Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fired Up Episcopalians (yikes!)

At church today, the rector announced that there would be a meeting after church to discuss the turmoil in the Episcopal Church.  Our buyer had called last night to say she wanted to come up this morning with her son and his fiancé (among the few remaining south Floridians she hadn’t yet shown her new home), and we had promised to be home by 11:30.  Ed took the kids home after church, and I stayed for the meeting.  It was interesting, and actually quite enlightening.  Our rector was wonderful.  He is moderate, not inclined to drama, and his focus in on community, fellowship, and sharing the good news.  Most of the people who spoke at the meeting were more upset by the letter our bishop recently sent out, reiterating his dismay with the actions of the General Convention (which were, generally speaking, to refuse the request of the worldwide Anglican Church in the Windsor Report to refrain from appointing more gay bishops for a while, and to follow this up with the election of a woman presiding bishop who supports gay bishops, refers to Jesus as “Mother Jesus,” and who was elected bishop in Nevada without ever having served as a rector) and saying that he is requesting that the Archbishop of Canterbury provide churches unhappy with the new presiding bishop with an alternative primate, than they were about the fact that the Episcopal Church is on the brink of being booted out of the world Anglican communion.  A couple people who spoke were puzzled by the appointment of a presiding bishop who, in addition to lacking the usual qualifications, was bound to be an inflammatory choice.  The loudest and most passionate voices, though, were a couple men, new to the congregation, whose perspective was that, in questioning the appropriateness of gay bishops and same sex blessings, we were telling them that they were not welcome in our group.  The young man in front of me was sobbing as he spoke of leaving the other Episcopal church in town (which is unabashedly conservative) because he felt that criticism of the actions of the General Convention were a judgment of him and his lifestyle.  He got plenty of sympathetic looks and pats on the back.  Only one elderly gentleman stood up and said that he was unhappy about our new presiding bishop not because of her gender but because of her position on the gay bishop issue.  The tearful young man muttered angrily while the old gentleman was speaking, although everyone had been quiet while he spoke his piece.  Since I usually think of myself as being on the liberal side of moderate, I was surprised to be in the more conservative position.  I am distressed that the General Convention acted with heedless indifference to the concerns of the rest of the Church, and seems to expect to be able to “bulldoze” through radical changes in Church practice without consequences.  It was educational to see how different the viewpoint and priorities of the fellow in the next pew might be!

1 comment:

Dy said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I can't believe you didn't email, or leave a comment, or send off a flare so I'd know you sold your house while I was mostly off-line! (Right, because that was the first thing to cross your mind, eh?) Oh, how exciting! CONGRATULATIONS! Doing the Happy Dance! YAY!

Happy Belated Birthday to T.!! The pictures sure look like he had a wonderful time.

I love the sparkly dress K modeled in the photo below - she's so lovely, and always coming up with something creative to do.

Don't know if Northern Alabama is still on your "look into" list, but if you want to check out the listings, the local MLS is They've got the email notification thing with saved searches/parameters on the website, which is handy. Our Wonderful Realtor is Jo Shaffer, from an office in Decatur. She's truly phenomenal to work with. I do know, also, who I would most definitely recommend you NOT contact, but won't post those. Could be awkward, but email me if you'd like. Jo, however, is a dream realtor to work with. :-)

Let's see, what else... I had a lot of catching up to do! It's almost three now, though, and I probably ought to go to bed. We have a lot of work to do on the house and schooling this week. (eek.) But I'm all caught up, and just thankful and thrilled beyond belief for you guys. This is turning out to be a great summer for you - swimming, birthdays, great friends, good visits, a sold house. The list goes on. What joy!