I had just finished breakfast in the refectory and handed off my empty plate to the dish room when he approached. I’d never met the man in my life, but noticed him around campus the day before. His demeanor was welcoming, but very intentional. He extended a hand, introduced himself, and asked where I was from, and who was my sponsoring parish. After several seconds of small talk, he looked me directly in the eyes and began to tell me some things about God’s presence and work in my life. I was floored. I just listened. “Uh huh.” He had never met me, or talked to anyone about me before, but it was as if he had been listening in on my private prayer life for the last month or two. Immediately, I knew the man’s message was directly from the Holy Spirit. I felt I should kneel down and remove my shoes, for I was standing on holy ground! God was very clearly confirming and answering some things I had recently been praying about, and this man was simply his vessel. We were able to meet later that day for some conversation and prayer. I walked away…floated away, actually, knowing the finger of God had touched my life.
The Rt. Rev. Greg O. Brewer hales from the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, where he has served as bishop since March of 2012. Bp. Brewer was visiting Nashotah House primarily to do some reading. Of course, we lured him into preaching, and over his few days here, he naturally gravitated toward students with words of wisdom. The genuine love and Christ-like humility that drives Bp. Brewer’s ministry is evident in his interactions with others. He is gentle, peaceable, and incredibly respectful. I would add that he is also filled with God’s Spirit in a very special way. His preaching style is bold and engaging. We heard him speak from Matthew 7, the “ask, seek, knock” passage, and he expounded on the abundant, giving character of God the Father, challenging us to draw closer to a God who desires intimacy with his children.
The Virginia native bishop has bounced all around the U.S. since his ministry began. He told me he now realizes that every place he has lived has been by divine appointment and that his attitude is, “God takes me where he wants me. I’m just along for the ride.” I was so encouraged by stories about his ministry, and mostly, by his fervent prayer. I do hope to share a cup of coffee with this godly man in the near future.
I leave you with some words from Bishop Brewer concerning his recent visit:
“The rhythm of prayer, study, friendships and conversation was in full swing. Despite the controversy of the announcement of the visit of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and the very recent death of a beloved seminarian, Deacon Terry Star, the seminary community was handling both events with depth and maturity. I was warmly welcomed and invited into their robust common life. I was both the recipient and the giver of intercessory prayer. I preached and made some time to offer individual spiritual direction. I took advantage of their fine library, good refectory food, and lively conversations. I made time for much needed reflection. Being at Nashotah House was restorative and is a place to which I plan to return again and again.”