Things are really starting to wind down here – and I think all of us are grateful. After looking forward to these two weeks for the past year or so, I found myself sitting at my seat early yesterday afternoon counting the hours till I’d be joining my family for a week of fun at the shore…
We did manage to pick it up in the late afternoon though. It’s amazing how quickly people can gather themselves when something important is going on in the House.
We voted on the compromise resolution that the Bishops had passed on a voice vote the day before. The body of the resolution, which was passed unanimously by the Prayer Book and Liturgy Committee earlier in the week, basically acknowledges that what is happening is happening. People are doing same-gender blessing services. It’s not a terribly well kept secret in the Episcopal Church. What the resolution basically does is to de-criminalize these services. It doesn’t call for their creation, or give a time table for their adoption. It does however recognize that people need to respond pastorally to the needs of her members (all of her members). In the same way that Paul seems to have allowed for the institution of marriage in the earlier church out of pastoral concern for the early Christians, we in are day are struggling if to discern if God is calling us forward in this similiar direction.
There’s word this morning that the +ABC has called for a meeting of the Primates of the Communion in October. We don’t know what is going to happen – but it’s not something that was unexpected. But as others have said here at the convention – we can’t allow fear to inform our actions, we need to see all things through the lens of agape. (There’s a story here of a bishop who came to the convention to vote against Gene Robinson’s consent but in listing his pro and con reasons, realized that the list of reasons against, while much longer than the “pro” side, were all based on fear of how others might perceive the act. He realized that this sort of fear of others anger is not the gospel. And he changed his vote. I imagine a number of us had something similar occur to us. Michael Curry’s sermon on Sat. then becomes the seminal event of the Convention – especially when he reminded the Church that Jesus and the Church are called to risk all to follow the path of God.
There have been some extraordinary sermons preached here these past two weeks, but that one and the sermon preached yesterday morning are the ones that stick out most strongly in my memory. (The other sermon: “God never takes something away without giving something much better in return.”)
Today we most have a great deal of legislation to plow through. I think all the controversial stuff if behind us. But I’ve been wrong before….