A comment by a blog reader earlier today on reconciliation caused me to dig through my "archives" and resurrect this piece from May 12, 2003 -- written as we headed into the LAST General Convention. I revisit it here in part to answer the commenter's questions and in part to remind myself -- and all of us -- about what it is we're called to as those given Christ's ministry of reconciliation.
We filled a parish hall for four days -- lay and ordained, gay and straight – men and women from the east and from the west. We were gathered together for conversations about reconciliation -- focused on the issue “Conflict in the Episcopal Church.” What brought us to those ubiquitous round tables set up for small group discussion was the “conflict du jour”: the blessing of same sex unions. What kept us at them was the deep desire for a ray of hope that there was indeed a way to be reconciled with each other in spite of our deep differences of opinion.
That longing was expressed in these words set to music by Missouri lay deputy Mike Clark:
God who embraces all of this Earth
Heal those in sorrow, burdened with pain.
For many are broken
Many are fearful
Many are longing to hope again
Longing to hope again.
Longing to hope that this “faith based reconciliation process” might actually offer tools to enable us to communicate beyond the sound-bite, position paper rhetoric to which our discourse has been reduced. Longing to hope that there is a way to maintain the integrity of our deeply held convictions and yet stay in relationship with those who differ from us. Longing to hope that this church we love can continue to hold us all in the embrace of Anglican comprehensiveness.
Read the rest here.