And I had good mentors who were with me, who. We didn’t talk about faith a lot. We did have worship services when we were on Camping trips, but but it was clear to everybody that the men in that troop were doing what they were doing out of faith in Jesus Christ and they Saw more in me than was present at the time. They saw it. You know my junior high and high school self was not worth putting the energy into that they did, and and so I was left with that instilled. My wife and I talked about that where. But when we first met we’re dating, I talked about this sense of giving back to God in some way, and so we had been active at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rome, Georgia, in your diocese, and worked with Children’s Church and at another time worked with the youth group, the high school group, and Along the way I felt God calling me to something Different, but not more or better. Right. And I met In your office actually with O’Neill Soto, the Bishop at the time, and he and I had several conversations where Bishop Frank Allen was on sabbatical at the time and I was meeting with Bishop Soto and he Helped me see that, frank, you’re trying to do other things when God has something specific for you. Let’s, let’s resolve this issue of priesthood and then we can sort out the rest. And he said, because I keep seeing a priest in you and I think God has already seen that and so so that call is, you know, called to ordain. Ministry is not being elevated but it’s actually dying to self. There’s in the Dacanate. You’re Called to take the church to the world and bring the needs of the world to the church, and so that’s less about you and the priesthood more connected to the community of the church and bringing others into that gospel. And In the being a bishop, I mean I knew that that was going to be the death of any sense of my own schedule, my own calendar, my own Determining what I do with my days and my nights. It’s the only ordination right in which the, the bishop who is ordaining, says that you’re called the ministry of reconciliation. Day and night, day and night. It says right there in the book, and so it’s really never been a call to something more or higher, but a Living into who God made me to be, in service to the body of Christ.
Bishop Wright: 11:43
Hi listeners, thank you for listening to four people. A space of digital evangelism. You can keep up with us on Instagram and Facebook at Bishop Rob right, and now back to four people. So I love, I love how you you weave that together so wonderfully. It is about different, and I’m glad you said that and we were on the record here about that, because I think sometimes, when people are doing discernment for ordained ministry, they think in terms of more or better, rather than, as you know, simply distinct, a particular way to be baptized, to live out your, your baptismal faith. And so I’m glad you said that and I think about that. Even as a bishop, I think all I’m doing really is living out my baptism in a particular way. That’s right, that’s right, and so that puts me beside people. I like to talk about it that way, because that puts me beside people, then put me over and against people. I have yes, in fact, I have been trusted with unique responsibilities. Of course, I’m not I’m not trying to diminish that, but it’s still. All of it flows out to, you know, flows down to. We have been baptized, we have made promises, we are responding to God’s goodness, to us, and and these are a particular, these are particular ways you know to respond and that that way to think about it keeps us together. And in the four orders of ministry we talk about the orders of ministry being lay folks and the deacons, and the priests, and the and the bishops. When those four are working together, you know and there’s synergy. You can’t beat it, the gates, the hell can’t stop it. You can’t beat it. Yeah, no, you get stuff done right, yeah, but but when everybody’s kibbitz in and and and when you know the spirit of backbiting and criticism takes us over and and we don’t find a way to be gracious to one another and to appreciate one another’s contribution, and then you know, as, as the great Bob Marley says, you know, if you, if you wake up in your quarrel every day, you’re saying your prayers to the devil, right and so and so, but what? But when those four things are interdependent, there is a synergy that you just can’t be and you can be effective for God. But, boy, when it’s not, it is, it is, it is something that is way off the rails. And so so, all these years in Georgia, all these years of ordained service in Georgia, and, and all the times, the ups and the downs. So so, who is God for you right now? Sometimes people have asked answered that question with a scripture, sometimes they’ve answered with an image. I asked Barbara Brown, taylor, michael Curry, all these people this question, and so I’m wondering you know right now, as you, as you do the work God has called you to do with the people God has called you to serve, what character feature of God is present to you? What scripture, what song, what, yeah?
Bishop Frank Logue: 14:53
So so the thing is, what you notice is a preacher right, because you’re preaching all the time and and and if you, if you, if you’re preaching, alright, you’re really just preaching to yourself and you hope it benefits some other people.
Bishop Wright: 15:03
So you just start to notice what turns up and you’re preaching and teaching right.
