Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Bishop for Chicago

As the news settles in that the Diocese of Chicago has actually gone ahead and fielded an exemplary slate of fabulous candidates to serve as their next bishop the "usual suspects" are rattling the "usual sabers."
The Chicago Tribune headline gets the award for most understated subtitle:

Lesbian priest makes list for Chicago bishop:
Episcopalians have mixed opinions
"Mixed opinions" about covers it, eh???
I am allowing myself to be amused that over at Stand Firm (the site a clever colleague calles "Bullies On Viagra") the anti-feminist venom being unleashed on Margaret Rose actually trumps the homophobic reaction to Tracey Lind. Commenters are wondering whether any of the candidates are "actually Christians" and titusonenine is all a twitter.
Elizabeth Kaeton offers her reflections -- "A Trinity of Women" -- with some great "get to know the candidates" stuff and now CNN has the story along with this Chicago Tribune article which I think deserves a nominiation for most understated headline subtitle:
Lesbian priest makes list for Chicago bishop:
Episcopalians have mixed opinions
"Mixed opinions" about covers it, eh???
In the "from the horses' mouths" department here's a letter from Tracey Lind to her cathedral congregation ...

... and here's a video of Tim Safford preaching at All Saints Church in Pasadena last Sunday. (I had trouble getting it to play through: maybe it will work for you!)

Meanwhile, here's the prayer we would ALL do well to pray along with the good people of Chicago as they seek a faithful bishop, pastor and leader for their diocese:

Almighty God, prosper with your blessing the mission and ministry of our diocese. You have blessed us with the ministry of the Rt. Rev. William Persell. We thank you for his ministry to us as chief pastor and leader in the Church. Stir up in us the grace and power of your Spirit, as we begin the search for our next Bishop. Give to our search committee inquiring and discerning hearts, that they may clearly see your will. Give us all the courage to dream and the will to persevere to make those dreams a reality. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and ground us in the knowledge and love of you. Empower us with the gifts of joy and wonder as we seek out the special ministry you have for us together in our diocese; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Well, at least one knows where the LBGT advocates stand. It's all about dismissing the Anglican Communion, right?


Actually, "anonymous" it's about being willing to be DISMISSED by those in the Anglican Communion who are willing to choose bigotry over the baptized.

Different thing altogether, that!

Anonymous said...

Now Susan, its not proper to malign Stand Firm with a comment on TitusOneNine. The pondering if any on the list were Christian was on T19 & it was Elf-spanked, but not Stand Firm.


anonymous ... I plead bad grammar.

It should more clearly have read:

"I am allowing myself to be amused that over at Stand Firm (the site a clever colleague calles "Bullies On Viagra") the anti-feminist venom being unleashed on Margaret Rose actually trumps the homophobic reaction to Tracey Lind.

[And on titusonenine]Commenters are wondering whether any of the candidates are "actually Christians" ...

(And "elf-spanked" or not it's a sad commentary, doncha think???)

Anonymous said...

I have to say i was shocked -- shocked! -- that the comment on TitusOneNine was called out. After trying to respond there and being told I was not a Christian more times than I can count, I gave up. Maybe they are trying to clean up their act.

Anonymous said...

Frankly at this point, I really don't care anymore about who says or does what, and am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the church as a whole is nothing but a large joke.

Is it any wonder that the newspapers and writers have no problem making fun of "Christians"???

Sign me: Why bother?

Anonymous said...

Like too many, Fr. Safford seems to utilize his sermon time as an "encounter group" to conjure "whatever". Note the early prolonged egocentric references and mannerisms that call attention to the human rather than the divine.

JimB said...

I will be attending the Chicago convention as a delegate. Funny, I am not interested in "dismissing the Anglican Communion," I am interested in finding a bishop for Chicago.

When we vote, we will be looking for the person who can lead us, we will be asking the Spirit to guide us. You know, like they did ( I hope ) in S. Carolina.

