Signs of Truth

March 30, 2008

A sermon preached at St. James Austin on the Second Sunday of Easter, 2008.

Lessons for 2nd Sunday in Easter 

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be aligned with your love, oh God, our courage, our saving health, and our freedom.

You wouldn’t know it from reading most of the press reports, but the last General Convention of the Episcopal Church actually did talk about some things besides the Bishop of New Hampshire. They approved some changes to our liturgical calendar, and this past Monday we celebrated one of those: we honored the former Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero. The Archbishop was gunned down by an assassin in his cathedral shortly after giving a sermon against the anti-humanitarian junta in El Salvador in 1980.

That regime ruled through all of the typical methods of domination—fear, intimidation, and dehumanization: stealing hope from any source it could imagine. Death squads of the government hired thugs to rape, torture, and kill any who opposed their system. The poorest—the peasants of El Salvador—were the most persecuted. By 1980, 3,000 people a month were being killed. Corpses were tossed in shallow graves, and in trash dumps.

But the junta could not imagine the kind of hope that Archbishop Romero brought to life. The Archbishop spoke loudly against the injustices, and worked for nonviolent resistance to the oppression. Shortly before his death, he said, “I do not believe in life without resurrection. If they kill me I will rise again in the people of El Salvador… if God accepts the sacrifice of my life, then may my blood be the seed of liberty and a sign that hope will soon become a reality.” The Archbishop, of course, knew of a living hope that is imperishable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vermonters Come Around

March 27, 2008

In a sampling of Vermonters, 54% now say they support same-sex marriage.  That is the first time in Vermont’s history that a majority is in favor– showing that it takes exposure to us in order to understand and accept us.

Vermont legalized same-sex civil unions several years ago, due to a court-ordered mandate.

One wonders where equality would be in Vermont if equality had been left to fend for its own in a secular society that devaules relationship.

In the church today, it seems apparent to me that the places which are most opposed to same-sex marriage are those which place dogma over relationship.  The gospel seems to speak pretty clearly to that…

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From Changing Attitude:

Changing Attitude calls on the Primate and bishops of the Church of Nigeria to condemn attacks on homosexuals

A shocking story of mob violence has emerged which almost culminated in the death of one of the leaders of the Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN) group in Port Harcourt. The violent attack occurred in the context of the funeral ceremony being held for the sister of Davis Mac-Iyalla, attended by six members of the Port Harcourt group on Thursday 20 March 2008.

Read the CA press release here.

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Please take a moment and read the Rev. Dr. Gayle Baldwin’s open letter to several bishops of the church, found here.

It is clear to me that the notorious B033 is discriminatory, outrageous, and defamatory to our community.  It must be repealed.

It is equally clear to me that just as serious a problem in the church is the tolerated discrimination against GLBT people even though our national canons prohibit it.  For far too long and in far too many dioceses, bishops and diocesan conventions overlook the common will of the national church– the only entity which has canonical standing between the diocese and God– in order to perpetuate the dehumanization of GLBT persons by invalidating their equality and equal access to the table – to God’s table. Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting Ft Worth

March 2, 2008

Canterbury Campaign

I just returned from a wonderful visit to the Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth.

Integrity sponsored a Eucharist followed by a lecture with Integrity founder Dr. Louie Crew as part of the Canterbury Campaign (you can support Integrity at Lambeth by clicking here).

The people I met were such amazing witnesses to the power of love over fear.  Their stories, resiliency, and capacity to heal and rise from death were amazing.
Louie Crew visits Ft. Worth

Last night, after the amazing day of the event, filled with so many new friends, and hearing both the amazing stories of darkness in Ft. Worth and the light that is shining there despite it, I had a dream.  In my dream, I drove a long way with my children and their other dad and we arrived home– my parents’ home– in the mountains.  We pulled into the driveway and were greeted by our family, and the house was filled with longtime friends that we hadn’t seen in a long time. Read the rest of this entry »