Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
[The argument being made is that] public interest in the Prop. 8 case remains high and that the upcoming arguments should be telecast. The Supreme Court's concerns about witness intimidation "are not present in closing arguments," [supporters] said. "This is an issue of critical concern to a lot of people. ... In our view, the more access, the better, regardless of which side you're on."
Read the rest here ... (and see also John 8:32 -- "The truth will set you free.")
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Here's one of my favorite-cartoons-ever ... buried in the back of a file drawer behind old funeral bulletin files. It's one I remember having scotch taped to my office door when I was the day school chaplain at St. Peter's, San Pedro -- and one I thought deserved wider distribution. So ... VOILA!
(And yes ... I am easily amused!)
Monday, February 22, 2010
Both Ash Wednesday and Lent I have come and gone -- at All Saints Church with three Ash Wednesday services (one bilingual), with The Great Litany sung in procession (with incense AND an incense-free zone in the Guild Room) on Lent I at 9 & 11:15 and a Lenten Evensong at 5pm with music by Orlando Gibbons and a wonderful meditation by the Reverend Amy Cox in her preaching debut at All Saints.
And now we settle into the rhythm of the 40 Day Journey to Jerusalem -- marked by prayer, reflection and study ... and including about a dozen Lenten small groups led by staff and parish members.
This year, our offerings include something new: two online study groups. My colleague Sharalyn Hamilton is facilitating a discussion of the Borg/Crossan book "The Last Week." And I'm facilitating study of Nora Gallagher's "The Sacred Meal" -- a book that provides the perfect jumping off place to explore "the meaning behind the meal" of Holy Communion.
It is a book that connects the three foundational values of All Saints Church -- Spirituality, Community and Peace & Justice -- through history, theology and story telling.
Author Nora Gallagher writes, "The sacred meal that is part of our faith does more than just connect us to the holy. It connects us to each other."
This Lenten Study Blogspot is an experiment in exploring how we can both claim and deepen those connections -- using Gallagher's book to inform us and the internet to connect us.
Whoever you are and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith, you are welcome here.
Come and check it out.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Seems on Saturday they were "on about" a NYT piece from a couple of weeks ago entitled "Many Successful Gay Marriages Share an Open Secret" and focused on a forthcoming study that came to the following conclusion:
“With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”Wow. Pretty significant stuff. Pretty definitive difference between "straight people" and "gay people" -- what with it written with such specificity and clarity. And it was -- after all -- in the New York Times so of course it must be true. And so of course the Titusoneniners were off to the "I told you so" races ... this time with a scientific study to back them up.
That would be a scientific study of 556 couples. 556 male couples. 556 male couples in the San Francisco Bay Area. Which led to the conclusion that 50% of them weren't monogamous. Which is pretty much the stats for heterosexual couples ... in the Bay Area or out of it.
And so I'm wondering this afternoon how monogamy would stand up to a scientific study of 556 heterosexual couples ... oh, let's just pick some at random. How about members of the PGA Tour? And let's make sure to include Hugh Hefner, David Letterman and Eliot Spitzer ... just to round out the numbers.
I'm actually not a believer in "three strikes laws" but I'm ready to be a convert when it comes to preserving the sanctity of marriage. I'm ready to make the argument that with the moral example lead off hitters like Mark Sanford, John Edwards and Tiger Woods have set, it's time to call "three strikes and you're out" for the heteros and to bring in some homos from the bench and give them and a chance to show what they -- and their relationships -- are made of.
As I noted in my 2007 piece "Speaking of Monogamy"
Here is as non-ambiguous a definition of monogamy as I could find:So back to the NYTimes article. Here's the part that didn't make it "above the fold" on the Titusonenine site:
Monogamy is the custom or condition of having only one mate in a relationship, thus forming a couple. The word monogamy comes from the Greek word monos, which means one or alone, and the Greek word gamos, which means marriage or union.
One mate. A couple. Two people. Clear? Non-ambiguous? Sounds that way to me. But then so did C051 -- the resolution passed in 2003 at the Episcopal Church General Convention outlining the standards for holiness in relationships that rose to the level of being blessed by the church:
That we reaffirm Resolution D039 of the 73rd General Convention (2000), that "We expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God," and that such relationships exist throughout the church ... [and] we recognize that local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions.
Hardly the "anything goes" we keep hearing about, is it? Actually, the ONLY thing that "goes" is heterosexist privilege -- and it's about time!
Now, are there those in the LGBT community who are not attracted to these standards: to monogamy, fidelity and all the rest? Of course there are. And here's a news flash: there are straight people who aren't either! And those aren't the relationships we're talking about blessing! How's that for clarity?
Open relationships are not exclusively a gay domain, of course. Deb and Marius are heterosexual, live in the East Bay and have an open marriage. She belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and maintained her virginity until her wedding day at 34. But a few years later, when the relationship sputtered, both she and her husband, who does not belong to the church, began liaisons with others.Hmmm ... (some more!)
“Our relationship got better,” she said. “I slept better at night. My blood pressure went down.”
