Hi Just trying a

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Hi – Just trying a new way to post to my Blog page.  Hopefully this tool (that lets me post to the blog directly from Outlook) will help me to correct my spelling and grammar when I post.

And if that’s the case – I may just be able to post more frequently.

Hi All – I’m just

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Hi All –

I’m just back from Winston Salem NC and from participating in the ongoing dialogue between the Episcopal and Moravian Church as we move (slowly) toward full communion. It was a great chance to meet Moravians from the Southern Province and hear their history.

I’m excited to be part of this process – and I’m very much looking forward to working with people as we move forward.

When I get a chance I’m going to try to more carefully respond to some of the concerns that I heard from Moravians of the Southern Province that going forward with the dialogue would signal agreement with actions of the Episcopal Church General Convention this summer. Apparently the actions that were taken in Minneapolis (consenting to the election of Gene Robinson and “de-criminalizing” issues of human sexuality) are difficult to understand in some of the parishes in the Southern Province.

For what it’s worth – Episcopalians are used to not being in agreement with each other. But I suspect that in this case, our ethos is rather different than the ethos of the Moravian church which so strongly treasures their Unity in Jesus.

Just thought I’d better add

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Just thought I’d better add something new to the mix.

I’ve been reading the reports from the Dallas meeting of the AAC and finding myself more and more disheartened. According to the writing of one of my fellow Episcopal Communicators, Canon David Anderson (president of the AAC) has come clean and admitted that they expect that the AAC will be named the “Real Anglican Presence in the USA”. Bishop Duncan is reported to have said that “[the Anglican Communion] is Rowan Williams’ to lose” implying that if the Archbishop doesn’t behave in the way expected, he will be removed, and another Archbishop will be setup in his place.

It’s all just too sad for words. I guess that it was too much to hope that people might try to live as one – even in disagreement. Apparently the AAC is requiring people who attend their meeting to sign a statement of faith. That’s something that we’ve never had in the Anglican Communion – though I do know of local congregations who have made use of one. (I’m told that one our neighboring parishes here in the Lehigh Valley has required all members to pledge: 1. They are opposed to women clergy, 2. They are opposed to Gay and Lesbian people in the Church, 3. They will only use the 1928 Prayer Book.)

I guess now we all wait to see what happens in London next week. I can’t imagine that God is happy about all of this – though I know a number of people who feel that God is delighted that they have finally broken from the larger body.

So okay – I’m home

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So okay – I’m home now. I’m still digesting everything that happened at Convention – and trying to understand the implications.

Here in our parish we have mostly welcomed the results of convention – though there have been some people who have struggled with the results of the votes. There have been a few people even who are thinking of leaving the parish as a result both of the vote and of the way that I voted in support of Bishop-elect Robinson and for the compromise resolution. However we’ve also had a number of new people join the parish recently – and a significant portion of those people are joining because of the actions of General Convention.

We knew it was going to be tough when we voted.

I do feel the pain that so many outside of my parish are going through, at least empathetically. I hear them talking about their confusion. I wish that things could have been done in a slightly different way, but we *are* a conciliar church, and we do take votes to come to decisions. For those who are going to stay (either to fight or to adapt) I say “thank you”. To those who feel they must depart – for my part – I wish them well on their journey and promise to pray for their ministries to bear fruit. (And if they can, I’d be grateful for their prayers as well.)

In the meantime, we have work to do. The hungry still need to be fed. The sick still need to be visited. The poor and broken hearted still must hear the good news. And we all are called to share in the work of the Kingdom of God.

Things are really starting to

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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….

Just a quick note at

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Just a quick note at lunch. People are starting to return home, so our numbers are slowly dwindling. There are some people apparently absenting themselves from the worship services – and while they are missed – they’re missing some great worship. (We had a gospel choir today that really rocked.)

At our small table discussion this morning people started sharing what they’re hearing from home about the news of Gene Robinson’s consent. The news is mixed and some of us are going to have to return home and explain what and why the Convention voted the way it did. But in MUCH more hopeful news, many are reporting that their phones in the parish are ringing regularly with people wanting to know what time services are being held this Sunday. I hope that we as a denomination can rise to the moment and show people who we are over the next couple of weeks – especially with people finally knowing that we’re here.

There were a couple of floor interesting pieces of legislation that were considered this morning – with the budget of the church being voted on this afternoon. We may yet still get the evening off if we can keep up the pace that we did this morning.

I’m off to see if I can find a big enough box to ship home all the paper I seem to have accumulated. I really don’t want to have to schlepp it all on the plane – especially since I only have a half hour between flights in Charlotte. I’m going to be wearing my running shoes.

Things are quieting down now‚Ķ

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Things are quieting down now…

With the biggest issue behind us, and a compromise on the Blessing of Same Gender Relationships coming out of the House of Bishops, things are calming down significantly.

We were clearly upheld and buoyed by the power of prayer over the last few days – and it is that prayer which gave us the energy and courage for the task we faced. I can tell it was prayer and not just adrenaline because now that we’ve landed the plane, I feel calm and rested, not drained and wrung out. God gave us the energy to see the hard emotional work through to its conclusion.

The protest on the floor yesterday was painful. There were a number of friends of mine gathered around that microphone while Kendall was reading the statement. We disagree on the question of God’s will for people attracted to the same gender – but we agree on much more. We agree on the need to do mission work, we agree on the need to tell people about Jesus’ love, we agree on the need to show the fruits of the coming Kingdom of God in our communities – and I pray that these agreements will somehow carry us through the issue that divides us at the moment.

I’ve noticed the Church tends to thrive when there is controversy among her children. (I wish it wasn’t that way because frankly I’d rather live prayerfully and peacefully – but my ways are not God’s way apparently.) I guess that happens because when there is controversy it means that people are taking the Church and God very very seriously. God’s words to Job’s friends at the end of the Book of Job have always seemed to tell me that God wants us to be in passionate relationship with the Divine – and what we do or don’t do is less important than the reality of the relationship. When you feel as strongly as so many do here right now, it’s impossible to ignore God’s work in our lives.

I’m still processing the Native American liturgy that we used on Tues. The more I reflect on it, the deeper I’m drawn into it. If you’ve never had a chance to see one or participate in one, get thee to a church.

We’re on the down hill side of the slope as far as work goes today. We’ve got a lot to get done, but the House is falling into a rhythm – and I’m more confident that we’ll get the important work accomplished that must be accomplished.

We have the budget to consider today – and that is going to be hard. There have had to be some pretty significant cuts. I know how hard it is for people to live in times of scarce resources – we’re doing the same thing in the Diocese right now.

I had a chance to talk with George Werner yesterday. I asked him how he was feeling. He said that he felt amazingly calm. He didn’t expect to feel this way – but the sense of prayer in this place is so intense that not matter what is happening around us is not able to displace that sense of balance and being in the presence of the Holy. Many people have said basically the same thing to me. It’s an amazing place to live. (I wonder if we can build booths in this place?)