Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What if they gave a schism and nobody came?

On the "schism" issue, let me restate what I wrote about schism in June 2003 ... just days after Gene Robinson's election as Bishop of New Hampshire:

"What If They Gave A Schism And Nobody Came"

What it takes to create schism is for someone to leave – and I am sick unto death with the unity of this church being placed on the shoulders of those of us who have committed to stay.

When are we going to hold accountable those who threaten to leave? When will we name the actions of those who have conspired with factions of the larger Anglican communion to actively oppress and marginalize its GLBT members with what it is: fomenting schism – creating conflict – sacrificing the unity of the church to their own agenda of power, control and heterosexism?If schism happens – and I not convinced that it will – the blame will lie not with Claiming the Blessing, the Diocese of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson or the countless GLBT Christians living out their faith journeys in the Episcopal Church.

It will lie firmly at the feet of those whose will to power is greater than their willingness to embrace the other, whose commitment to crisis is greater than their faith in the Gospel and whose singular obsession with things sexual has blinded them to the Spirit’s revelation via things incarnational.

The cornerstone of the Claiming the Blessing initiative has been this citation from the second chapter of Genesis: “I will bless you so that you will be a blessing.” The blessing of life-long, committed relationships of people who love each other and love Jesus will not split this church – they will bless this church.

The election of one of the finest priests in the communion to take his place in the House of Bishops will not split this church – it will bless this church.

Committed to stay in conversation with each other we will weather this storm as we have weathered the others that doomsayers have predicted would destroy this great church of ours – and we can get back to the business of being a blessing to those who so desperately need the Good News of God in Christ we have to offer.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I offer this prayer for all of the Church as we approach convention, a spiritual threshing floor for the Communion:

"O God, we dedicate this threshing-floor to you. May all the grain that is threshed here be used to your glory alone. May your angels guard this place and these your servants who will here thresh the grain you have given. Grant that of all this precious grain none will be lost, but that all may be used to feed your hungry children. May all that eat it know that of your grace and love you give them bread in due season. May even the little birds of your creation who shall glean their food here be conscious of the heavenly Father's care, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the true Bread of Life come down from heaven. Amen."

This prayer is from Christian villagers in India at the dedication of a threshing floor, but it is also used as a prayer for the purifying of the Church and its stewardship of the gifts of creation.