By the time we left that meeting we had a new name -- "Claiming the Blessing" -- and a renewed sense of optimism, collaboration and confidence that together we could make a difference in this church we love and serve and in a world so in need of the Good News of God's inclusive love available to absolutely everybody.
In January 2016 some of those same Episcopal activists -- Michael Hopkins, John Clinton Bradley, Ed Bacon, Elizabeth Kaeton, Kim Byham, Jim White, Christine Mackey-Mason, Katie Sherrod, Cynthia Black and Bishop Gene Robinson -- gathered in Pasadena CA at All Saints Church to celebrate the work of the last 14 years: to tell stories, to capture some narrative history, to give thanks and to imagine what the next "achievable goal" might be -- and how what we've learned together could be applied to help achieve it.
The quote that kept coming to me throughout the weekend was from the Gospel According to Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Which is not to say we're done changing the world that still has so much changing needed. What is true that the "achievable goal" we gathered in 2002 to organize to achieve has been achieved -- and then some -- by the actions of the 78th General Convention. And so this was a chance to celebrate the achievement of that incremental victory as we continue to work toward the audacious goal of that kingdom come on Earth as it is heaven ... for absolutely everybody.
So ... celebrate with us for a few minutes. Check out the photos of a spectacular Sunday at All Saints Church in Pasadena ... and then watch Bishop Robinson's sermon: "Act as if ..." Trust me: you don't want to miss it!
"It's funny isn't it that you can preach a judgmental, and vengeful, and angry God, and nobody will mind. But if you start preaching about a God that is too accepting, too loving, too forgiving, too merciful, too kind -- you are in trouble!"Here comes trouble: