And here's where the "global" marriage equality story gets "local" for us Episcopalians ... (as reported in this morning's Los Angeles Times):
The retired Rev. Eleanor McLaughlin and her partner of 19 years, Elizabeth Hess, of Randolph, climbed a mountain and exchanged rings the summer of 1991 but didn't enter a civil union. They waited for marriage. Both devout Episcopalians, they designed their ceremony Saturday to reflect the state's role in civil marriage and their church's role in blessing the union.
McLaughlin, 74, and Hess, 62, plan on exchanging marriage vows in the vestibule of St. Barnabas Church in Berlin, then following with a church ceremony at which Episcopal Bishop Gene V. Robinson, who is openly gay, will bless the union.
Winter's starkness is their wedding theme.
"We want people to recognize we had to wait a long, long time," Hess said.
Yes they did. They certainly did. Wait a long, long time.
Here's the happy couple pictured in Anaheim at General Convention 2009 ... not the most flattering picture ever but it's the one I've got in my files!
And because I've known Betsy and Ellie for years I can personally attest to the fact they waited long but they did not wait patiently.
And for that I say a great big New Year's Day: THANKS BE TO GOD!
They waited faithfully. They waited intentionally. And they waited with perseverance, advocacy, activism and sometimes with the impatience called for by the struggle against injustice.
Rabbi Abraham Heschel famously said, "Patience, a quality of holiness may be sloth in the soul when associated with the lack of righteous indignation.”
So on this Happy New Year's Day ... while parades march and football teams battle and resolutions are resolved ... here's a toast to the kind of righteous indignation that frees us from sloth in the soul and empowers us to wait -- as long as necessary but NEVER patiently -- until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an everflowing stream!
AND here's a prayer for Betsy and Ellie as they continue their journey forward together into God's future:
By the power of your Holy Spirit, your out the abundance of your blessing upon Betsy and Ellie. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.