Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Report from the Inclusion Front: Santa Clarita CA

A couple of weeks ago there was an ordination at St. Stephen's in Santa Clarita and the church celebrated two brand new priests -- Sue Bek and Cynthia Jew. The local paper ran a nice feature piece entitled "Lifelong callings finally realized" on February 26 with some great pictures as part of the celebration.
One reader took exception to the feature and the paper ran his comments ("St. Stephen's wrong to ordain gay priest") on March 6. I understand from folks in the community that he's also taken to protesting outside the church.
So here's the op-ed response in Sunday's "Santa Clarita Valley Signal" by Santa Clarita rector Lynn Jay:

‘There will be no outcasts in this church’
Rev. Canon Lynn Jay, rector
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
March 13, 2011

The words that follow are from a prayer that is always used at ordinations in the Episcopal Church:
“Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord...”
I would like Mr. Miano (“St. Stephen’s wrong to ordain openly gay priest,” March 6) to know that St. Stephen’s, a congregation of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, is proud to convey to the world the inclusive love of Jesus — “that things which were cast down are being raised up” — women, people of color, the poor, the homeless, as well as gay and lesbian people.

And things that have grown old are being made new — not an old wrathful God who desires the death of sinners, but the new incarnate son of God, Jesus, who comes that all may be freed and made whole.

A former presiding bishop of the church said, “I think the Church has a role in being both prophetic in holding up issues, and using all its influences to try to bring about better conditions for the poor, the hungry, both in this country, as well as in the global village. There will be no outcasts in the church.”

The overwhelming power of God: father, son and holy spirit are evident in the all encompassing love at St. Stephen’s. There will be no outcasts in this church.


1 - Let the people say "AMEN!"
2 - Let the people send Letters to the Editor and/or add some comments to the online feature in support of St. Stephen's.
3 - Let the people take a minute to click here and send an email of thanks to Lynn+ for her powerful witness to God's inclusive love!

PS -- Here's the comment I posted on the Santa Clarita Valley Signal website:
"This piece by Reverend Jay AND the comments that follow should, in my opinion, be required reading in American Government classes to impress upon students the importance of our First Amendment. Mr. Miano's right to read the Bi...ble and come to whatever conclusion he chooses to about who should or should not be ordained is protected -- just as Reverend Jay's congregation & denomination's right to read the same Bible and come to different conclusions is equally protected. And equally protected is their right to express those opinions. God bless America!

AND God bless St. Stephen's, the Episcopal Church and all who work to proclaim the Good News of God's inclusive love. Reverend Jay's witness to love, justice and compassion is exactly the antidote we need to those who preach the kind of exclusion, judgment and condemnation that has convinced so many people they already know enough about being a Christian not to want to be one. Keep up the good work, St. Stephen's. You Rock!"


Ann said...

"not an old wrathful God who desires the death of sinners, but the new incarnate son of God, Jesus, who comes that all may be freed and made whole."
This seems to be something that is not supported by Scripture, Tradition or Reason - rather it sounds anti-Judaism.


I don't think it has anything at all to do with Judaism ... it has to do with the "wrath of God" theology the protester had on his sign and included in his piece to the Signal.