Friday, 16 June 2006

more reports from Columbus

Update Friday evening
Stephen Bates of the Guardian has arrived in Columbus and filed his first report: Deadlock looms over response to gay cleric.
Solange De Santis of the Canadian Anglican Journal has a further report: Sexuality issues cause timing concern at Episcopal convention
Rachel Zoll has a further report: Episcopalians Pressured on Gay Bishops
—-
In London, Ruth Gledhill tells readers of The Times that Episcopalians are Undecided, oblivious, or utterly entrenched. On the ground in Columbus, James Bone reports that I’m no abomination, says gay bishop.

Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph has US Church warned by bishops to be tougher on gays

Robert Pigott for the BBC reports Anglican church in crisis debate. Yesterday the BBC had Gay bishop ‘not an abomination’

The Church Times has Upbeat General Convention starts with ‘U2charist’.

For those of us outside the US, the Canadian Anglican Journal reports are helpful:
Episcopal Church convention opens debate on sexuality
Episcopal General Convention: developments in brief

For more detail, go to ENS. Thursday night’s video report is strongly recommended. The last four minutes of this programme is a meditation by John Sentamu.

Associated Press Rachel Zoll has had several reports this week:
Wednesday
Episcopalians Debate Gays Being Bishops
Thursday
Gay Bishop Says He’s ‘Not an Abomination’
Episcopalians Weigh Not Having Gay Bishops
Danforth Warns Episcopalians on Issues

Friday
Episcopalians Debate Issue of Gay Bishops

A transcript of the CNN programme, “Larry King Live” can be found here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 10:12am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

I watched the Larry King show, and to me one of the most telling moments was when King asked Fr. Anderson why he stayed in the Episcopal Church. "I like a good fight," he said. That certainly says a lot, doesn't it?

Now ask me why I stay, when I know there are those, both in my own parish and nationally, who wish I would go - it's a praying, serving, often argumentative community, where the Good News is preached and the Sacraments are celebrated, where you don't have to park your brain before entering the church, and it is where I find God and where God finds me and calls me to ministry to 'the least of these.'

Do I live up to that call always? No. But Jesus loves me just the same.

Where does Fr. Anderson find God?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 1:10pm BST

John Sentamu asks the meeting of Deputies at GC,
" Do these resolutions bear the marks of your own crucifixion ?"

I am always given pause for thought by kinds of christian devotion & teaching with a masochist under-current. I find it unhealthy, and it tends to be those in power, requiring this of the powerless. The CofE bishops have conspicuously avoided their own 'crucifixion' down the years by not joining lgbt people beyond the pale, (with Jesus, 'without a city wall).
But the churches have often pinned lgbt folks down and given us a tough time.

What about easter images of newlife, fresh starts, and leaving the tomb of fundamentalism, for the fresh air of a freer way of thinking and believing and being ? .......

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 1:30pm BST

Laurence:

I seem to remember something about taking up our cross and following Jesus . . . . Hmmm, this would mean that we were willing to follow him through suffering, humiliation and death that we might be exalted with him through transformation in resurrection to new life.

Ah well, guess I must've been wrong on that one. However, I am in good company as I'm pretty sure the rest of the church has also been saying this for around 2,000 years.

Steven

Posted by: Steven on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 1:53pm BST

`What about easter images of newlife, fresh starts, and leaving the tomb of fundamentalism, for the fresh air of a freer way of thinking and believing and being?'

Well, I don't mind, if it's a viable thing to abstract doctrinal change from the resurrection, of course.

All I ask in life is for folks to make up their own minds based on some actual information and let others whose interpretations differ live. What's the problem with that?

Posted by: Tim on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 2:05pm BST

As a member of ECUSA (unweildy or otherwise), I find Ruth Gledhill's comments remarkably offensive and uninformed. She leaves out the possibility that the majority of ECUSA members are convicted of the righteousness of the actions of their church. Many of us believe -- as a result of study, prayer, observation, and conversation -- that what ECUSA has done in welcoming LGBT members fully into the church is the work of the Holy Spirit. Do we care about relations with the rest of the communion? Of course we do, and we have bent over backwards to try to be accomodating of others' views, while very few have made an effort to be accomodating of ours. Many of us believe that, like Jesus, we are welcoming the "unclean" of our society, and like Jesus, we are paying the price of being ostracized by the religious establishment of our day. I heard a comment recently regarding the movie "To Kill A Mockingbird" that seems to apply here: "That movie taught us that sometimes you have stand up for what's right, even if the whole town tells you its wrong." Yes, ECUSA cares. ECUSA cares about the Anglican communion AND the humanity of LGBT Christians. Does Ruth Gledhill?