IF we elect a woman who happens to be lesbian or otherwise controversial, it will be because we think she is the best person to lead a very broad church diocese. It will not be to make political points. I suspect that the same can be said for the other diocese involved in election processes. I pray it is so in any case.

I dunno if the viagra crowd could ever understand the simple idea that we are actually Christians seeking to do God's will. They seem to be too busy sniffing around our private areas.



MarkBrunson said...

I don't think it's so much that we dismissed the AC as that a certain portion of the AC has chosen irrelevance, chosen form over faith. If the AC, under the ABC's leadership wishes to align with this fearfilled "orthodoxy," that's the AC's choice.

Anonymous said...

The question is really whether people want to see further decline of the Episcopal Church in Chicago, and it's a foregone conclusion that putting a lesbian in as bishop will achieve that. Frank Griswold, whose erstwhile diocese declined by about 30,000 during his time as PB, bravely spoke of doubling the denomination by 2010, but instead people walk away in their thousands.

Suzer said...

Just a friendly note to the anonymous folks -- it would really help me (and maybe others) if you would identify yourselves in some way. Even "anonymous A" or "anonymous 1" would be helpful. It gets confusing with so many anonymous comments, and is good blog etiquette to distinguish yourself in some way from other commenters, even if you still want to remain unidentifiable. Rev. Russell may know who you are from her stats, but it's hard for me to know who is saying what. Thanks for considering this request.

Anonymous said...

I was the first "Anonymous", the guy who wonders with what ease the LBGT advocates dismiss the Anglican Communion.
To me it seems like Americentrism(or at least egocentrism) to suggest that the majority of the Anglican Communion (including 100 % of the Primates)are somehow wrong / bigoted /unjust / ill-educated and the loud pro-gay North American voices are so much more "right". THAT is TRULY dismissing the rest of the Communion. Your actions, nominations, and considerations speak with an unequaled arrogance.

Anonymous said...

If we are talking about last Sunday’s sermon by Tom Safford, I am confused by the references to “pretty preachers,” “encounter groups” and “whatever.” I missed the egocentric references and mannerisms.

Tim Safford has been away from ASC for 8 ½ years. We’ve had a lot of new members since then. If I remember correctly, total attendance on Easter this year was 3600+. Tim took a moment to reintroduce himself to the congregation.

His sermon could not have been more in sync with the gospel reading of the day.

“Jesus is freedom. Jesus is Jubilee. Jesus is sight to the blind, clothes to the naked, release for the captive, food for the hungry, liberation for the oppressed.”

Is this not the message of the Gospel?

Doesn’t everyone in the AC agree with this? Isn’t this what all Christians believe? Isn’t this enough to keep us all in communion? Can we not trust the people of Chicago to choose the bishop they prefer?

If this is what we all believe, how can it be those who simply want to remain in the AC be considered arrogant, while those who want to leave and take the buildings with them are not?

Suzer said...

Hi Doug. Thank you for making things a bit more clear -- I do appreciate it. :)

I think the difficulty with diverging viewpoints, especially on this issue, is that we tend to let ourselves start name calling without really listening to each other. That goes for both "sides." Do you have any suggestions for the pro-inclusivity folks (which I am a part of) about approaching folks like yourself of a more traditionalist viewpoint that would not come across as arrogance? Stopping name calling (everyone!) is a start. Each side believes passionately that it's way is the "right" one. Can we not hold fast to our beliefs (which for both sides are arguably based in scripture, but coming up with entirely different conclusions), and if necessary part peacefully, saying "I just don't see it the way you do." What would be a way of presenting our case that would not come across so offensively to you? Or is it not so much the way it is being presented, as opposed to what is being presented?

