Thursday, June 22, 2006

Everyone is blogging about General Convention - so I will too. If you go to our Diocesan list serve archive you can read my daily messages during the 11 days in Columbus. However, I thought I would expand on my final message on this site. Part of what I wrote:
"We made up today for all we did not do on other days. Whipping through resolutions at the speed of light - one reason for preparing and studying the resolutions before one gets to GC. The "big news" that went to the press is that after defeating one resolution after another on any moratorium on consecration of gay or lesbian bishops and/or same sex blessings - a full court press by the PB and PB elect and the need to say something to the Windsor Report (I suppose) resulted in a resolution that says we will exercise restraint in confirming a bishop whose manner of life presents a challenge to the World Wide Anglican Communion. We did not pass a moratorium and we did not address rites for same sex blessings. I did not vote for it as I felt it was one of those things that offered others as the sacrifice - I am willing to sacrifice but could not come home saying - I was called to the cross but I pick you to go instead. I did not see Jesus asking anyone else to his work for him. (oh hey Peter or Mary - why don't you go to Golgotha today). Others (a big majority) had other ideas - so in my mind it was a step away after many steps forward - it remains to be seen what will happen."

And now after reading Rowan's tepid response (although one could read it as a comment on reality) - I am sure I voted the right way. Many were crying as they voted, regardless of whether yes or no. I don't judge others votes - I just judge my own.

The long flight home to Wyoming gave me time to think about the long view. I started coming to GC when we were in New Orleans (1982 I think) - Integrity held "secret" Eucharists so the gay clergy would not be outed. Now it is the most popular service of GC and there are so many out gay and lesbian clergy that they cannot all serve at the altar. Then we would lose every vote on full inclusion -- can't remember how many times we circled up after a particularly painful losing battle and sang "We are a gentle angry people and we are singing, singing for our lives" --- Now a great majority of GC supports full inclusion. The vote on Tuesday - strongly turning down the Special Committee's resolution with its extreme caution on bishops and no development of blessing rites but with a sop of apology to any gays and lesbians who might be hurt!! Over and over we said NO. We overwhelmingly passed the resolution condemning the criminalization of homosexuality and calling for civil rights around the world.

But on Wednesday, in the end, we faltered. Our worship featured the PB elect'ssermon which included:
"That bloody cross brings new life into this world. Colossians calls Jesus the firstborn of all creation, the firstborn from the dead. That sweaty, bloody, tear-stained labor of the cross bears new life. Our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation -- and you and I are His children. If we're going to keep on growing into Christ-images for the world around us, we're going to have to give up fear.
What do the godly messengers say when they turn up in the Bible? "Fear not." "Don't be afraid." "God is with you." "You are God's beloved, and God is well-pleased with you."

Fear not - but in the end we gave into fear. Fear that the Anglican Communion would not allow our new PB a seat at the table. Perhaps that is true but it was not our finest hour. And I think we knew it at the time. We made our choice and live in hope despite our fears.