Bishop Frank Logue: 15:07
That’s right if you’re paying attention right. And so I noticed that I’m falling in a lot To this sense that this is the God who made me, knows me fully and loves me, in spite of the fact that God knows me fully, right? So this sense of of a my go day, the image of God, is really strong with me and I’ll tell you it is for a bit of a painful reason. I’ve noticed this in my preaching and teaching Since shifting, since July of 2021, when my mother was born. She had gotten herself home, but she had been on my way to my sister’s house. Now my mom had lived in that house for about 14 years, my sister and her house for about 20 years, and my mom had made this drive a lot and she got an intersection and she knew where she was going, but she couldn’t remember which way to go, and so she got herself home and soon after she got herself to the doctor who said, yes, it’s dementia and and we’ve been on a journey since that, and that that journey’s taken some different twists and turns I tried to get her to move here to Savannah. Then she did this March, having other situations we could talk about. But but one of the thing is my mom, great woman of faith, small business owner and Samirna, georgia, for many years had several flower shops and she often had said to me that God meets us in reach. She often had said to me that God meets us in reality. It’s the only place God is. God’s not in that past that you, that’s so perfect, right. God’s not out there in the future that you’re hoping for that. It’s only when you can get real that God can be with you, right, because that’s just where God is. So you know, get real with yourself and and I really have been like, what does that mean when I can have a conversation with her? And in that moment she feels like I haven’t seen her in weeks when I was with her the day before. But that’s real for her, right, she’s not, she’s not messing with me, she just is feeling a little bit more alone, right. And so you know, on that journey, john Swinton has been helpful to me. He’s a practical theologian from Scotland. His book Dementia Was given to me by priest of the diocese in lash and and he talks about dementia can focus us where we need to be always, which is appreciating what is when I’m with my mom. It really doesn’t matter if she remembers it the next day or the next week. That hour of hers, or two hours, or whatever it is, is better for both of us because we spend it together. And, you know, all of us live in the memories of God. All of us are known to God, no matter what we remember of ourselves. You know, we don’t. Sometimes we get this idea that that faith is about understanding. But who of us really fully knows and understands God? I did a confirmation on Sunday for a young woman on the on the spectrum who, who is really? Her connection to the world as it is is not, is very different from mine, she’s not verbal and she, and yet, and yet, in that moment and that confirmation, she came forward and wanted to be there. And when I, when I said her name, she laughed and she knew somehow that that place is a place where she is known and where she matters. And if the church is a place where you’re known and you matter, that’s something she came up for the Eucharist later with with just joy in her eyes. And am I going to say that she understands something about the God who made us and loves us less than I do? No, no, no, no, I don’t have that kind of hubris. No, no, no, no, no, no. I think she is more connected to God, right? So when I’m saying that you know, god made me, knows me fully, loves me completely, I’m talking about in all these sorts and conditions of the ways we’re connected to God across the scope of our lives. I’m talking about something a little bit more. And then then life doesn’t become about measuring up and trying to be enough. You know then, enough, rich enough, tall enough, mature enough, enough enough. You know what I mean Enough enough, right? And then it’s about no, no, no that’s already done. Everything that needs to be done has been done by Jesus. Right, I’m just living into that love now. And how do I? How do I share that with other people so that they understand that they’re not fighting for something here? I mean, look, it’s amazing, the journey from elementary school to middle school to high school does everything it can to tear people down. Right, you and I know people, man, that they are right there sitting in their head giving free rent to a friend who betrayed them in elementary school and a bully who said things about them in high school. Right, those messages are living, rent free all the time.
Bishop Wright: 20:19
That’s right, that’s right. And and and stealing, you know, the now, yeah, right, stealing, stealing from them, the now was listening to a guy talking about that the other day, about naming as a competency and a capacity for all of us to do what we need to do. To get here right now, yeah, and to let that be enough and that’s just a. That’s an alternative way to be. I wonder sometimes, when I read Matthew, mark, luke and John, I wonder, is it wasn’t that part of Jesus’s charm? You know, I think he was probably just the most down the earth dude walking around Galilee, right, I mean, it’s all the other stuff, right, and I think he was so enigmatic, you know, in being present to people. You know people, hey, you know, like the woman by the well, hey, I met somebody today, you know. Or guys walking down the beach, hey, I met some guy, some guy, so more than charismatic, so so present, so available. I had to go and walk along with him and see where he was going.
Bishop Frank Logue: 21:26
Yeah, this guy’s seeing the world upside down. He’s noticing people that nobody else wants to pay attention to. Right, right. The guy living out in the tombs man, you know he’s got.
Bishop Wright: 21:39
He’s got a word for the guy who is harming himself and scaring everybody in the tombs. Yeah, so you know is he is he? Is he seeing the world upside down or right side up? I mean right side, right side up, right, and I mean to see like Jesus sees. I think is the invitation to see right side up. You know I am I. In my daily devotion I read an old, an old book by a guy by the name of Walter Bruggeman. I’ve quoted him before on this podcast and he’s got this book. It’s the 40th anniversary of this book called the prophetic imagination. Now, it’s a man. I love this book, but he talks in terms of you know what the church has got to be and what in? By the church I don’t mean the building, I mean you and I, the people who say we are followers of Jesus. You said we’ve got to be able to fend off domestication in all its forms and hold on to this notion that we are an alternative community. Yeah, an alternative community. And so that’s what I think we’re talking about here is we’re talking about seeing. If you’re seeing, you know, if you can see deeply into now and be in now, that makes you a part of the alternative community, because the world says either languish in regret, right, or live in fear of what’s coming down the pike, right, but not be here. Grace, you know, like the young lady, that you just you know you sort of talked about, but don’t be here in joy. My wife and I were laughing the other day about the way that kids communicate. You know how a kid will just walk up to a complete stranger and say you know, today is my birthday. Or you know or you know, these are my new shoes, I just love them. You know, and while that sounds ridiculous, or even quaint or silly, you know there’s something to that. You know, and I wonder if that’s what Jesus means by you know, by inviting us to be like children not childish Right, but like children in that, taking joy and basic pleasures.