Maybe Colleen Hoff (the study's "principal investigator") needs to re-examine her conclusions. And maybe those conclusions might more accurately be revised to read:
“With some people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with other people it does not have such negative connotations.”Because I did a little not-so-scientific study myself. On my Facebook page. And here was my favorite response:
"It sure as heck has 'negative connotations' in MY gay marriage," wrote one colleague. "Should I ever be so foolish as to consider non-monogamy, my wife would call it: "Buried in the back yard!"
(FYI ... comments are closed over at T19 on this one. When you can't stand the heat sometimes the only thing to do is close down the kitchen! :)
Friday, February 19, 2010
[Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori] -- "As we go about our work I would simply encourage us to remember that our intentions are the best and our disagreements in the midst of that are an opportunity for greater engagement rather than avoidance. Our struggles are a gift if we stay engaged; if we don't stay engaged, they become destructive."
[Presiding Bishop] Jefferts Schori concluded her remarks by telling council members that "things are heating up in South Carolina."
She noted that Diocese of South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence has delayed the diocese's annual convention and attributed the delay "supposedly to my incursions in South Carolina."
"He's telling the world that he is offended that I think it's important that people who want to stay Episcopalians there have some representation on behalf of the larger church," she said, asking for the council's prayers for the people of the diocese.
Near the end of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, Lawrence told reporters that during a meeting of conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians in Jerusalem a few weeks earlier he had witnessed a "new prince" being born.
Lawrence said he knew that his role is now to "hold together as much as I can for as long as I can that when he comes to his rightful place on St. Augustine's throne in Canterbury Cathedral he will have a faithful and richly textured kingdom."
Thursday, February 18, 2010
So may I just take a moment of personal privilege to say:
I am delighted at so many levels there isn't time to "unpack" it all and still get on with the work on my plate today. But as someone who grew up in this diocese at a time when girls couldn't even be ACOLYTES ... who remembers two sister priests literally flipping a coin at a diocesan convention to decide which one would run for General Convention Deputy because there was no WAY the diocese would elect TWO WOMEN ... it is a deep delight and great joy to be able to celebrate another crack in that stained glass ceiling.
It is also a PERSONAL delight for me, as Diane and I started our ordination journey together as part of the same MSY (Ministry Study Year) class ... the year BEFORE seminary. We shared classes in Claremont, were priested together on January 17, 1998, I was the MC for her installation as Rector of St. Clement's in San Clemente and she read the gospel at our wedding -- which was four years ago this VERY day. (Yes, Happy Anniversary to us! :)So here's to love and joy and mission and ministry and all the great gifts we've been given as we move ahead together into God's future. AND here's to Bishop Suffragan-elect Diane ... faithful priest, fabulous friend and soon-to-be Bishop in the Church of God! How blessed are WE!
[PS -- And in the midst of all the joy at this good news, here's a little reality check: The Episcopal Church has been ordaining women since 1974 and it's been 21 years since +Barbara Harris became the first woman bishop in 1989. Diane Bruce will be the 16th woman in the House of Bishops. And Mary Glasspool -- when her consents all come in -- with be the 17th. So when someone asks you how many women bishops there are, the answer -- clearly -- is "Not Enough!"]
Links to the job descriptions are posted below. Please take a look and see whether you or someone you know might find the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need!
DIRECTOR OF PEACE & JUSTICE AT ALL SAINTS CHURCH
Are you ready to invite, equip and engage 4,000 parishioners in the work of transforming the human race into the human family? P&J Job Description
DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE FOR CREATIVE CONNECTIONS AT ALL SAINTS CHURCH
A unique opportunity to make a difference – in an energized city. OCC Job Description
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. But in the MEANTIME we're called to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with the God who created us ALL in God's image.
So get your ashes. Remember that you are dust. And then kick UP some dust as we work to put THIS piece of homophobic legislation where it belongs: in the dustbin!
I think that this is as apt an icon for "remember that you are dust" as about anything else I've seen on an Ash Wednesday in a life lived in the Episcopal Church!
The good news, of course, is that even as we enter these 40 days of Lent with ashes on our foreheads -- and balloons in our dumpsters -- we remember not only that we are dust and to dust we shall return, but that in that dust we return to the God of ultimate love, creativity, compassion and justice.
We remember that at its end life is changed, not ended.
We remember that the God who loved us enough to become one of us to show us how to love one another waits to gather us into Her loving embrace.
We remember all that and more as we now journey, once again, into these 40 days of prayer and reflection; conversation and contemplation; silence and solidarity.
And may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit -- this Lent and always. Amen.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
It was a great night ... a great event ... and it began with this great opening prayer by All Saints Church Rector Emeritus George Regas -- who is also a founding member of PCU.
I asked him for a copy to share and here it is. Words of wisdom, warmth, hope and challenge on the cusp of Lent ...
Progressive Christians Uniting Dinner
February 15, 2010 Prayer by George F. Regas
Rector Emeritus, All Saints Church, Pasadena
I want you to pray with me tonight with your eyes open.
Prayer is joining our hearts and minds and bodies to the great purposes of creation;
Prayer is saying yes to the fullness of life and no to all the obscenities of death;
Yes, to health and no to sickness.
