I’m sorry I haven’t posted something about what happened yesterday. But I was too emotional and much too tired to be able to think clearly enough to be able to write coherently.
If anyone claims that the Episcopal Church has not taken Windsor seriously, they were not on the floor of the House of Deputies yesterday. There was such pain and anguish in that place. We have taken the WR seriously and have struggled to say what we can say, and have not said what we can not say.
I was moved to tears (me! The person who was nicknamed “Mr. Spock” in seminary) as my friends and fellow Episcopalians spoke to the resolution from the House of Bishops. People were openly sharing their anguish about what we are being asked to do and the depth of our wanting to walk with our sisters and brothers in the Anglican Communion. After the vote people were embracing each other and trying to comfort those who felt dishonored or even betrayed – both on the right as well as the left. The Archbishop of York asked us to show the Communion the marks of our cross in his remarks last week. We did that yesterday.
I had no idea how exhausted I was until after resolution B033 passed and we returned for the final session of the House. I, and most of the rest of us, hit the wall yesterday afternoon. I think I remember what we did in the afternoon, but to be honest we were all just limping on to the finish line.
I want to do some more thinking about what happened and I promise to try to write up something longer about what I think this all means as soon as I’ve had a chance to pray for a bit and settle my mind.
I do have a few observations to make this morning though:
The center of the Episcopal Church found its voice on Tuesday evening. After an incredibly frustrating afternoon where people from all over the spectrum where trying to find a way to bring language from the Special Committee report back into play but were being outmaneuvered by the edges, there came a moment when the convention found a loud and almost unified voice. That voice could be heard in the strength of the “Yes” and “No” votes which began to refuse any attempt to add killer amendments to resolutions or to try to force the House of Deputies to embarrass itself. That center voice was heard yesterday when, as we began to discuss whether to consider reconsidering the Windsor Report, one deputy stood up and pleaded with others to stop using the rules of the House to keep the large majority of us from being able to do what we were being asked to do.
I have to admit that I am profoundly relieved to be finished. I am proud of what we have done? Not really. I am sad about what has happened? Yes. Would I change it? I don’t know. Were we honest? Yes – what we said and didn’t say yesterday is a pretty clear snapshot of where we are as a church at the moment. I am also very relieved that this now belongs to the Archbishop of Canterbury. If it’s not enough – okay. We tried. We wept. We bled. We hurt each other on the right and on the left trying to find a way forward together. If that pain is not honored on earth, it will be honored in heaven. And that is what I really care about.
I have an immense amount of respect for +Katharine this morning. She put her new office and her authority absolutely on the line. She came to us and spoke clearly about where she was in her thinking and about what she wanted us to consider. That honesty and clarity with each other may be the two things that will lead to the fairness that we have been missing in this part of the church for so long. I think the real root of our political problems (not the theological ones) is that we have not been treating each other fairly and with integrity. If we can just do that, we will lower the temperature of this present debate significantly.
I’m packing up and heading home. I should be back online in a day or so. Hopefully by then I’ll have had a chance to process what is happening a bit more than I have as yet this morning.