Saturday, November 10, 2007

A New Bishop for Chicago

The Diocese of Chicago has elected the Reverend Jeffrey Lee as its 10th bishop. Lee was elected on the 2nd ballot. To learn a little more about Bishop-elect Lee I commend his welcome letter -- "Practicing the Hospitality of God" -- on the "About Us" page of his parish website.

Episcopal Life Online has this report and Integrity has issued the following statement:

Integrity congratulates Jeffrey Lee on his election as the next Bishop of Chicago. "We look forward to working with Bishop-elect Lee in continuing Chicago's long history of working for the full-inclusion of the LGBT faithful in the life and witness of the diocese," said the Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity.

"Integrity also commends the Search Committee of the Diocese of Chicago for including the Very Rev. Lind as a candidate despite the chilling effects of Resolution B033-and Dean Lind herself for standing for election in spite of the House of Bishops' recent statement in New Orleans," continued Russell.

"We may never know how significant a factor Resolution B033 was in the outcome of the Chicago election. However, we do know that Resolution B033 is noncanonical and discriminatory. Two dioceses -- California and Rochester --have already passed resolutions to General Convention 2009 that will nullify B033. We strongly urge all bishops and deputies to support such resolutions and their intent to end B033's inequity when we get to General Convention 2009 in Anaheim."



RonF said...

I believe that B033 had little role in the Chicago election. People who've seen previous posts by me would figure that I would not have voted for her in any case due to how she expresses her sexuality. However, this wasn't a hypothetical sitation. I had an actual vote on the matter, and I feel accountable to God and the parish that elected me to cast it correctly. I decided to take to heart the calls on this blog and from many, both gay and straight, to listen to their stories. In fact, I found myself wondering what in fact God had in store for me here. Was He going to present me with a difficult choice and ask me to change my mind on this matter? It wouldn't be the first time He'd challenged me, and I know He's got a sense of humor besides. What did I have to do to make sure I made the right decision here? So prior to Convention I read her election material carefully. I also attended one of the "walkarounds". There, all 8 candidates were presented at a local parish in the evening. Each one made an introductor speech. Then we separated into rooms of about 30 people each, and each one of the candidates answered our written questions. Rev. Lind in fact answered a question I submitted; I took it as a sign to listen very carefully, as she was one of only two of the 8 candidates that my question was asked of.

I can quite truthfully say that the way she expresses her sexuality in her life made no difference to my vote. If a straight married white male showed up and responded to various questions as Rev. Tracy Lind did I would not have supported them for Bishop of Chicago. I believe that opinion was shared by my fellow delegates. I would say that's why Rev. Lind placed about 4th or 5th in voting from both orders and her support pretty much evaporated in the 2nd ballot (I don't have my notes in front of me).

An experienced cleric that I know well told me that people would vote their emotions the first ballot and then get serious in the 2nd ballot, and he was right. At the beginning of the vote the official over-under was 4, given that that's how many ballots we were given. The street line was 3. But once I saw how the first ballot went I told him and the people I lunched with that I was betting that we'd come back from lunch to find out that the 2nd ballot had done it. Everyone was quite happy when Canon Hayashi opened the afternoon session with "Congratulations! Diocese of Chicago, you have elected a Bishop!"

I voted both times for Rev. Sabune. I thought he presented as the best choice to motivate the laity (and the clery as well, hopefully) to get up and do things. He ended up placing a solid second and I'd recommend that this not be the last time that a Diocese entertain his candidacy for Bishop. Having said that, I will seek to support Bishop-elect Lee when he is consecrated as the 12th Bishop of Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Chicago on electing Bishop-Elect Lee. From all accounts he is a good and faithful man who will serve them well. And though he is a straight guy, he is kind of cute! ;-)