Monday, January 12, 2009

Bishop of New Hampshire to lead off Inaugural Celebrations

From Bishop Robinson: [via email this morning and posted on Episcopal Cafe]

"I am writing to tell you that President-Elect Obama and the Inaugural Committee have invited me to give the invocation at the opening event of the Inaugural Week activities, “We are One,” to be held at the Lincoln Memorial, Sunday, January 18, at 2:00 pm. It will be an enormous honor to offer prayers for the country and the new president, standing on the holy ground where the “I have a dream speech” was delivered by Dr. King, surrounded by the inspiring and reconciling words of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It is also an indication of the new president’s commitment to being the President of ALL the people. I am humbled and overjoyed at this invitation, and it will be my great honor to be there representing the Episcopal Church, the people of New Hampshire, and all of us in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community."

From Integrity USA's press release:

Integrity is delighted at today’s announcement of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson’s role in the upcoming Inaugural celebrations. Following on the heels of yesterday’s selection of the Rev. Sharon E. Watkins as the first woman preacher for the January 21st National Prayer Service, today’s news is yet another indication that we are entering an historic era of diversity and inclusion.

“Bishop Robinson’s selection by the President-elect to pray God’s blessings on the opening event of the Inaugural week is good news not only for gay and lesbian Americans but for all who share the audacious hope of a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal,” said Integrity President Susan Russell.

“It also gives us hope that the age of an ‘America’s Pastor’ is behind us and that we enter a new era where diverse voices of faith speak from the particularity of their own experience of God’s grace, love and power. While there are many miles to go before we are done with racism, sexism and homophobia in this country, we look forward to Barack Obama’s inauguration, to Sharon Watkins’ sermon and to Gene Robinson’s prayers as signs of great progress and profound hope.


Alex Malle said...

I was delighted to see the headline re the invitation of Gene Robinson to lead one of the inaugural events. The press release was at the top of the list of "most e-mailed" stories at Yahoo!News. Initially, I my heart leapt realizing the news was not only wonderful, but also so popular. However, my thoughts quickly turned cynical wondering how many of those forwarded emails were accompanied by derisive and derogatory commentary.

Knowing Gene, his words on Sunday will not be in response to the Rick Warren matter, but instead will be revelatory of God's inclusive, indiscriminate, and infinite love for all. Let's pray that those who listen to Gene -- especially the skeptics -- do so with all of their God-given abilities of discernment and compassion.

- Alex Malle

Sister Mary Paul said...

Thanks Be To God for this is a new Dawn!

Unknown said...

Any comment from Reverend Rick on this latest development?

Silverwolf104 said...

I doubt Bro. Rick will have anything to say. After all, he's said that "gays are members of my church."

Silverwolf104 said...

Rev. Rick will probably have nothing to say. After all, he recently said that he "allows gays" to join his church!

Brother David said...

The Saddleback Church website has said that gay folks are welcome to attend the church. It also said that they could only become members of the Saddleback Church if they STOP acting on their sexuality. They would only be welcome to be sexually active members at the church if they were in a monogamous heterosexual marriage.

Rev. David Justin Lynch said...

While I commend President-Elect Obama for inviting Bp. Gene, I don't agree with Bp. Gene's decision to leave Jesus out of his message on grounds it would offend non-Cbristians. I can't fathom how a Christian would consider Jesus offensive to anyone! When I was confirmed, at age 9 in 1962, I was admonished, "Be never ashamed to confess the faith of Christ" or something like that. If I heard a Muslim pray or preach and mention the Mohamed, I would not be offended. Nor would I be offended by a Bhudist mentioning Bhuda, and the same would go for Hindus, Shintos, Taoists, Jews, and whatevers. The point is, non-Christians, whatever they may know or believe about Jesus, they at least owe him respect as a person, just as Christians owe respect for the significant people of other faiths. For us to cater to someone's non-respect for Jesus is, in my opinion, sinful. I would urge Bp. Gene, whom I respect immensly, to reconsider his position.

IT said...

i disagree, DJL. There's enough Jesus -- or is that GEEZUS (H/T JCF) shoved in my atheist face from the Warrens of the world. I'm relieved that Bp Robinson will try to find common ground instead of once again praying for the Christians and leaving the rest of the world outside and unwelcome.