Bishop Frank Logue: 23:37
Yeah, yeah, yeah. My wife and I had that place in trail together back in 1988 and we met this guy along the trail and he said I’m tired of the, the thing where we introduce ourselves. I just want to tell you what I’ve been experiencing this morning in the woods and he talked about just the feel on that foggy morning and the quiet and and and and what that did to his sense of perception not being able to see very far at all, but being able to hear in a different way. And then he just walked on and then we were like, yeah, let’s just start our conversations in the middle. You’re always you’re, you’re hiking north, somebody’s hiking south and you know how my name is, you know and I’m from and I’m whatever you know. And then we’re gone, you know, and instead just share a little something with somebody. And it was great fun Because it did exactly what I was talking about before. It put you in the reality of that moment, right, like we only got this moment together. Where are you in this moment? You know, it is Amazing to go meeting people along the way and this single serving friendship of a few minutes and To have that and maybe you may.
Bishop Wright: 24:43
You’ve named a practice for us Right now, which is which is maybe don’t meet people, first and foremost with you know the basics, where you from or how I introduced you on being on this podcast. This is well, but but you know something else I want to send a supery.
Bishop Frank Logue: 25:00
In his book, the little prince does that. The little prince is like you know. Adults talk about all these things that don’t even matter. Like you know when you’re born, where you’re from and it’s like well, what do you like? What are you enjoying? What’s the? Where’s the childlike wonder in your life? Right, wow, forget your resume, you know Where’s it. Where are you delighting in these days? You know.
Bishop Wright: 25:22
I was gonna ask you as we wrap up, I was gonna say, you know, you know this podcast will likely be aired, you know, this summer. And I was gonna say to you you know, give us a word for the summer. You know what’s an invitation you give. But maybe you’ve already given it. Yeah, right, maybe maybe you’ve already said yeah, hey, you know, maybe, beginning this summer, try meeting people at a different place other than in their resume right, right, right, right.
Bishop Frank Logue: 25:50
And and it’s really in what am I noticing and seeing in these moments? And bring me what you got right. So show me what you’re seeing, so show me how you’re hearing, show me what, what’s giving you joy at this moment? Right, and that’s, that’s a summer worth living through, right there.
Bishop Wright: 26:09
You know there’s a funny thing about now here’s a, here’s a, here’s a Jesus way to see things. You know a right-side-up way to see things. We don’t celebrate, you know, mom’s dementia yeah, we don’t we. It’s nothing we prayed for. But but you know that wonderful line from from Jim Forbes you know, god doesn’t cause everything, but God can use everything, and so and so, maybe even in mom’s dementia, you know, there’s this gift, if it, if it invites us to see now better and to see now more graciously and more with more gratitude.
Bishop Frank Logue: 26:51
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it reveals what is right, I mean the abiding parts of her there. She’s not someone else, she’s still herself, even when you pull back some things right, even even when you have the same conversation four times across an hour. But but she, she, really. You see what abides right, and none of her has been lost to God. None of her she’s. She’s already been caught up in eternity, you know.
Bishop Wright: 27:19
Well, that’s a word for all of us to be mindful that none of us are lost to God and that, and that God sees us exactly as we are warts and all mm-hmm and loves us Still yeah, the good, the good news is not that if we get our act together, god might someday come to love us.
Bishop Frank Logue: 27:39
There’s no gospel in that. There’s no. There’s no gospel in that the Paul says while we were yet sinners, christ died for us. And it’s like we were messed up. Anyway, right, jesus didn’t go to the guy at the tombs hurting himself and saying man, your life looks great, you’re awesome, you know. He said you are beloved, right, you, you are mine and you are meant for something. Yeah, so much more.
Bishop Wright: 28:06
I love that line from Paul, while you were yet.
Bishop Frank Logue: 28:11
Yeah, and I just say it all it’s got leaders I was talking about earlier, who saw something more in me than was actually present at the time. Right, that’s what we’re called to do with other people too, and in the present moment, to see more than is there by seeing what is really there. Not what I wish for.
Bishop Wright: 28:30
Now you know you’re, you’re a genuine Southern there and I’m a transplant. But there are things that we say in the South that makes so much sense and they’re deeply theological. There’s things like you know, I know you better than you know yourself and so you know thank. God for this community of believers that help us to know ourselves better than we are able to know ourselves All by ourselves. If that makes sense, that’s an expression of God’s grace to us. Always good to be with you, bishop Frank. So, bishop Frank Loeb is the is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, which is the mother diocese of the Episcopal Church in the state of Georgia and the mother diocese of the diocese of Atlanta. God bless you.