Posted by: Ruth on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 2:20pm BST

Good point, Ruth.

And yes, it may even be that the lives of gay and lesbian people are more important than the continuation of a prejudiced institution

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 2:56pm BST

We know where folks like Ms. Gledhill wish us to go, and it is palpably not towards peace, goodwill, and listening inquiry across diverse communities of overlapping conversation. Ms. Gledhill knows all, to just the extent that she can comment always from inside her own framework while never bothering to account for it, except as the obvious or standard given. This is pre-modern method, and has been increasingly complemented since the Enlightenment Era (if not indeed in some ways since the Renaissance) by emergent alternatives. Of course I haven't read every single word Ms. Gledhill has eve written, and I may have missed the really good listening stuff, but so far I haven't heard her do anything but quote people she disagrees with in rather a huff that anybody could say or think in this or that way. I am surprised her sort of journalism is given the attention it is, but in USA we now have Fox News which proceeds quite similarly. Call it reality for biblical believers, maybe, though that demeans the tag biblical in ways which I find sad.

So far as bearing our crosses and following Jesus, I cannot see that that is not what ECUSA is trying so publicly to do. The daily pilgrimage to live positively as an LGBTQ believer, quite in the face of all the traditional religious invitations to live in very negative ways, or to stop living as a person of non-straight orientation altogether, is in fact a way of to follow Jesus nowadays. Yes, it involves forms of commitment/suffering that frequently turn out to be welded to a pilgrimage. The unpredicted and quite particularly blessed light of resurrection mornings nevertheless dawns. LGBTQ frequently allow themselves to give up quite a lot when they finally come out, often risking their welcome in their own biological families (especially conservative religious ones for example) only to eventually find as they continue to follow Jesus in positive living that new life happens in ways that are simply impossible when one stays in the subterranean demimondes of social and church undergrounds. ECUSA as a typical Anglican Via Media community has, until now, been a place one could almost (but not quite) take somewhat for granted as a safe space where you could lay down daily burdens of self-defense while you also did not have to take up the unhealthy burdens of (1) exercising your own privileges to pray at anybody else's expense, and (2) did not have to define following Jesus as mostly about getting somebody else to conform to all the things we now hear we absolutely have to meet in order to even occupy the same meeting rooms.

If you think it the way of the cross to maintain heterosexual privileges, you are avoiding the other obvious crucifixions of seeing what life is like when you stop being better just because you are - no thanks very often to yourself - exclusively straight. If you think it the way of the cross to accrue assets and riches, you may be avoiding the other obvious crucifixions of seeing how to amend or dissolve the barriers that help prevent the poor from accrueing assets and riches. If you speak only one language, you may be bearing witness, and maybe that witness will grow even wider and deeper if you speak more than one language. If you think crucifying LGBTQ folks is the way of the cross, maybe it is difficult for some of us to tell whether you are mainly a Roman Centurion or a Jesus believer.

Posted by: drdanfee on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 3:06pm BST

Ruth:

As a traditionalist I have no reason to doubt your sincerity or that of other liberals. And, like most traditionalists, I am not pleased with most of what liberals have done, are doing and plan to do on almost any of the matters currently at issue. However, while this is the big problem, the "straw that breaks the camel's back" for me is the unwillingness of liberals to accept the logical and unavoidable consequences of the decisions they have made and plan to make.

In practice, this translates as unwillingness to simply say (with apologies to Martin Luther): "Here I stand, I can do no other!" rather than to indulge in more mealy mouthed Episcopal fudge. I'd like to see TEC repent and toe the line of the Windsor Report. However, if liberals believe they can't honestly do this, let's have a clear and forthright answer and a bold statement of what TEC DOES BELIEVE--not more equivocating nonsense. (Particularly when that fudge is understood by all to be merely cover for an intransigent and unyielding attitude).

For my part, I agree with what was said by Bishop Duncan:

"I believe, with the greatest of heartbreak and sadness that the day has arrived where those who have chosen the Episcopal Church because of its catholic and evangelical reliability, and those who have chosen the Episcopal Church for its revolutionary character, can no longer be held together. For which Episcopal Church will the Committee, and then this Convention, decide? The future in Communion rests only with the former of the two. It cannot be both ways into the future."

And so, let us try to be honest and actually have a straight up or down vote on Windsor. If it is down, which it will be, then let us strive for charity within TEC and between TEC and the rest of Anglican Communion in the division and parting that will follow.

