Q: You’re here, in part, to bless a home in Galveston that the church helped to repair after Hurricane Ike. What role does social outreach and activism play in the Episcopal Church?
A: We understand caring for our neighbor to be fundamentally who we are as Christians. Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. Taking care of people in distress is a significant part of that.
Q: You were an oceanographer before becoming an Episcopal priest. Does your background as a scientist influence how you approach your role as bishop?
A: I think I’m trained and formed in such a way that I look at the world carefully. I come with a hypothesis, but I’m certainly willing to change it. I just came back from visiting the church in Mexico. I go to something like that ready to learn, to see what they’re doing, what the challenges are, and then to ask, where’s the intersection with our context, not just in the United States, but in the 15 countries we are in? How does this connect with the experience of Latino Christians here in the United States, which is a growing part of our context.