Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Postcard from Paris: The Musee de Cluny

Just returned from a visit to the Musee de Cluny in Paris -- about a block from our hotel -- and amongst all the wonderful medieval artifacts was this ancient reminder that the church has a LONG history of "mitregates."

No WONDER the kingdom hasn't come yet!
Oh well -- more later. Off for a walk along the Seine!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Postcard from Alet Les Bains

It was hard to decide which picture to post as our "postcard" from Alet Les Bains where we spent a SPLENDID several days with our good friend Tony Jewiss ... who retired from his staff position at 815 2nd Avenue (AKA "The National Church") to the South of France and was pressed into service as the Vicar of Limoux. (There's TOTALLY a screenplay here, if any of you "industry" types are listening!)

But I ended up with this shot of the ruins of the Abbaye du Alet Les Bains in the village.

ANYWAY ... beautiful scenery, fabulous wine, great company -- truly a FABULOUS place to add to your "if I'm ever in France" itinerary.

And now ... off to Paris to finish up the trip!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Here's the ENS reports on new task forces forming to implement General Convention resolution C056. I am VERY honored to part of such an amazing team of folks and very much looking forward to our work together toward GC2012!

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music June 28 announced the names of task force leaders charged with leading the development of theological resources and liturgies for same-sex blessings, according to a news release.
The church's General Convention in 2009 passed Resolution C056, which authorized the House of Bishops, in conjunction with the SCLM, to devise an open process that would invite church-wide participation in collecting and developing the resources.

The commission is to report its efforts to the next meeting of General Convention, in 2012.

SCLM has established three task groups: a liturgical resources group; a pastoral/teaching resources group; and a theological resources group, according to the release.

The leaders are:

Liturgical resources task group, chair:

The Rev. Patrick Malloy of the Diocese of Bethlehem. Malloy is the H. Boone Porter chair in liturgics at General Theological Seminary in New York and is a former member of the SCLM. The rector of Grace Church, Allentown, Pennsylvania, he is the author of Celebrating the Eucharist and a forthcoming second volume, Celebrating the Pastoral Rites and the Daily Office.

Pastoral/teaching resources group, co-chairs:

The Rev. Canon Thaddeus A. Bennett of the Diocese of Vermont. Bennett is the part-time canon for transition ministry and part-time rector of St. Mary's-in-the-Mountains Church in Wilmington. Previously, he was the canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Los Angeles. He is one of the authors of the Episcopal Church's Fresh Start resource and serves as a vocational faculty for CREDO. He helped found three HIV/AIDS organizations, including the National Episcopal AIDS Coalition, and co-authored a number of resources for HIV/AIDS education and ministry.

The Rev. Canon Susan Russell of the Diocese of Los Angeles. Russell is a senior associate at All Saints Church in Pasadena and is chair of the Program Group on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) ministry for the Diocese of Los Angeles. In 2008 she convened the taskforce responsible for creating a diocesan pastoral response to both the May California Supreme Court decision on marriage equality and the November Proposition 8 ballot initiative.

Theological resources task group, chair

The Rev. Jay Emerson Johnson of the Diocese of California. Johnson is a member of the core doctoral faculty in theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and coordinates the Certificate in Sexuality and Religion program at Pacific School of Religion, where he serves as senior director of academic research and resources at the school's Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry. Since 2006 he has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Theology and Sexuality and he is book review editor of the Anglican Theological Review. His first book, published in 2005, was Dancing with God: Anglican Christianity and the Practice of Hope. He serves as associate clergy at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Berkeley.

To facilitate communication and to share ideas and resources, SCLM has set up a blog and an e-mail address:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Postcard from the French Riviera

This is the view from the terrace of our hotel in Menton, France ... just this side of the French/Italian border on the edge of the French Riviera. We are here for most of the week ... looking forward to exploring up and down the coast a bit but today we're taking as a Summer Solstice Sabbath -- an amazingly beautiful place to be spending the longest day of the year!

PS - Almost forgot ... did take a few minutes on this Summer Solstice Sabbath to check a couple of "you gotta read this" emails ... and this one you really DO "gotta read:" The Crisis over Kat in a Hat over at Friends of Jake!

Postcard from Italy

Yes, it really is that beautiful. This is the view from Lake Como as we were coming back into Menaggio after a day long boat trip.
Internet connectivity has been "spotty" -- which has been just fine most days (as there's too much of lovliness and interest around to want or need to be online) -- but it's delightful to have the chance to load up a few pictures and check in with loved ones ... as well as to get some of the latest updates on the ongoing saga of "As the Anglican World Turns"... just heard about the whole "mitergate" story @ Southwark Cathedral. Honest to Pete -- where's Monty Python when you need them?
Oh well ... plenty of time to comment on all of that when we're back. For now, it's back to "Louise & Susan's Excellent European Adventure" ...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Postcard from Lindau, Germany

So we're loving Lindau ... a beautiful little village on Lake Constance -- which borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On to Salzburg tomorrow.

(And back at home, thanks to all who made L.A. Pride 2010 such a success ... if you want to see pictures, visit the Dio L.A. LGBT Blog.)

More later ... off to watch yet ANOTHER World Cup game! :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Postcard from Dijon

Just a quick post of the view from our hotel window in Dijon. Tout à fait charmants. Although there's been pretty consistently good wifi on the first week of our trip, there have been better things to do than blog, so here's just a quck check in before I get back in vacation mode:
  • Birthday blessings to Bishop Barbara Harris who celebrates her 80th birthday today.
  • Ordination blessings to those being ordained as deacons in the Diocese of Los Angeles today -- including friend Michael Bell ... Lambeth Conference and GC2009 organizer extraordinaire
  • Happy PRIDE weekend to everyone in the Diocese of L.A. -- especially to those who will be "Marching with +Mary" down Santa Monica Blvd. tomorrow!
  • Bravo Brazil for the statement today of solidarity with TEC & Canada
  • And finally, if you haven't yet joined The Anglican Resistance Movement group on Facebook check it out and sign up to be part of a growing cloud of witnesses to an Anglican Communion defined by historical Anglican comprehensiveness rather than hysterical Anglican politics.

Au revoir pour l'instant!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

See also: "Freedom's Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose!"

Coming on the heels of the one-two punch of the ABofC's "rebuke" letter and the PB's "smackdown" response, this update from the Episcopal Newsline makes VERY interesting reading ... one hopes there will be "film at eleven!"

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori visits three events in the United Kingdom Accepts invitations in England, Scotland

[June 9, 2010] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has accepted the gracious invitations to speak and participate at three events in the United Kingdom.

USPG Annual Conference

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will speak at the USPG: Anglicans in World Mission Annual Conference in Derbyshire on Wednesday, June 9, addressing the conference theme, Witness to Christ Today.

In the evening, she will join the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, and others on a panel to discuss the proposed Anglican Covenant.

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori was invited to speak at the USPG in December 2009 by Bishop Michael Doe, General Secretary of USPG.


Scottish Episcopal Church

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will join representatives from Episcopal churches across Scotland in Edinburgh June 10-12 for the annual meeting of the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church. She has been invited to address the General Synod on Friday afternoon.

“It will be a great pleasure to receive the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori,” Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. David Chillingworth, said. “We greet her as the Primate of one of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion - one with which the Scottish Episcopal Church has close historical links.”

Scottish Episcopal Church:

Southwark Cathedral

Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will preach and preside at Southwark Cathedral, located in London, on Sunday, June 13 at 11 am.

Following a Southwark Cathedral practice initiated in 2006, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori is one of many Anglican Communion Primates who have been invited to participate in the main Sunday Eucharist at Southwark. Others have included: the Most Rev. Andrew Hutchinson, former Archbishop of Anglican Church of Canada; the Most Rev. Khotso Makhulu, Archbishop of the Church of the Province of Central Africa; the Most Rev. Njongonkulu Ndungane, former Archbishop of Cape Town and Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of Cape Town; and the Most Rev. Frank Griswold, former Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church.

The Very Rev. Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark, first invited Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori to preach and preside at Southwark Cathedral in June 2008, before the Lambeth Conference.

Southwark Cathedral:


The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Episcopal Church:





Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday at Notre Dame

From the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris liturgie:

"The bread distributed during mass has a high significance for Christians: it is the body of Christ their Lord and God. If you do not share our faith in the living presence of Christ in the eucharistic bread, we ask you not to join your neighbours at communion time."

I found it somewhat ironic to find a more inclusive welcome to the communion table at Notre Dame than we're getting in many corners of the Anglicandom. Who'd have thunk it?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Takin' Vacation!

Pronunciation: \vā-ˈkā-shən, və-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English vacacioun, from Anglo-French vacacion, from Latin vacation-, vacatio freedom, exemption, from vacare
a period spent away from home or work in travel or recreation

The Anglican World will have to turn on its own for a few weeks: I'm takin' vacation. Blogging may be sporadic -- or not. We'll see how it goes. See you later, alligators ... au revoir!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

"Pentecost continues!" [Wherein the Presiding Bishop 'splains a thing or two to the Archbishop of Canterbury.]