Prayer consciously links us with the divine energy that lives in the depth of our being and at the center of the universe.
Prayer is bowing to the sacred in all creation and becoming God’s partners in mending its fabric.
We are here tonight in a world God has made beautiful beyond any imagining of it. Everything around us is sacred, every person beside us is holy.
This sense of the sacredness of all life is the fragile thread upon which civilization hangs in our age. We are grateful for God’s gracious, sacred gift of life; and we also remember those in Haiti for whom this gift of life has been so tragically damaged and destroyed.
In this challenging, complex world, we all long to be loved and valued and held tenderly close. And so we are grateful tonight that the rich heritage of our faith tells us that each one of us is loved by God as though each one was the only one in the universe to love.
We live in a dangerous, war-torn world, divided by fear and suspicion, and flowing with the blood of hatred. And so we are grateful that our eyes have been opened to see there are no boundaries on God’s planet, that we are all interconnected and the survival of one is dependent on the survival of all. In our faith communities we have discerned that in the nuclear age the smallest unit of survival is the whole world.
Give us the courage and wisdom O God, to proclaim in word and deed that it is still politically expedient for this state and this nation to be generous to its poor, loving to its children, compassionate with its sick and just to its prisoners.
We gather tonight as a people on a journey of discovery and we thank you God that we have learned a few things.
We’ve learned that truth must be our authority, not some authority our truth; and faith must serve goodness, for if we fail in love we fail in everything else.
We’ve learned we need your spirit of truth, God, in the deepest places within us if we are to continue to be engaged in great learning – for your spirit keeps us eager to pursue truth wherever it leads, and you make us scornful of the cowardice that fears new truth, of the laziness that is content with half truths and with the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth.
I pray tonight, God, that you will send us forth from this dinner to have a lover’s quarrel with the world.
Give us grace to quarrel with a nation that spends 57% of our national financial resources each year on our military as people are sick and suffering all over the planet.
Give us grace to quarrel with all that profanes, trivializes and separates people and fails to see in every person, even our enemies, the image of the divine and the sanctity of life.
This is our prayer to you, O God, whose lover's quarrel with the world is the history of the world.
We ask your blessing on us, God, as we eat and tell our stories tonight … maybe then we may bring to our world a little more justice, a little more peace, a little more health and beauty because we quarreled with the world for what is not but could be.
To you, God, be the honor, glory and majesty tonight and forever.
Holding Forth on Why We Haven't Done The Theology on the Ordination of Women
AKA yet another chapter in the ongoing revision of the traditional definition of theology from "faith seeking understanding" to "patriarchy seeking rationalization."
Monday, February 15, 2010
It is patently unjust to everyone, including partnered gay and lesbian people, to keep on ordaining them and blessing their unions without providing a theological rationale for changing the church's teaching.Episcopal Cafe has some commentary going on you might want to check out under the title "Have we not 'done the theology' or not owned what we've done?" Which of course I thought was a very good question. And so -- of course -- I put in my two cents:
My first response is a clarifying question: Is one of the pieces of the theology we haven't done "To Set Our Hope on Christ" -- the theological and biblical apologetic we took to the ACC in Nottingham in 2005?
Or the Claiming the Blessing Theology Statement published in 2002?
Or Tobias Haller's "Reasonable and Holy"?
Or the theological resources published by the Chicago Consultation?
Or is Bishop Whalon referring to the fact that the House of Bishops' Theology Committee has pretty much steadfastly refused to do the work it's been charged by the church to accomplish?
If that's the case, then I have a follow up question: Is the only theology that counts the theology that's done by bishops?
The truth is we HAVE "done the theology" -- what we haven't done is overcome the objections of those who insist we haven't done the theology because there isn't enough theology in Christendom to convince those with sole possession of the Absolute Truth that it's possible to come to different conclusions on these issues and still be part of the same Body of Christ.
In point of fact, there are still those who maintain we haven't "done the theology" on women's ordination either. And as my rector Ed Bacon famously said, "I'm so glad Mary didn't wait for the formulation of a Doctrine of the Incarnation before she said 'Yes' to God."
I'm all for doing theology. The more "faith seeking understanding" the better as far as I'm concerned.
But when our theological reflection becomes more important than our mission to proclaim the Good News of God's abundant love then I think we need to think long and hard about whether we're not doing the Peter thing and trying to build a booth to sit up on the mountain and theologize rather than get down on the ground and evangelize.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Last Thursday night was a great Holy Spirit Happening as the community welcomed Bishop Suffragan-elect Mary Glasspool. Of course I took my camera. And of course I want to share what a great time was had by all.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
to the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania:
Regarding Consent for the Consecration of the Rev. Mary Glasspool
The Eve of the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord
February 1, 2010
I am writing to share with you my decision to give my consent for the consecration of the Rev. Mary Glasspool, bishop suffragan elect, in the Diocese of Los Angeles. What follows address both the considerations of my decision and also my interpretation of related Resolutions of The Episcopal Church, including C056 and D025 of the 2009 General Convention. In the consent process of an Episcopal election, the Church asks all bishops with jurisdiction and all Standing Committees to review the election process and discern the candidate’s suitability as a bishop for the entire Church. Only in a few cases are there questions about the suitability of a candidate or the election process. On such occasions, it has been my custom to inform the diocese of my conclusions.
