Today was tough. At least it was for me.
No matter how little you expected from the GOP led Senate, watching the impeachable offenses of the current resident of the White House shrugged off without so much the testimony of a single witness or the admission of a single document into evidence was a stunning abdication of their oath to defend the Constitution and a gross dereliction of the duty they were elected to fulfill.
Nevertheless, we persist ... because the alternative isn't an option.
And as we persist together in the struggle, we look to each other for support and we look to those who have gone before us for wisdom ... with an eye to those who come after us -- that they might inherit a nation where liberty and justice for all is a little closer to being not just a pledge we make but a reality we live. And some days that seems more possible than others.
Today was tough. At least it was for me. And then this happened.
I got an email from colleagues in the Diocese of Newark with the news that a resolution honoring two giants of justice -- Marge Christie and Louie Crew Clay -- was unanimously adopted at their Diocesan Convention today. And reading it over, I was reminded all over again about the obstacles they overcame in their commitment to leave this realm better than they found it ... and that the same power that was behind them in their struggle is behind us urging us forward in ours.
The struggle is still real. The day is still tough. And yet, the burden feels just a little lighter. At least it does for me.
La lucha continua ... and we love you Marge & Louie!
HONORING TWO OF NEWARK’S GIANTS OF JUSTICE:
MARGE CHRISTIE AND LOUIE CREW CLAY
RESOLVED, that this 146th Convention of the Diocese of Newark recognize that two giants of this diocese, Marge Christie and Louie Crew Clay, in 2019 moved on from their justice work on earth to take things up directly with God; and be it further
RESOLVED, that this convention celebrate their lives and work by recommitting itself to the work of manifesting the Realm of God here on earth, proclaiming by word and deed both within the Church and in the World that God loves absolutely everybody.
Marge Christie died on April 14, 2019. Louie Crew Clay died on November 27, 2019.
Christie began her ministry before women could be General Convention deputies. She was a warrior woman, keen for justice, quick with mercy, and beloved of her God. She was a leader in the struggle to get women elected as vestry members in parishes, then as deputies to General Convention, and then in the quest for the ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate in The Episcopal Church.
In 2006, Christie introduced the resolution for the House of Deputies to confirm the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the church’s first female presiding bishop and thus the first female leader of an Anglican Communion province. It was meet and right that she be the person to do this.
Crew Clay was THE advocate for the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in The Episcopal Church. Ultimately his influence extended globally and beyond the church. He was the founder of a newsletter that grew into Integrity in 1974. Crew Clay also served six terms in the House of Deputies, representing the Diocese of Newark, and one term on Executive Council.
He was a pioneer in using the Internet to share information throughout the church and beyond. Long before Facebook was a gleam in the eye of its founder, Crew Clay began the HOBD listserv to allow deputies to ‘meet’ online to discuss issues facing the church. In everything that he did he was supported by his husband of 44 years, Ernest.
Louie met hate with love, abuse with grace, bullying with humor, turning many foes into friends. No matter the setback, no matter the painful pace of progress, Louie always moved forward, smiling. Because, joy anyway!
The Rev. Cynthia L. Black, D.D., Church of the Redeemer, Morristown
The Rev. J. Brent Bates, Ph.D., Grace Church, Newark
The Rev. Tom Mathews, Christ Church, Ridgewood