[Yes, it's a bit long. But you're going to want to read ALL of it ... and then you're going to want to click here and send an email of thanks to the Presiding Bishop's office for her willingness to speak out so forcefully and faithfully for ALL who want to stop the "baby" of Anglican comprehensiveness from being thrown out with the "bathwater" of reactionary homophobia.]

A pastoral letter to The Episcopal Church

Pentecost continues!

Pentecost is most fundamentally a continuing gift of the Spirit, rather than a limitation or quenching of that Spirit.

The recent statement by the Archbishop of Canterbury about the struggles within the Anglican Communion seems to equate Pentecost with a single understanding of gospel realities. Those who received the gift of the Spirit on that day all heard good news. The crowd reported, "in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power" (Acts 2:11).

The Spirit does seem to be saying to many within The Episcopal Church that gay and lesbian persons are God's good creation, that an aspect of good creation is the possibility of lifelong, faithful partnership, and that such persons may indeed be good and healthy exemplars of gifted leadership within the Church, as baptized leaders and ordained ones. The Spirit also seems to be saying the same thing in other parts of the Anglican Communion, and among some of our Christian partners, including Lutheran churches in North America and Europe, the Old Catholic churches of Europe, and a number of others.

That growing awareness does not deny the reality that many Anglicans and not a few Episcopalians still fervently hold traditional views about human sexuality. This Episcopal Church is a broad and inclusive enough tent to hold that variety. The willingness to live in tension is a hallmark of Anglicanism, beginning from its roots in Celtic Christianity pushing up against Roman Christianity in the centuries of the first millennium. That diversity in community was solidified in the Elizabethan Settlement, which really marks the beginning of Anglican Christianity as a distinct movement. Above all, it recognizes that the Spirit may be speaking to all of us, in ways that do not at present seem to cohere or agree. It also recognizes what Jesus says about the Spirit to his followers, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come" (John 16:12-13).

The Episcopal Church has spent nearly 50 years listening to and for the Spirit in these matters. While it is clear that not all within this Church have heard the same message, the current developments do represent a widening understanding. Our canons reflected this shift as long ago as 1985, when sexual orientation was first protected from discrimination in access to the ordination process. At the request of other bodies in the Anglican Communion, this Church held an effective moratorium on the election and consecration of a partnered gay or lesbian priest as bishop from 2003 to 2010. When a diocese elected such a person in late 2009, the ensuing consent process indicated that a majority of the laity, clergy, and bishops responsible for validating that election agreed that there was no substantive bar to the consecration.

The Episcopal Church recognizes that these decisions are problematic to a number of other Anglicans. We have not made these decisions lightly. We recognize that the Spirit has not been widely heard in the same way in other parts of the Communion. In all humility, we recognize that we may be wrong, yet we have proceeded in the belief that the Spirit permeates our decisions.

We also recognize that the attempts to impose a singular understanding in such matters represent the same kind of cultural excesses practiced by many of our colonial forebears in their missionizing activity. Native Hawaiians were forced to abandon their traditional dress in favor of missionaries' standards of modesty. Native Americans were forced to abandon many of their cultural practices, even though they were fully congruent with orthodox Christianity, because the missionaries did not understand or consider those practices exemplary of the Spirit. The uniformity imposed at the Synod of Whitby did similar violence to a developing, contextual Christianity in the British Isles. In their search for uniformity, our forebears in the faith have repeatedly done much spiritual violence in the name of Christianity.

We do not seek to impose our understanding on others. We do earnestly hope for continued dialogue with those who disagree, for we believe that the Spirit is always calling us to greater understanding.

We live in great concern that colonial attitudes continue, particularly in attempts to impose a single understanding across widely varying contexts and cultures. We note that the cultural contexts in which The Episcopal Church's decisions have generated the greatest objection and reaction are also often the same contexts where women are barred from full ordained leadership, including the Church of England.

As Episcopalians, we note the troubling push toward centralized authority exemplified in many of the statements of the recent Pentecost letter. Anglicanism as a body began in the repudiation of the control of the Bishop of Rome within an otherwise sovereign nation. Similar concerns over self-determination in the face of colonial control led the Church of Scotland to consecrate Samuel Seabury for The Episcopal Church in the nascent United States – and so began the Anglican Communion.

We have been repeatedly assured that the Anglican Covenant is not an instrument of control, yet we note that the fourth section seems to be just that to Anglicans in many parts of the Communion. So much so, that there are voices calling for stronger sanctions in that fourth section, as well as voices repudiating it as un-Anglican in nature. Unitary control does not characterize Anglicanism; rather, diversity in fellowship and communion does.