Throughout her 30 years of ordained ministry, the Rev. Mary Glasspool has been faithful and consistent to the ministry, doctrine and teaching of the Episcopal Church. This includes her current ministry (since 2001) as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Maryland. In the one area where there is controversy, she has been unquestionably faithful to the spirit of the Church. I have known her for many years, and I have known her to be an excellent priest, pastor, administrator and servant of the church. What I have read of her writings, her preaching, her guidance of parishes in discernment for either deployment or congregational development of their mission has deeply impressed me. Her efforts in formal theological continuing education have reflected a desire to grow theologically as a leader in the Church. Her commitment to Jesus Christ has always been clearly expressed in her ministry.
On the matter of her sexuality and life-style, the Rev. Glasspool is faithful to the spirit and prayerfully determined direction of our church. While the Church has not officially defined a rite of same-sex blessing, it has affirmed the marks and characteristics by which such unions might be determined sacred. For 18 years, she and her partner have lived in witness to the marks the church has expected of all persons in committed intimate relationships (including traditional marriage): fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and holy love. Although their relationship has not been a secret, their life has not been used as a cause célèbre. They have lived as faithfully to one another and the Church as the Church would allow, always being sensitive that there were other good faithful people for whom their personal realities represented conflict.
Although the Church has not formally approved rites of blessings for same-gender unions, over several decades its theological discernment and spiritual direction has become increasingly clear. The 2009 General Convention made even clearer the destination of its spiritual direction in resolutions C056 “Liturgies for Blessings” and D025 “Commitment and Witness to the Anglican Communion”. Resolution C056 is clear its direction, stating that “the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops, collect and develop theological and liturgical resources and report [to the next General Convention].” This same resolution further resolves that “bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church….” I will respond to this passage of the resolution in a separate pastoral letter.
General Convention Resolution D025 takes into account the larger conflict our direction in this matter presents for some of our sister provinces in the Anglican Communion. The resolution makes great effort to affirm The Episcopal Church’s sincere and continued commitment to the Anglican Communion. However, it also recognizes that, given the witness to which we as a Province believe we are called (i.e. full inclusion of gay and lesbian members), we cannot assure a balance on this particular matter which would be acceptable to all Anglicans and Episcopalians.
I have considered resolutions of earlier General Conventions which have informed our current and continuing discernment as a Church. The most recent actions of General Convention witness to the fact that The Episcopal Church has actively honored the call of three Lambeth Conferences (1978, 1988 and 1998) to “listen to the experiences of homosexual persons.” In 2000 General Convention Resolution D039 acknowledged that “through our own listening the General Convention has come to recognize that the baptized membership of The Episcopal Church includes same-sex couples living in life long committed relationships ‘characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God’.” This clause acknowledges that faithful witnesses and examples of same gender holy commitments have been evident among us for generations, even though not publicly acknowledge.
Additionally, Resolution B033 is still the formal position of the Church on consents in such matters. This resolution, which was passed in the very last moments of 2006 General Convention to address the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Communion (the Windsor Report), is still the formal position of The Episcopal Church. It states: “Resolved, That this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.”
Resolution D025 passed at our 2009 General Convention not only reaffirms this conviction but addresses the matter of ordination of persons in committed same-gender unions with this clause: “Resolved, That the 76th (2009) General Convention recognize that gay and lesbian persons who are part of such relationships have responded to God’s call and have exercised various ministries in and on behalf of God’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are currently doing so in our midst; and be it further resolved, That [General Convention] affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry the Episcopal Church….”
After prayerful discernment and various contexts of consultation, I have determined that the House of Bishops would be enriched and be represented more holistically as a symbol of unity to the Church (as no one bishop in his or her self be an exclusive symbol of unity for the entire Church or interpretations of its core tradition) if Mary Glasspool were a member of that House. I also believe in this time of continued discernment and definition of full inclusion, that having the witness and wisdom of persons who are unquestionably faithful in the core theology of the Church, knowledgeable and respectful of the Church’s traditions, and pastorally sensitive to all its people, will only enrich the journey to which I believe the Spirit is continuing to call us.
I respect that these conclusions will not be those of all bishops or the all the faithful we represent; nor do I assume that those whose discernment has lead them to a different conclusion are necessarily homophobic, theologically uninformed, or enemies of justice. But this is the conclusion to which my discernment has led me; and I have given my consent for the consecration of the Rev. Mary Glasspool as a bishop.
The Right Reverend Nathan D. Baxter, Bishop
Diocese of Central Pennsylvania
Mark Harris says "CofE Synod steps back from the edge":
It is hard to know just what ACNA is proposing these days. It wants in, it wants out. The Synod motion gives them a bit more of an in, but what they want something quite different - a new Anglican community connected to only the pure parts of the current Anglican Communion ...Then there's Episcopal Cafe's take:
The Synod has moved carefully back from recognition, but has stepped into the muck and is tramping though the house.