We feel led by the Spirit and scripture to fully include women and GLBT persons in the church. You feel led by the Spirit to believe otherwise. Call me naive, but I can't understand why that precludes us all from sitting down at the same table together. But at heart I'm a "why can't we all just get along" kind of gal. :)

When I try to see things from the other side (I am a Libra, after all!), I don't understand how anything new could happen in this world, in the church, if we are not open to our understanding of God, and our enlightenment through Scripture, changing. (I'm using enlightenment to refer to both "sides" here.) But, from putting myself in your shoes again, I can see that enlightenment through Scripture could lead to change that is not necessarily good, it could be a free for all, and how are we to distinguish what is right and wrong?

I sense a good deal of pain and anger behind your words (and forgive me if I'm reading too much into your comments). I am sorry that there are people on both sides of the issue who have been so hurt and wounded by the actions of the other. I'm not sure our treatment of each other is doing anything to build up the Kingdom.

I do stand fully behind the full inclusion of women and GLBT persons in TEC and also within the AC. And having witnessed the arguments back and forth for over a year now (since I entered the blogosphere), I've come to realize that I'm o.k. with the fact that some folks disagree with me on that. God will judge whether we are right or wrong on this issue, and in the end I think He cares more about how we treat each other than what we believe.

(Thx. in advance for allowing this lengthy comment, Rev. Russell.) :)

RonF said...

Thanks for the links, Susan. I'll be using them to inform my vote.

RonF said...

I echo Jim's comments. Our job as delegates to the Diocesean Convention of the Diocese of Chicago will be to choose that person who we think will do the best job of performing the office of Bishop of Chicago, not to advance the cause of any particular advocacy group.

Anonymous said...

I'm the "second" anonymous (I think) who is sick of the vitriol on Titus One NIne. I apologize, but I don't have a google blogger account and I haven't figured out how to get this to say anything except "anonymous." Please have pity on us technologically challenged folk.

Anonymous said...

For 'suzer':

To me this debate is one where nothing less than final and total capitulation to the pro-gay agendas will suffice. Answer after answer after answer has been given by the Communion for 30 years and when the answer isn't satisfactory then there is the tactic of continuously wearing out the question by yet more reprising of the arguments.
Point of Focus: this debate really isn't about gaining new standards in the Church for total inclusion. It's about non-critical acceptance.
Why be a part of a Church that keeps giving you the "wrong" answers? Why continue to coerce as though you are trying to convince novice theologians and ill-educated primates? THAT's the rub. The continuation of these withering tactics suggest that no one but the LBGT lobby has truly "come to the light". How insulting!
This debate has gotten to look like the bipolar support group. The discussion of the hour continues to be on how misunderstood one is.
But I DO understand: no one wants an answer other than total uncritical acceptance of the "mirror-mirror-on-the-wall" variety. Jesus' disciples weren't granted such vanity so it's not likely that those moderns who demand it will either.

RonF said...

I checked out the link you left to Elizabeth Keaton's blog. I found this comment interesting:

"Never mind B033. It not only has no canonical standing, it is, at this point, nothing more than a bad memory."

So. General Convention passes a resolution and a year later it's to be simply ignored? So much for General Convention then, eh?

MarkBrunson said...

Sorry, Mr. Desper, but you've given in to the anti-gay "agenda" -- a worldview which says, quite explicitly, "We don't care what you say about your own lives, we know better!" That is truly unequaled ARROGANCE.

Maybe your version of "what God says" works for you -- huzzah, if it does -- but don't make the assumption that that means he hasn't been speaking to the rest of us.

Goodbye and God go with you.

Lorian said...

Thank God that the Episcopal church/Anglican Communion was not the final arbiter of the decision whether or not to end slavery. If we can continue to endorse injustice and oppression because the consequences of standing against it are controvery and the departure of those who wish to continue in their discrimination, then we can hardly call ourselves followers of Christ. I don't recall Christ ever shrinking from controvery or worrying about who might or might not agree with him, like what he had to say, or get up and leave the table in disgust at his challenges to their narrow-mindedness.

Speak the truth in love, of course, but we cannot fail to speak the truth.