We are distressed at the apparent imposition of sanctions on some parts of the Communion. We note that these seem to be limited to those which "have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion." We are further distressed that such sanctions do not, apparently, apply to those parts of the Communion that continue to hold one view in public and exhibit other behaviors in private. Why is there no sanction on those who continue with a double standard? In our context bowing to anxiety by ignoring that sort of double-mindedness is usually termed a "failure of nerve." Through many decades of wrestling with our own discomfort about recognizing the full humanity of persons who seem to differ from us, we continue to work at open and transparent communication as well as congruence between word and behavior. We openly admit our failure to achieve perfection!

The baptismal covenant prayed in this Church for more than 30 years calls us to respect the dignity of all other persons and charges us with ongoing labor toward a holy society of justice and peace. That fundamental understanding of Christian vocation underlies our hearing of the Spirit in this context and around these issues of human sexuality. That same understanding of Christian vocation encourages us to hold our convictions with sufficient humility that we can affirm the image of God in the person who disagrees with us. We believe that the Body of Christ is only found when such diversity is welcomed with abundant and radical hospitality.

As a Church of many nations, languages, and peoples, we will continue to seek every opportunity to increase our partnership in God's mission for a healed creation and holy community. We look forward to the ongoing growth in partnership possible in the Listening Process, Continuing Indaba, Bible in the Life of the Church, Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, and the myriad of less formal and more local partnerships across the Communion – efforts in mission and ministry that inform and transform individuals and communities toward the vision of the Gospel – a healed world, loving God and neighbor, in the love and friendship shown us in God Incarnate.

May God's peace dwell in your hearts,

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A response to Archbishop Rowan's Pentecost letter

From the Bishop of California's reflections on the Archbishop of Canterbury's "Pentecost Letter:"
When an Empire and its exponents can no longer exercise control by might, an option is to feint, double-talk, and manipulate. Such tactics have been in the fore with Archbishop Rowan since the confirmation of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. The deployment of the Windsor Report and the manipulation of the Lambeth Conference, as cited above, are prime examples. The archbishop’s Pentecost letter is the most recent example.
1 -- Go, +Marc!
2 -- Read the rest here.

By George, I think she's got it!

(A solution to the Anglican Impasse, that is.)

"Invite everyone to the eucharist. Those who come and share are Anglicans in communion. Those who don't or won't are something else. That should settle the property disagreements too."
-- S. Huston on her blog Defenders of 'don't ask, don't tell' want to impose their religion

By Harry Knox, Special to CNN

Last week, the House of Representatives and a Senate committee both took historic steps forward in protecting the liberty and equality of all Americans, by moving to repeal the discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” law that prohibits lesbian, gay and bisexual people from serving openly in our nation’s military.

This policy has seen thousands of dedicated service members discharged simply because of who they are, costing our nation millions of dollars and many highly-trained soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines - including hundreds with critical language skills desperately needed in our ongoing fight against terrorism around the world.

But some right-wing groups, notably the Family Research Council, see the desire of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to serve our nation openly and honestly not as a commitment to sacrifice everything for the liberty of all Americans, but rather as a threat to the liberties of some. They claim that those whose faith traditions disapprove of homosexuality will no longer be able to serve as military chaplains if we permit open service.

Never mind that for the life of a nation grounded in religious pluralism, our military and its chaplains have served on behalf of the freedom of all Americans, including those who follow a faith that any individual chaplain might consider blasphemous.

Chaplains are fully aware of their duty to all who they counsel. Writing in support of a letter from dozens of religious organizations calling for repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” - including the Episcopal Church, the Union of Reform Judaism, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church - Captain John F. Gundlach, a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain noted that:
... as military chaplains, we routinely work with service members whose faith traditions and belief systems are different from ours. The idea that repeal of DADT will infringe on our religious liberty is insulting to all the serving chaplains who professionally minister to and with people of diverse beliefs every day.
But the Family Research Council and their ilk do not truly believe in protecting the liberty of all Americans, as our dedicated service members, gay and straight, do. They instead are seeking to rewrite history - and the core tenets of our Constitutional freedoms - in order to lead new generations back to the bad old days of repression of individual liberties.

They claim to be the voice of religion while ignoring that a growing number of congregations and denominations see discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as anathema to their core belief that God calls on us to love one another and to practice justice.

In reality, this isn’t about chaplains at all. Groups like the Family Research Council continue to characterize religious liberty and equality for LGBT Americans as an either/or proposition, willfully misrepresenting our nation’s historical experience and ignoring the realities of a nation of many faiths and beliefs that has dealt with such questions for centuries.

Such groups have claimed that federal hate crimes laws will silence preachers, ignoring those laws’ robust protections for free speech and religious expression, as well as the experience in the many states with such protections already in place.

Read the rest here ... and consider adding a comment to support Harry's important witness to "the truth will set us free."