Thursday, June 15, 2006

General Convetion 2006: Legislative Day Three

Up early today trying to get a head start on what will be another big day (aren't they all at General Convention?) The Special Committee will continue hearing testimony on the Windsor resolutions this morning and the Deputies will likely get a chance to consider A159 ... the first of those resolutions to come out of committee ... sometime today.

This evening the Episcopal General Convention will be the focus of the Larry King Show so be sure to tune in and see us "live from Columbus."

Reflecting on the hearings last night I think the single most striking impression I took away was that the discourse was remarkably on point and remarkably free of both the Scripture bludgeoning and graphic sexual detail that has been so unfortunately part of these debates over the years. We were actually talking about the church and the nature of communion -- and while I might vehemently disagree with many of the perspectives represented by the "other side" I am deeply grateful that the conversations were actually about theology rather than biology.

On that note, I thought the following comment exchange from an earlier post on this blog was worth bringing "up front." I think it is illustrative of both the core difference between the two "sides"here at this convention AND the core hope I hold for this church: that if we can keep coming back to Jesus in our discourse the Prince of Peace will bring us to place of both peace AND justice for all.

Rev. Susan, with all respect for you as one for whom Jesus also died on the cross,we reasserters do not think we are the sole possessors of truth. Nor do we thinkwe "possess" truth. Rather, the Truth who is Jesus, the Son of God mademan,possesses us as bondslaves of Christ, who in His grace and boundless mercy yetsays,"You are My friends, if you do what I command you. No longer do I callyou slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have calledyou friends, for all things that I have Heard from My Father I have made known toyou." (John 15: 14-15)

With equal due respect, I was speaking of the testimony I have heard here in Columbus and expect to hear more of today, much of which is grounded in the deep, clear and (I believe) sincere conviction that there is only one "clear truth of scripture" (we heard that over and over) and that the full inclusion of LGBT people in the Body of Christ -- including the celebration of their relationships and the affirmation of their vocations -- is outside the bounds of that truth. Period.

As for Jesus being "the Truth" on that we can agree -- +Gene in his remarks yesterday stated clearly that in the Episcopal Church the "gay agenda"IS Jesus -- the way, the truth and the life. That is the witness Integrity has been making in this church for the last 30 years and -- God willing -- the witness we will continue to make not only in this church and in this communion but to those outside the faith yearning to hear that God's abundant love is REALLY abundant enough to include them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

aSusan, Your blog and your comments are interesting. I am a Presbyterian minister. We are currently dealing with issues relating to the ordination of gay people at our General Assembly in Birmingham, Alabama. I would generally be considered a conservative on theological issues, including this particular issue. But increasingly, I find myself listening, respecting, and being moved by the comments of sincere and loving Christian gay people. I am also a totally blind Presbyterian pastor. Perhaps we can have some dialogue on this issue in the future. My email address is:, and I am Rev. Daniel M. Berry, III, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Alabama. Thank you for this blog.