The debate made it clear that ACNA is not part of the Anglican Communion. If ACNA wishes to be part of the Anglican Communion there are procedures for that. Procedures that ACNA is not interested in following.Meanwhile, going straight to the horse's ... mouth, here's what the ACNA is saying:
Today, the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, meeting in London February 8-12, affirmed the Anglican Church in North America’s desire “to remain within the Anglican family.”OK. So deep breath.
This is not breaking news. Nobody didn't already know this.
The problem isn't that they want to stay at the Anglican Family Dinner Table. The problem is they want to sit in another family member's chair. And they want that family member not at the table, in the dining room, in the HOUSE if they can get away with it. (And, while they're at it, they want the other family member's silver, china, linens and the deed to their property.)
And so far they haven't. Gotten away with it. For all the drama and demands and resolves and amendments and jumping up and down and holding-breath-until-turning-blue what they've gotten from the CofE is a recognition that their desire to stay in the family is affirmed.
As my kids would say, "Whatever."
At the end of the day, where we are is where we were at the beginning of the day. The schismatics are madly spinning the story to claim a victory that isn't there while simultaneously painting themselves as the victims of the schism they orchestrated. And it's not working.
No one's excluding the self-described "traditionalists" from the family. Rather, they are the ones making their criterion for inclusion the exclusion of other family members.
Once again: Choosing not to show up for the family dinner because you don't like the guest list and then looking for sympathy because you've been "excluded" is like killing your parents and then looking for sympathy because you're an orphan. .
It is long past time to call the question on the blatant manipulation by those whose ends are served by holding the mission and ministry of the Gospel hostage to their own agenda of exclusion -- by insisting that the differences that challenge us have to be divisions that separate us.
And it is time to call a halt to women and the LGBT baptized once again hearing their vocations and relationships used as bargaining chips in a game of global Anglican politics.
If we're gong to talk about "unity" let's talk about the unity of the Body of Christ -- a body that isn't whole unless ALL God's beloved are fully included. And that's a unity that trumps the false unity of an institutional "communion" that is increasingly tied together not by bonds of affection but by shackles of dysfunction.
The creation groaning in travail for the kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven calls us to better than that. And if the Anglican Communion can't get it together and figure that out then maybe it is time it went the way of the British Empire -- something we've been muddling along quite well without for lo these many years now.
Check it out here.
Monday, February 08, 2010
The facts about The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA):
The Episcopal Church is over 7400 congregations in 109 dioceses plus three regional areas in 16 countries with 2.2 million members.
It is important to note that membership in ACNA includes churches and denominations which have disassociated from The Episcopal Church both recently and over the last 130 years, as well as congregations which have never been part of The Episcopal Church. A definitive number is difficult to ascertain.
ACNA is lead by an archbishop who is not a member of The Episcopal Church, The Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, or The Anglican Communion.
The Episcopal Church laity and clergy believe the Christian faith as stated in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. We call the Holy Scriptures the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible. We look to the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the understanding of the Scriptures. Our assurance as Christians is that nothing, not even death, shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who wish to serve God through Jesus Christ.
The Episcopal Church welcomes women in ordained ministry – deacons, priests and bishops. The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church is the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead The Episcopal Church as well as any of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. ACNA does not permit women to serve as bishops and, in some areas, bars women from all ordination.
The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, serving God together and working together to bring the Reign of God on earth. ACNA is not a member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.
It is important to note that those who have remained in The Episcopal Church in those places where some have left include conservatives as well as liberals, persons on the political right as well as on the political left, and everything in between.
It is an inaccurate and misleading image that pictures those who have broken away from The Episcopal Church as the persecuted faithful, when in reality those who have remained have felt deeply hurt, and now in some cases are exiled from their own church buildings by ACNA.
"My own faith has eroded over the years, though my father’s belief in the supremacy of love still guides me. And so I can’t help but wonder, how can Christians not recognize and honor love that binds two people, any two people, together unto themselves? And if a priest has fulfilled her sacred duties with the distinction that persuades those to whom she would minister to elect her their bishop, and has led an open life of committed love that honors the essence of their God, why should her choice of a partner matter?"
read it all here ...
In order to protect and promote the best interests of the child, the AAP-CA supports equal access for all California children to the legal, financial and emotional protections of civil marriage for their parents, without discrimination based on family structureYesterday the American Academy of Pediatrics, California District IX (AAP-CA) joined in filing an amicus curae (friend of the court) brief in federal court in the case of Kristin M. Perry, et al and the City and County of San Francisco v. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Prop 8 Official Proponents, et al. We support the plaintiffs in their assertion that prohibiting same-sex marriage in California is discriminatory.
The interest of the AAP-CA in this case, and in the support of nondiscriminatory marriage more generally, relates exclusively to the interests of children consistent with the AAP-CA policy. Specifically, the statement regarding the AAP-CA in the court brief reads as follows:
The California District of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP-CA), representing the over 5,000 board-certified pediatrician members of the four California AAP regional Chapters, has as its mission to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults living in California.
The AAP-CA believes that the physical growth, development, social and mental well-being of all children are supported by allowing parents a full range of parental legal rights, such as Social Security survivor benefits, health benefits for dependent children, and legally recognized consent for education and medical decisions.