Steven

Posted by: Steven on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 3:09pm BST

Steven, Thanks for your response to my attempt to express something.

I think Jesus call to me, and to us, to join him in cross-bearing, is very different from those in power demanding it of the powerless and marginalised.
I think many of us lgbt folks have had a crucifying expereince at the hands of the powerful church.
I found realising i was not only different, but one of them" excriciating from early teens onwards.
I found the whisperings, when a man I admire suddenly vanished-- and discovering he had been 'read out' of the Brethren assemblies, was devastating.

Aversion 'therapy' (electric shock 'treatment')was a crucifying experience for me as a teenager, in a fundamentlaist mileu, who beleived there was no other way out.

Evetually, giving up funadamentalism, masochism and finding a new way to red Scripture and be christian was pretty full of turmoil doubt and grief for the loss of certainties...

In my first post, I did ask who will join Jesu and lgbt poeple beyond the pale, ' without a city wall', -- the ultiamte place where power crucifies the powerless. I guess this offer is always there...

BUT there is Resurrection -- the other side of the Calvary coin ?

Some forms of past & present spirituality seem to forget the Risen-ness of resurrection & its Here&Nowness --hence everything from the Inquistion to other forms of sadism, and doubt cast on 'the body',and the life of the body, including fear of women, women's bodies, femininity, sex, affection, intellectual rigidity & aesthetic atrophy, and generalised loss of soul....

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 3:47pm BST

Steven says: `In practice, this translates as unwillingness to simply say (with apologies to Martin Luther): "Here I stand, I can do no other!" rather than to indulge in more mealy mouthed Episcopal fudge'

I'm a scottish episcopalian. Here I stand, fully aware that not everyone is the same as me nor desirous that they should be, but believing in accepting folks for what they are first and foremost.
But that's just me, not the SEC, and certainly not the ECUSA, but it *is* what I see behind the episcopal churches, and I'm glad of valuing diversity when I see it, too - because otherwise if everyone adopted your interpretation of Luther as dogmatism, eventually we'd find a topic on which I wouldn't be able to tolerate *you*, would I?

Posted by: Tim on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 4:09pm BST

ECUSA loses 35,000 members a year.......just another shrinking "liberal" sect.

I wonder how long it will take for the new global "TEC" realignment to die out completely? Too long, probably, but best for it to do so without infecting and embarassing growing churches with the smell of their death and doublespeak.

Nersen

Posted by: Nersen on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 5:27pm BST

We have a clear case of the post-Renaissance perversion of ++Anselm's atonement-theory here.

Anselm would not have approved.

To sacrifice ++Sentamu to the bullies saves no one. We are not Christ.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 6:05pm BST

Steven,

what you seem not to realize, is that the idea that "we've come to a fork in the road, and must divide" is IN ITSELF a key element of the so-called "traditionalist" POV. (Granted, a few like MerseyMike also share it: luv MM, but isn't he a Quaker now?)

The democratic-majority of TEC *DOES NOT ACCEPT* this ultimatum for division.

If the AC Primatial-majority wants TEC out, they're going to have to DO more to (literally) *kick us out* (Call the cops! Have us arrested! At least in Nigeria, they seem to understand this part of the bargain ;-/).

Can you *live w/ yourselves*---to physically remove us, in order to be "pure"?

Non-fudge: Who Would Jesus Kick Out?

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 7:10pm BST

Tim and JC:

All I'm asking is that liberals finally say what they mean and mean what they say and stop all the double-speak and equivocating. Don't beat around the bush, just say it!! You can have no doubt by now that any half-baked ECUSA/TEC assertions made in an attempt to please everybody (particularly traditionalists) will not please ANYBODY(liberal or traditionalists). In fact, it will disgust everyone! You've got the votes--DO IT!

That is what is at issue right now: Where does ECUSA (TEC) stand, not whether ECUSA (TEC) would like to continue in the Anglican Communion. To be sure, the first issue will doubtless impact the second. However, a wishy washy statement will probably cause almost as much damage as a bold assertion of the liberal position (as everyone will see wishy washy as just another unreliable bit of ECUSA fudge). So, why not go on and stand on principle for a change????

Steven

PS-Tim, I won't be losing any sleep over whether you "tolerate" me or not, particularly as I am content that there are already plenty of areas where you would find me "intolerable".--

PS-JC, you're right about Merseymike being a man of principle. And, as much as I would disagree with him on almost every principle he stands for, I admire him as a man who actually STANDS for something.--

Posted by: Steven on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 8:35pm BST

My Father and his family were Anglicans from England and came to the United States for a "better" life (which they found). My Mothers family were Colonists to America from England and in later generations became Pioneers to the West.

