Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Other Sandal

In the first days after the Canadian General Synod I've written on at least two other sites of the several positive features of this most recent Synod- and they truly have been grounds for heartfelt thanksgiving- which of course I've offered.
The remarkable way in which it was the lay vision of what the Church required in our next- now current- Primate which decided the election.
The radiant grace embodied by ++Fred in the hours and days remaining of General Synod.
The prayerful civility which many delegates remarked upon as being the tone and nature of the discussions, and never more so than when it came to the those on Full Inclusion.
The passage of the Primate's Task Force report, and no less incredible the close vote on Full Inclusion, as complex as the motion was.
I rejoiced in all of this, just as I prayed for the pain and disappointment so many of the LGBT brothers and sisters in Winnipeg were left with.
In the process, I also listened to the pain and witnessed the tears of more than one brother and sister of faith, and was blessed to receive the wise compassion of two dharma friends- one who drove all the way from Ottawa 'just to sit' with me, knowing how deeply I still care about our Church.
Since the week-end though I've remained silent, and listened to and read the articulate, insighful, more educated opinions on the outcome of Winnipeg.
At the same time I was also waiting, sensing something still in-process within me.

All of which came to a head last night as the city was feeling the first stages of what was predicted to be a severe thunderstorm which would bring an end to two days of record high temperatures.
Well before the thunder and lightening, but with the winds already whipping things around in my blessed little garden, I'd gone out into the dark to minimize any possible damange, and ended up just standing there- caught up in the wonder of the remarkably clear sky, the high winds and anticipation of the rain.
Once again offering thanks for the gift of Life, the other sandal dropped, when I realized how as positive things might be considered, I was also pained, and yes angry because of the outcome of the Winnipeg General Synod. It all started with the physical memory of so much pain, literally rising through my body- the painflu cost of being created Gay in the image and likeness of the true living God; family-sourced, Church-sourced; school-sourced; employment-sourced pain to just name the abvious ones. And don't get me wrong, I'm not claiming to be a particularly tragic case- not when I consider the great price so many of our LGBT brothers and sisters are forced to pay in secular society, never mind within the Church.
But it has COST, and standing out there in the garden I realized that this LGBT cost, this LGBT pain, and their corrollary LGBT courage and grace has yet to be recognized or to be factored into considerations and discussions both at General Synod, and at Church wide convocations.
We have yet to hear any of our leaders except perhaps ++Katherine, Saint Desmond Tutu and our radiant brother +Gene speak to the suffering and violence the current hetrosexist priviledge of the patriarchy perpetuates in the lives of LGBT people- equally by action and their inaction.
With the exception of one courageous Epicopal Bishop who declared 'We are They' I have yet to hear of one of our leaders own the lives of LGBT people as an integral element in the Church's growth and grace.

The Patriarchy still doesn't get it.
THEY'RE not doing us LGBT folk any favours by considering granting blessing for our familes- THEY'RE the ones receiving the chance to live outside their hetrosexist fear, to open themselves up to a larger experience of God's creation and of Christ's love for humanity.
THEY'RE the ones who will be receiving the blessings of hearts free of homophobia, now capable of rejoicing in the gifts and talents of their LGBT co-parishoners.
THEY might even be the ones who learn to let go of the fearful, dualistic straightjack binding their hearts and God-given bodies.

Hey, not that I'm even suggesting we LGBT folk don't have our own in-process healings, our own lessons to learn, our own fears to let go.
But once again, just as in the dark hard years when AIDS was consuming so many in our LGBT community, there have been so many radiant examples of embodied LGBT grace, generosity, patience and skill in these current discussions.
So many radiant LGBT brothers and sisters I can consider nothing less than living blessings.

Out there in the garden, I almost grew impatient for the first drops.
There was nothing I personally needed from the memory of my personal pain, other than to be reminded.
Waiting for those first big drops I could feel nothing but very old sadness, and yes, pity for the patriarchy; inspite of my awareness of the suffering they continue to inflict.
But I also realized that to have them fighting so desperately must make the sight of God working through all my LGBT brothers and sisters a pretty awesome and holy sight!

The phone ringing indoors got me out of the garden before the rain arrived.
But climbing the steps of the deck, I resovled to personally at least take this discussion back to where to truly belongs:
Full Inclusion for All Baptized, which, among other things means

  • an end to the denigration of the God-given sexuality of my LGBT brothers and sisters
  • an end to any questioning the validity of the consecration of our radiant brother +Gene New Hampshire, or the ministry of any ordained LGBT man or woman
  • an end to discussion and speculation about the gender of any person- lay or ordained and a collective recognition of gays and lesbians as a third God-created gender
  • a recognition and apology for the long history of suffering our Church has contributed to in LGBT lives and an expansion of liturgical forms to include thanksgiving for LGBT gifts and grace.
and I've only just begun...

