Wednesday, July 19, 2006
The Rev. John Kirkley: One That Got Away
As I reflect on the spiral of violence engulfing Palestine, Israel, and Lebanon, I am reminded of the many issues that the 2006 General Convention of the Episcopal Church failed to address. One that got away was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were three resolutions on aspects of this issue that never made it to the floor of the House of Deputies: A011, A012, and A013. While these proposals were nothing terribly new or earth shattering, they would at least have afforded us an opportunity to speak a word of judgment and hope to the wider world.We were too busy ensuring that the two or three diocesan elections in which gay or lesbian nominees might stand a chance of being elected bishop were prevented from doing so. In essence, the half dozen or so gay or lesbian priests who are qualified, called, and willing to serve as bishop in our church were considered more of a threat to the world than the current debacle in the Middle East.Lions and tigers and gay bishops, oh my!Meanwhile, as the peace process in the Middle East is beset by an inferno of escalating retaliatory violence, the Episcopal Church dithers about whether or not it will be a "full" or "associate" member of a reconstituted and newly covenanted Anglican Communion - nine or ten years from now, if ever. And so Jesus continues to weep over Jerusalem - and the Gaza - and Southern Lebanon - and over a Church more concerned with its "purity" than with its mission: healing the world by reconciling all people to God and each other through Christ. Hat tip to happening-here, for keeping us focused on the needs of a suffering world, even as the Church continues to fold in on itself.