In order to protect and promote the best interests of the child, the AAP-CA supports equal access for all California children to the legal, financial and emotional protections of civil marriage for their parents, without discrimination based on family structure. In light of its focus on children's health issues, the AAP-CA lends its explicit support only to Section III of the attached brief, entitled "Depriving Same-Sex Couples of the Ability to Marry Has Adverse Effects on Their Children."
Please note that AAP-CA respects the rights of individual pediatricians to hold different views on marriage based on their personal religious or cultural beliefs. However, as the matter of who may marry in the eyes of the state potentially brings with it access to health care, to survivor benefits, to adoption rights and more, AAP-CA finds state prohibition of same-sex marriage potentially harmful to the health and well-being of California's children.
If you have questions, comments, or would like to see the full brief, please do not hesitate to contact us.
February 7th, 2010
Good morning. We have wonderful news! The Rev. Canon Stephen Huber of the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. has accepted our unanimous call to be the 7th Rector of All Saints' Church.
Last month, over the course of several days packed with meals, meetings, car rides around Los Angeles, and a service preached here in the Sanctuary, the Vestry got to know Stephen Huber. And it became clear to us that this gifted leader, pastor, preacher, and organizer belongs at All Saints'. This week you all will hear directly from Steve in a letter to our parish, but today we will try to give you a feel for our next rector.
In an essay for the Search Committee, Steve wrote, "My greatest joy is being an Episcopal priest. I go home most days thinking, 'This has been a blessed day.' I'm an extrovert and draw my energy from people. I delight in the privilege of inviting others to discover the Good News of Jesus Christ in a culture of inquiry and discovery, where people of all ages are energized by the journey of faith."
Steve grew up in a large Roman Catholic family in Ohio and attended Catholic schools from first grade all the way through graduate school at Loyola University in New Orleans. He spent ten years teaching theology and working in development in private schools before transitioning to full-time development work as an AIDS fundraiser for such organizations as the Fenway Community Health Center in Boston and the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C.
Read the rest here ... and give thanks for new opportunities for mission and ministry for the "other" All Saints and for ALL of us here in the Diocese of Los Angeles as we welcome a new colleague.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Colin Coward ... a PERFECT reminder that those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
FOUR WASTED DECADES
by the Reverend Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude
[from the Changing Attitude Blog 29JAN2010] There is a thread running through the Anglican Communion’s engagement with homosexuality that I find curious - the inability to grasp the nettle despite tentative initiatives over 4 decades. I’m interested in the history of the Anglican Communion’s failure to grasp the nettle and wonder if there are lessons to be learnt.
In 2005 The Episcopal Church produced a response to the request made in the Windsor Report 2004 that the church explains how a person living in a same gender union may be eligible to lead the flock of Christ. TEC presented ‘To Set Our Hope on Christ’ (TSOHOC) to the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Nottingham in 2005. I attended the presentation. Since then the report seems largely to have been forgotten but I recently re-read it.
A long appendix outlines the historical development of beliefs and policies regarding sexuality in the Episcopal Church, USA. It was at the General Convention in 1967, two years before the Stonewall riots of 1969 (the key event that led to the modern gay rights movement), that a resolution was passed instructing the Executive Council to 1) Initiate studies to express Christian attitudes with respect to ... homosexuality; and 2) Develop an educational program designed to communicate such attitudes to the Church at large.
What struck me re-reading the report is that nothing happened as a result of the resolution. The report, says TSOHOC, was probably referred to staff, since there is no mention of a follow-up study, a bare mention of homosexuality in the 1970 General Convention Journal, and a cryptic entry in the minutes of a House of Bishops meeting in 1972. Integrity was founded in 1974 and General Convention dealt substantively with homosexuality for the first time in 1976, nine years after the 1967 resolution.
The Windsor Report Appendix Three reprints resolution 10 from the Lambeth Conference 1978 and Resolution 64 from 1988. Resolution 10 ‘recognised the need for deep and dispassionate study of the question of homosexuality ...’ Unlike TSOHOC, the Windsor Report doesn’t say what happened in the decade following Lambeth 1978 nor Lambeth 1988. Does the silence mean that nothing at all happened? As far as I’m aware, no action was initiated in relation to homosexuality. Resolution 10 also addressed marriage and family life, broken marriages, abortion and genetic engineering. Were they deaslt with? Who was responsible for the failure to initiate action on Resolutions 10 and 64 recommendations about homosexuality – the Anglican Communion Office?
In the 1950s Church of England bishops were among those who advocated for reform of the law in relation to homosexuality which resulted in the 1967 Act. There was a confidence in arguing for decriminalisation, at the same time upholding ‘traditional church teaching’. The confidence exhibited then has evaporated over the following five decades. Why – what happened?
Post Stonewall 1969 LGBT people became more articulate and visible and more confident in arguing and campaigning for change. We were pretty much invisible in the 1950s and yet the Church of England was well-aware that homosexuality was an internal as much as an external issue.
Why did General Convention take 9 years to respond and the Anglican Communion 20 years - by which time forces of opposition had time to organise, with Tony Higton’s 1987 General Synod motion and the 1997 Kuala Lumpur Statement.
