Saturday, June 06, 2015

On ending the war in order to win the peace

Thoughts on the road toward our 78th General Convention --thoughts that started out as a FB comment!

Last summer I attended a consultation on same-sex marriage that included ecumenical as well as wider Anglican Communion colleagues. One of the comments that has continued to echo in my head and in my heart was from a clergy colleague from the Church of England.

What he said was that he hoped that as the American Church continued to move toward marriage equality it would learn from the mistakes the English Church had made on the movement toward the ordination of women. And what he hoped we would learn was -- wait for it -- "in order to win the peace you have to be willing to end the war."

We have been at work on the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments for 40 years. It is time to end the war -- and then get to work winning the peace. Get to work making this church a place where there is room for absolutely everybody and nobody is excluded because of who they are or what they disagree about.

And I will get push back from people who will say "How can you be part of a church that includes people who think your marriage isn't real?" And my answer will be because I'm already a part of a church that includes people who think my ordination isn't valid. And since I've been able to live with that reality for the last 20 years -- and the church has been living with that tension for the last 40 years -- then we can certainly live with the tension of differences of opinion on marriage.

What we can NOT live with is the tension of being blackmailed into inaction out of fear that if we fully include the LGBT baptized someone will leave. It is time to Reimagine the Episcopal Church on the other side of the Inclusion Wars and -- in the process -- to be willing to win the peace.

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