Most of my family "roots" are Episcopalian/Anglican.

If I'm radically "inclusive" at our General Convention and not "afraid" of scorn, threats, anger, hatred or discrimination from the "Traditional" Anglicans in England it's because my genetic makeup has "known" all of this from YOU before!

There are many Episcopalians with background like mine.

It is specifically BECAUSE of some of the self-orthodoxish and pompous/righteous religious/political "snubs" of YOURS that my family continously moved onward and upward. We have become healthier and more enlightened Anglican decended human beings who continue to find GOD in all that we do without your insistant/demanding character reviews!

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 9:21pm BST

For many of us in The Episcopal Church (TEC) ++Cantuar and +Dunelm come across as hypocrites in trying to impose their interpretation of the Windsor Report on GC 2006. We know that ++Cantuar and +Dunelm, as member of the House of Lords, were participants in the creation of the CPA, and that they signed off on the C of E's pastoral guidelines for C of E clergy entering into same-sex civil unions. By their very actions they secretly condone what TEC bishops have openly permitted since the 1990s. Why that 'double standard'? Respect for ++Rowan Cantuar has hit rock-bottom on this side of the pond.

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 9:25pm BST

Steven,

where you would like TEC to *stand* on principle, it is my fervent hope that we *move* on principle: move to be wherever the Lambeth Conference is held, entering into it as much as we are physically (incarnationally!) able.

...and you still haven't answered my question: will you (support) physically kicking TEC out?

[Whereas it's my FEAR that we Episcopalians---in our liberal inclination to be "nice"---will let you go without a struggle: ala "well, if we're not wanted there..." Lord, I hope I'm wrong! Letting the AC go, would be like Jesus leaving the money-changers alone. He wasn't "nice" and neither should we be! ;-p]

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Friday, 16 June 2006 at 11:05pm BST

We've tried in every way possible to politely listen, do what is asked of us and move on, but it seems nothing is going to be enough until TEC prostrates itself in abject penance and agrees to the terms everybody else seems to want to put on us. We've tried to listen -- which is more than most in the Communion have done.

Tell me, what has been said to the Primates who cross the provincial lines without permission as per the Windsor Report? What has been said to the provinces where listening to the GLBT folk isn't even a remote possibility much less even attempted? That was in not just the Windsor Report but also the Lambeth statement that so many hold up as right up there with the four gospels and parts of Leviticus. There seems to be a tacit encouragement to dissent by primates and bishops outside TEC while holding TEC to not just the spirit but the letter of some report that doesn't have the force of law and only recommends, not commands. Why is this so? And why is that okay?

TEC has not said "we have no need of you" to those who disagree with her, unlike many who have given her that message. In a way I wish our bishops and deputies would tell the dissenters both here and abroad to go sit on top of tallest spire of Canterbury Cathedral (if it has spires, if not, I'm sure there's a cathedral somewhere that has them) and twirl. But we won't do that becuase that's too close to saying "we have no need of you" and that would hurt us more than help us. We know we need the dissenters -- but they have no need of us. It's a pity that bit of scripture about each part of the body being important and needing every other part is tossed aside and the Windsor Report (not to mention the parts of Lambeth 1.10 that support the dissenter's positions) is put right up there next to the Gospels and bits of Leviticus as absolutely the line in the sand which cannot be crossed or even fudged.

Posted by: mumcat on Saturday, 17 June 2006 at 1:43am BST

Steven writes: `That is what is at issue right now: Where does ECUSA (TEC) stand, not whether ECUSA (TEC) would like to continue in the Anglican Communion. To be sure, the first issue will doubtless impact the second. However, a wishy washy statement will probably cause almost as much damage as a bold assertion of the liberal position (as everyone will see wishy washy as just another unreliable bit of ECUSA fudge). So, why not go on and stand on principle for a change????'

What makes you think any "liberals" are not saying what they mean?

Have you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECUSA#Beliefs_and_Practices recently?

`PS-Tim, I won't be losing any sleep over whether you "tolerate" me or not, particularly as I am content that there are already plenty of areas where you would find me "intolerable".--'

Pity, actually, because some of us are out to have fellowship with lots of folks but you've just demonstrated you're in favour of division.

Posted by: Tim on Saturday, 17 June 2006 at 12:38pm BST
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