Saturday, 1 November 2003

American press reports

In the USA, the Washington Post has details of the planned protests on Sunday in Consecration Will Include Objections.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a profile of both Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh and Bishop Bennison of Pennsylvania (the diocese centred on Philadelphia, altogether the state is divided into five Episcopal dioceses) in Two Pa. bishops, one church divide earlier story from that paper is headlined As gay bishop’s consecration nears, Episcopalians talk of schism.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch notes that the Bishop of Virginia is preaching at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday,Crisis and union in Anglican Communion.
The Indianapolis Star has a thoughtful column, Furor over bishop exposes problems by Tom Emrich.
Colorado is the home to some of the most vocal conservatives in ECUSA and Rocky Mountain News has these two stories, Episcopal Church at critical juncture and Conservatives to congregate.
in Rochester NY, things seem rather calmer, Episcopal churches embrace tolerance
from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
in New Hampshire itself, as in many other cities, this AP report was published, and here you can read the blog comments from Kendall Harmon about it.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 1 November 2003 at 1:00pm GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

I attended the ordination of the Rev. Barry Stopfel to the priesthood in the Diocese of Newark in 1991 (IIRC, Barry was only the second publically-out ordinand at that time).

The moment that stands out in my memory, was at the liturgically-set "objection" moment. An old guy tottered forward, and everyone held their breaths---but I don't think anyone was prepared for what followed. The man begin screaming sexual epithets at the top of his lungs. I don't think any XXX porn site could have competed w/ his language. It was dumb-founding.*

What saved it all was the response of those who knew and loved Barry. First, Barry's partner (an ordained minister of another church) physically interjected himself _directly in front of_ the foul-mouthed accuser. It was like he was taking all of this putrid slime onto himself, in a symbolic effort to protect his beloved. He said nothing, he just stood there and took it. Then the congregation (Tenafly NJ) began to softly sing "Peace is Flowing like a River". It never grew loud, yet the murmured harmonies effectively drowned out the accuser's disgusting language w/ sweet peace. It was truly an Easter moment, where you could see and hear death transformed into Life. I've never forgotten it.

I pray that Gene's consecration sees none of the ugliness that I saw in 1991---that those who passionately disagree w/ his consecration do so w/ love for Gene as a person. I pray that the majority who come to *celebrate* Gene's new episcopal ministry do so w/ respect and forbearance for our opponents. Most of all, I pray that, throughout the Anglican Communion, peace _will_ flow like a river: the Peace of Christ, forgiving all our sins, binding all our wounds.

*The type of excremental performance which, I've heard, tends to have exactly the _opposite_ effect on the undecided, than that intended by the one hurling the expletives.

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher on Saturday, 1 November 2003 at 10:33pm GMT