Was it simply that those who were responsible for initiating action were incompetent, or was it a failure of nerve, a fear of engaging with homosexuality, prejudice, lack of confidence? I would love to hear from someone who was at Lambeth 1987 or 1988 or working for the Anglican Communion Office then. Even more curious, how did those resolutions get onto the agenda in the first place? If there was enough confidence to table the resolutions, why the inability to take action after Lambeth? Now, we can only speculate how different the landscape might be today if the Communion had started deep and dispassionate study in 1978.
What is the Communion avoiding now? The most strident voices in the Communion are either demonising homosexuality or trying to marginalize the pro-gay Christian experience by presenting ex-gay ministries as the solution. The majority in the Communion would like to be persuaded that there is no such reality as homosexuality, no gay gene to prove that I exist in my gay identity. What a contrast with Church of England bishops in the 1950s. At least they were under no illusion as to the reality of homosexuality and the effect on a minority group of criminalizing sexual activity.
It has been left to the secular realm and to a minority of courageous Provinces and Christians to maintain the campaign not just for equality but at the moment for the very survival of LGBT lives in Africa. Christians who dare to make the case for LGBT people and exemplify mature, adult gay experience and ideals are vilified.
So what lesson can we draw from five decades of Anglican history? Never, never let the Communion forget that the Body of Christ includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Never, never allow the church off the hook, never let the church escape judgment for its prejudice towards LGBT people. Never lose faith in Christ, whose unconditional love embraces all of us.
Saturday, February 06, 2010
The more bigotry pushed out of the closet for all voters to see, the more likely it is that Americans will be moved to grant overdue full citizenship to gay Americans.Love this Op-ed by Frank Rich. Read it all in tomorrow's New York Times -- here are a few bits to get you started:
As more gay people have come out — a process that accelerated once the modern gay rights movement emerged from the Stonewall riots of 1969 — so more heterosexuals have learned that they have gay relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers and co-workers. It is hard to deny our own fundamental rights to those we know, admire and love.
When Harry Truman ordered the racial integration of the American military in 1948, Congressional opponents (then mainly Southern Democrats) embraced an antediluvian Army prediction from 1940 stating that such a change would threaten national defense by producing “situations destructive to morale.” History will sweep this bogus argument away now as it did then.
The more bigotry pushed out of the closet for all voters to see, the more likely it is that Americans will be moved to grant overdue full citizenship to gay Americans. It won’t happen overnight, any more than full civil rights for African-Americans immediately followed Truman’s desegregation of the armed forces. But there can be no doubt that Mike Mullen’s powerful act of conscience last week, just as we marked the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro, N.C., lunch counter sit-in, pushed history forward. The revealing silence that followed from so many of the usual suspects was pretty golden too.
It is important to understand that prayer is not exclusively a Christian act. Prayer is an act of faith in which all people of all religions participate. There is one God. There is no such thing as a “Christian God.” Because God is not exclusive. Prayer certainly can be offered in the name and spirit of Christ and there are prayers that are in the Christian tradition but at the truest and deepest level of prayer there is no such thing as “Christian prayer.”
Now, “the Family” is a secret organization that does not hold with what I’ve just said about God and about prayer.
Watch the video of Ed's sermon here.
Watching the news of those who are dealing with mud and debris ... not just water and mess ... prayers ascending for ALL those dealing with this mess -- and for those in the east coast storm zones as well.
Here's a look at what we had going from 7-10am
Friday, February 05, 2010
Read the brief here.
Read Lindi's blog here.
Here's a snippet:
American is not Iran. Our civil law is not supposed to track religious law. – Eric Isaacson
[From Lindi] "The brief, written by our wonderful attorney, Eric Isaacson, cites the sobering reality of religiously based homophobia and makes the case that Proposition 8 was used to place anti-gay religious doctrine into our shared civil law – posing a real threat to religious liberty."
[From the brief] -- Allowing same-sex couples the right to marry threatens religious liberty of Catholics no more than does allowing civilly divorced citizens to marry in contravention of Catholic doctrine.
Allowing same-sex couples to marry no more threatens the religious liberty of those who oppose such unions in their churches and synagogues than permitting interfaith marriage threatens religious liberty of synagogues and rabbis who interpret their scripture and tradition to prohibit such unions….
The real threat to religious liberty comes from enforcing as law religious doctrines of society’s most powerful sects, to outlaw marriages that others both recognize and sanctify.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
You'll want to Read it all here ... but here's a preview:
Natural justice requires that people take responsibility for their actions. No one has forced individual clergy or laity to leave the Episcopal Church — and they do have the right to do so if their consciences are wounded by the decisions of that church. It is, however, a matter of both church and civil law — and natural justice —that they do not have any right to retain property given in support of the church when they choose to leave it.
And therefore let it be duly noted that Simon Sarmiento is the winner of today's John 8:32 "The Truth Will Set You Free" Award -- Congratulations, Simon!!
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|A Few Gay Men & Women|
The American Prayer Hour
Thursday, February 4, 2010
The American Prayer Hour is a nationwide affirmation of inclusive values and a celebration of diversity that is the bedrock of our nation.
