Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Integrity Agenda

The Integrity Agenda
(Finally ... for those who've asked about it, speculated about it, even fantasized about it ... it's the Integrity Agenda for General Convention 2006: courtesy Integrity Board member Elizabeth Kaeton.)

Watching Integrity work at General Convention is analogous to watching open heart surgery on a dinosaur. Part of it requires muscle and stamina: cracking open the chest of this ancient relic requires nothing less than brute strength.

Another part is delicate, intricate work, requiring all the fine-motor skills of a surgeon in the tiny, thin places of the heart and soul of this still-living and breathing organism.

Much of it is like the work of the larger team members: the surgical assistants and anesthesiologist -- long, tiresome, weary moments strung out over minutes, hours, days and weeks of watching and waiting, monitoring and evaluating, ready to move on the advanced notice that is sometimes less than a heartbeat.

It's all about the 'holy' spirit which people bring from their own 'holy places' and the Holy Spirit who shows up at the oddest times and in the oddest places, but is always firmly in control. That being said, I think that we do a disservice if we do not communicate the contextual setting of General Convention to our constituents before telling them that the strategy going into General Convention is pretty much the same every time: Be awake. Be alert.

Above all, be as gracious and as generous as we can possibly be, aiming always to follow the Via Media without compromising the dignity -- ours or anyone else's -- to which we are called to respect in our baptismal covenant.

Like open heart surgeons and all other physicians, we pledge to do no harm. As Christians, this means, additionally, even when harm is being done unto us.

This year, I anticipate higher drama from the right side of the church than most Queers on the left can muster up on a good day at Gay Central. I expect some of them to come prepared to leave this church and all of them well prepared to do as much collateral damage as they can before they do.

We on the left -- not just Integrity but the constituent members of the Consultation -- have to be ready to be part swat-team, part rescue-unit. And, we need to come to General Convention absolutely crystal clear about what it is we believe and what it is we want -- and be equally clear that people may not want/be able to hear our statements of belief or give us what we want -- even our allies on the Left.

11 comments:

jfmckenna said...

About 2,000 Americans died in Iraq so far, which is only a small percentage of the number of people who have died during the same time period from the life-shortening infections caused by homosexual behavior. AND YOUR MOTTO IS DO NO HARM?! If you legitimate this behavior, which results in unbelievable suffering regardless of whether people are faithful or unfaithful, then you have to realize that a better motto for Integrity at this convention would be:
BLOOD ON OUR HANDS

John Gibson said...

Surely, jf*ck, not even you are stupid enough to believe that AIDS has anything to do with homosexuality.

revsusan said...

Can we try to stick to commenting on the article in question not the comment poster in question? Thanks ...

Shindo said...

I'm really hopeful for Integrity's presence at this General Convention. Integrity was one of the things that drew me to the Episcopal church locally and was a big factor in me becoming Episcopalian. St Paul's in San Diego has been a good place for me to grow spiritually because of its inclusiveness, not just to the LGBT community, but to all people, anywhere on their journey of faith.

You and the other delegates (including those from my parish) are in my prayers. I hope a great deal of good comes out of it, even with the drama promised by the right..

It affects us in the end.

RMF said...

I agree with john gibson--anonymous/mckenna's posts are swill. He seems to spend quite a bit of time monitoring this blog only to then post quite a bit of angry garbage.

Catherine + said...

Integrity is organized and ready to roll. I have read the platforms and agree with them as just and inspired by the leadership, and all the input the members have submitted. I will be watching the results of the resolutions this coming week and pray for the enlightenment of all attending the convention and those who will be voting.

O Gracious God, be with all your people, who put their trust in You; guide this Your church to glorify and honor You in all things and bring the unity, constancy and peace to this gathering. All this we ask, in the Name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Hiram said...

If Integrity gets its way, it will do so at the expense of letting many Episcopalians know that they are no longer welcome in their own church. Attendance and giving have been dropping off at an accelerated rate since 2003; that rate will increase unless GC 06 follows the recommendations of the Primates in the Dromantine Communique.

PS to Catherine: I have posted a response to your accusation of my blaspheming the Holy Spirit on the "you've got mail" series of comments. And with regard to the "The Rev. Mr/Ms" -- it is formal, so seldom seen anymore. When I was canonically resident in Virginia, my mail was addressed to "The Rev. Mr." I would imagine that the Bp of Virginian knew proper forms of address.

Catherine + said...

"God, forgive mckenna, for he knows not what he does".

Catherine + said...

Thanks Hiram, I will read it.

blessings,

Catherine+

Shindo said...

Mr/Mrs/Ms McKenna,
I, as a reader of this blog, can only speak for myself concerning your "blog parasitism." I come to this page to read the blog of Reverend Susan Russell. Her writings. Not yours. I find them tiresome, especially with your "red herring" posts that take away from whatever Rev. Russell discusses. If you are so intent with these long posts, then you should start your own blog and post them.

I'm grateful she and others like her out there taking a stand for inclusion. I know part of that involves taking unnecessary heat from others, so she definitely has my support and prayers.

Jeff Martinhauk said...

I think this is one of the most meaningful parts of the post:

we need to come to General Convention absolutely crystal clear about what it is we believe and what it is we want -- and be equally clear that people may not want/be able to hear our statements of belief or give us what we want -- even our allies on the Left.

It is obvious from the problems we've had here on this site that tensions are running very high for everyone.

As we've discussed before on other posts, this convention will have much more to do with the psychology and group dynamics of how we all are able to work with each other in rough times, which for many of us is not related to theology. For me it is the same.

Let's hope and pray that the tension can manifest itself in constructive forward progress, and that deputies and bishops can remain open to the spirit during such an anxious time.