Convention Hangover

June 22, 2006

HangoverWhew, again.

It's over.

Not really, I suppose, because now all the arguing will start over how far we have really gone towards Windsor, the network bishops will start requesting "alternative primatial oversight" from Lambeth, and we'll continue fighting among ourselves about why we bothered taking up resolution B033, which seemingly traded the right to have a place at the table in Labeth 08 for a temporary moratorium on gay bishops.

I've taken a lot of flack over my position on that one, I can assure you.

As Catherine said I think on her blog, I think we all need a day at the spa or something.  A little walk on the beach.  Watch the sunset.  Actually, for me what I think I need is to go out and dance the night away and get out some of this physical energy that has been pent up since I've been glued to my PC for the last 10 days administering these damn blogs.  🙂

Hopefully, we'll all get back into a comfortable rhythm soon; going about our normal routines, performing our daily rituals, following our regular spiritual practice, worshipping on our regular schedule.

Perhaps the comfort of that regular schedule will take away some of the hurt of yesterday.  Not change the outcome, of course, but make sense of it to those of us who feel so wounded.  Before we can move on with the business of reconciliation, we first have to heal.  We have to figure out how we understand the actions of yesterday and move beyond them.  There is a lot of anger and hurt from B033.  If that means that we have people who cannot focus on doing the business of the church then we cannot move forward until that healing is complete.

It was disappointing, no- maddening-  that the Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury put us in this position.  I'm particularly distressed with the ABC.  I have always gotten the impression from the ABC and his emissaries that they absolutely do NOT see the justice side of this issue- it is all about putting the communion first even at the expense of the GLBT community in the world.  That to me was the biggest disappointment in ++Williams.  He came in and was supposed to have a grasp, and understanding of our community.  He clearly doesn't.  Or he doesn't have the leadership skills to manage Nigeria and balance the needs of ALL the GLBT community in our church.

But I think it unfair to blame our convention for this problem.  The convention turned down the resolution that the ABC and his Windsor commission asked us for.  The House of Deputies said "No – we will not trade in the lives of GLBT people for communion.  That is a false choice."  It was only the following day, when ++ Griswold told the joint session in no uncertain terms, and with precise clarity, that we would not be invited to Lambeth if we did not adopt it that they begrudgingly adopted it.  For that, I don't hold the convention responsible.  They had already turned down the measure.  They could have turned it down again- but to ask them to break the church away from the Communion on the last day of Convention- to order a schism- with only 30 minutes of debate was unfair.  That was a false choice.  No, this problem lies with the Archbishop of Canterbury, not with yesterday's decision.  For that reason I am not upset with yesterday's decision.  How else could they have responded?

Several times yesterday I said that we need to make sure that we do not make the mistake that we have been accused of on the right– cultural imperialism.  Yes, gays and lesbians deserve equality.  Yes, this is a justice issue.  But the way to achieve equality and justice and have it last isn't always to slam it down the throats of the world.  It is sometimes, but not always.  Sometimes it may be better to get other leaders to understand why justice is the moral choice.  To have backing.  Being at the front of a pack of none isn't being at the front.  Justice just doesn't happen overnight.

The backing is starting to come.  With the PCUSA adopting some resolutions that move them forward, and the UCC already ahead of us, movement is starting.  We have to trust the the Spirit knows what She is doing here just like She knew what She was doing with the consecration of Gene Robinson.  That doesn't mean sit still and wait to see what happens.  It means get out and fight like hell to ensure that the next vote- the next resolution- the next Lambeth conference- ends up on the side of equality.

Well- enough on B033.  I realize I'm in the minority on this one and no amount of preaching is going to change that.  What we need is healing.

Convention hangover.  I need an aspirin.


3 Responses to “Convention Hangover”

  1. Mary Ellen Marko Says:

    This is the first sensible response I have seen yet. Yes, we as a church need healing, and yes, change takes time, but I fail to see how the convention’s departure from Christ’s mandate to love one another serves the wider Christian community. What I see is a choice in the favor of ecclesiastical elitism over Biblical humility. I’ve told other friends, and I think it bears repeating: Jesus did not come for the elite, he came for the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the lepers, and all the marginalized in his society. The Roman empire at it’s height is hardly different from the United States today. What we need is for the real Jesus to stand up – or in his words – be lifted up. Was he lifted up during this past ten days, or was something else?

  2. Jeff Says:

    Thanks, Mary Ellen.

    We’ll have to wait and see what the future holds, I suppose, and have hope that the Spirit is guiding us someplace wonderful even if we cannot see it right now.


  3. Mary Ellen Marko Says:

    You are right. God doesn’t alway work instantly, but he is always on time. At least that’s what I’ve always been told. This is a time to pray.

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