It is also a protest of The National Prayer Breakfast, which is hosted by The Family — the secretive fundamentalist organization directly tied to the draconian “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.
All Saints Church is proud today to stand and pray in solidarity with those across the nation who are witnessing to God’s inclusive love as they pray for a world of peace, justice and compassion.
Almighty God, who created us in your own image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Here's a quote:
"We may disagree about the best way to reform our health care system, but surely we can agree that no one ought to go broke when they get sick in the richest nation on earth," Obama said. "We can take different approaches to ending inequality, but surely we can agree on the need to lift our children out of ignorance, to lift our neighbors out of poverty. We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it is here in the United States or, as Hillary mentioned, more extremely in odious laws that are being proposed most recently in Uganda."
Here's another one:
Speaking Thursday morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, a conciliatory President Barack Obama urged attendees to bypass grievances in their efforts to push forward morally and socially responsible policy.
But at the same time, he made it clear that there are some positions that lie outside that realm of civil discourse, such as birther conspiracies and the targeting of gays and lesbians.
"Civility also requires relearning how to disagree without being disagreeable," Obama declared before a standing-room-only crowd. "[C]ivility is not a sign of weakness. Now I am the first to confess I am not always right. Michelle will testify to that. But surely, you can question my policies without questioning my faith. Or for that matter, my citizenship."
Imagine if we could find a way to apply those same standards to our discourse in the church -- or in the communion.
Oh well -- a girl can dream.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
“In the almost 17 years since the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed,” General Powell said in a statement issued by his office. He added: “I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week by Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen.”
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Reporting from Washington - The nation's top military officer said Tuesday that he supported allowing gays to openly serve -- adding a powerful voice to the deeply controversial issue as the Pentagon announced steps to prepare for possibly ending its 17-year ban on homosexuality.
Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military would follow the 1993 law known as "don't ask, don't tell." Nonetheless, he said, his personal views were firm.
"Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do," Mullen said.
His views are particularly important in the debate. It was one of his predecessors, Gen. Colin L. Powell, who played a major role in derailing then- President Clinton's failed bid to allow gays to serve openly in the military. In 1993, Powell called the policy a "healthy compromise." But in December 2008, he said the ban should be reviewed.
I'm sure I could find kinder, gentler, more pastorally theological language to make that point this morning but there is it.
A point that has been made over and over and OVER -- on this blog and elsewhere -- is that there is a critical, ontological difference between FEELING excluded because you're disagreed with and BEING excluded.
It's a point I don't think we can overstate if we're going to follow the One who called all us to walk in love as he loved us and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Even the neighbors we don't like. The ones who don't vote like us, pray like us or make choices like us. The ones who annoy us to the core of our deeply held convinctions. Even the ones who think we aren't entitled to be included because we don't vote like them, pray like them or make choices like them.
So why this particular rant this particular morning?
Partly because my 10:30 appointment got postponed til 11:15 and I have a few unexpected minutes. But mostly because a colleague forwarded a copy of this article from The Living Church with the subject line: "See -- it IS all about us!"
The piece is about Mouneer Anis's resignation from the AC Standing Committee ... and this is the part that got me going:
Dr. Mouneer Anis, who has resigned his position on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, told The Living Church that discussions at the committee’s meeting in December 2009 are what prompted his resignation from the committee.And so it all came down to "If I can't keep Katharine from coming then I quit."
“I had been in communication before the meeting that I needed to discuss the participation of the Episcopal Church on the standing committee. I found some resistance to this.”
So let me repeat: If your criterion for being included is that someone else is excluded well, then ... it sucks to be you.
And this morning I'm being given just a tiny shred of hope that the era of being blackmailed-into-bigotry is coming to an end for our Big Fat Anglican Family. The Episcopal Church took a giant step forward in Anaheim ... and maybe -- just maybe -- the SCAC & ACC are going to go and do likewise.
But it'll be their choice. Meanwhile, we're making ours. Choosing to include everyone who chooses to be included. And refusing to buy into the "spin" that those who remove themselves from the table because they don't like who else in on the guest list are somehow now the "marginalized."
Choosing not to come because you don't like the guest list and then looking for sympathy because you've been "excluded" is like killing your parents and then looking for sympathy because you're an orphan.
And that dog just won't hunt. Even if you ARE an Archbishop.
Because ... If your criterion for being included is that someone else is excluded well, then ... it sucks to be you.
Monday, February 01, 2010
I have come to the sad realization that there is no desire within the ACC and the SCAC to follow through on the recommendations that have been taken by the other Instruments of Communion to sort out the problems which face the Anglican Communion and which are tearing its fabric apart. Moreover, the SCAC, formerly known as the join Standing Committee (JSC), has continually questioned the authority of the other Instruments of Communion, especially the Primates Meeting and the Lambeth Conference.You can read the whole letter (on the PDF linked above) but the Clif Notes version is "We're not having any luck voting the Episcopal Church off the Anglican Island so I'm quitting the Tribal Council."
Written and directed by the Teafaerie. (Get ready to sing along! :)