It's a nice biblical number. Seven days for creation. Seven years Jacob worked to get Rachel ... after he'd worked seven years for Leah. One commentary I checked wrote, "The number 7 is usually equated with the idea of perfection."
Well, where I hang out we talk a lot about "progress, not perfection" -- and although I do not believe we've reached perfection -- any of us -- as I write this sitting in a hotel room in Long Beach (with this fabulous view out the window ...)
... it does occur to me just how much difference seven years have made since I sat in another hotel room in New Hampshire preparing for another consecration the next morning.
What a difference seven years makes, as we gather here in Long Beach for the consecration tomorrow of two new bishops for the Episcopal Church and pastors for the people of the Diocese of Los Angeles.
... and as close as a few miles north on the 710 ...
From as far as Minnesota, Massachusetts and Fort Worth ...
... friends from New Jersey ...
... and three past-Integrity Presidents ...
No, it's not perfection. And it won't be until the kingdom comes, the reign is realized and the gender, orientation, identity or race of a Bishop for the Church of God is no longer an "issue." For anybody.
But what a difference seven years makes. Then there were police lines and bomb threats and CNN trucks with live satellite coverage of our every move as we gathered at a New Hampshire hockey rink to make Gene Robinson a Bishop in the Church of God. Today's press conference drew a handful of church media and a local reporter or two and the only lines we needed to cross were the ones in the hotel cocktail lounge.
And tomorrow we're going to gather across the street there at the Long Beach Convention Center and the first woman Presiding Bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church is going to ordain the first two women bishops in the history of the Diocese of Los Angeles ... and the fact that one of them is a lesbian is not an "issue" but an opportunity for us to better incarnate the wholeness of God's abundant and inclusive love.
It's progress -- not perfection -- but what a difference seven years makes. TBTG!
Time marches on and we inch ever closer to the people God calls us to be.
Where are the women in the pictures?
Why are there no women present in the pictures?
Indeed it is a big deal because it is not a big deal. It is also a big deal because two women bishops is no big deal. I pray it means that we have grown in our understanding of the way Jesus set before us. May God uphold and strengthen both of these ladies in their new ministries.
I tried to find a video of it on the diocesan website ... is it there?
Hank ... excuse me???
Elaine ... I imagine it'll take them a day or two to get it rendered and loaded up.
You can email email@example.com and ask when they plan to up it up ... he's our Director of Communication
Thanks Susan -- I hadn't thought of that, I'll be patient.
And, Elizabeth, according to the BBC radio program that woke me today ... "the world is coming to an end" ... once again ... no wonder "chicken little" is an enduring story ...
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