Nothing short of full inclusion for ALL baptized!

And please don't misunderstand, NONE of this is a favor to LGBT people.... this is nothing short one great, radiant, rainbow-wrapped gift the patriarchy will be steping aside to allow Christ to bless our dear Church and Blessed Communion with.

Nothing less- as the Holy Spirit has so clearly moved in these times- as Christ has so clearly & repeatedly called us (LGBT & straight alike) out of fear through recent events;how can we settle for anything less?

God's Greater Blessing to God's Greater Glory- Nothing less!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Noticeable by my silence?

No one has been more surprised than I at just how tender the last week or so has been as the delegates of the ACC General Synod got themselves together in Winnipeg. Speaking with an American priest who has become a dear sister to me in these times, I realized that what I've essentialy been doing is holding my breathe until Synod is over.
Too many years of patriarchical abuse, witnessing too much LGBT suffering find me incapable of completely letting go of the possibility that the church, acting fearfully, will once again shut us out.
It's one of the questions Eleanor+ asked: what will I do, if they do essentialy shut us our from this next step towards full inclusion ?
And right now, in this blessed early Sunday morning peace of our tiny home I don't know.
All I can promise is to keep trying to mindfully step forward to meet God in the gift of the life given me.

In my opinion, one wondrous feat the Holy Spirit has already worked at General Synod is the election of (+) +Fred Hiltz as our next Primate and great joyous, tearful prayers of thanks have been offered pretty much non-stop since yesterday. From all that I read, +Fred appears to be a profoundly human priest before and after anything else who knows his theology and who has a deep, deep love for our Church. His 'beautiful bride' also impresses me as an articulate, intelligent blessing-in-waiting for all of us.

But rejoicing in (+)+Fred's election, I believe it is also important to give thanks for all of the other candidates who stood, and to recognize the great work that +Victoria has given the church in her work on the St Michael Report, her cantidacy and her presentation to General Synod yesterday. While I can't agree with +Victoria on many things, I am thankful for the blessing she is to the Church, and to her diocese.

And speaking of Bishops, (+)+Fred's election brings to mind my deep and abiding gratitude for three other bishops blessing our communion: for +Barry Montreal, who in his gentle, low-key way embodies Christ's love for us; for ++Katherine whose articulate intelligence and skill have given even this Canadian gay man of faith cause for hope; and of course our dear radiant brother +Gene New Hampshire who continues a great daily blessing and steward of the Church.

This morning, General Synod meets at the Blessed Sacrament before continuting their discussions, and taking the vote on Monday, and what a wondrous gift it is to be able to join them in prayer..... while continuing to hold my breath of course.

I'd ask your prayers in turn.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

Don't You Just Love that Radiant Rainbow Grace

Right in the middle of all the noise and acrimony (more on that later) our dear Communion is currently suffering, three radiant gay brothers-in-faith just made my day.... no make that my week.

First May 29th, the birthday of sweet +V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire and a radiant rainbow blessing to our dear battered church.

Then news of Mark+ Lewis & K. Dennis+ Winslow two Episcopal priests, who were joined in civil union last Tuesday. Don't get me wrong, as a person of faith, I'm not settling for civil union, but the courage of these two wondrous men brought tears of joy and thankfulness for their radiant example. And courageous is the word.... an e-mail from Dennis+ tells me that since news of their union the two of them have suffered all sorts of abuse. Mark and Dennis have been together for 15 years, after their first meeting at a friends- an event one of them described as 'an absolute thunderbolt thing.'

Mark+ can be reached at and Dennis+ at
and while in the spirit of celebratory, if belated support, belated Birthday wishes for +Gene can be sent to

What a blessing to be born into the LGBT tribe at this time, and to have such radinat brothers and sisters as witness & examples of claiming the blessings of full inclusion within the Communion.

And speaking of sisters, a living blessing right up there has got to be Susan+ Russel whose personal website is a daily blessing for the thoughtful reflection and news it shares. Among many other things, Susan+ is a partnered Episcopal priest, President of Integrity U.S.A., mother of two men, etc. etc.... and her site also offers great links to other sites of faith and courage in this current 'difficult blessing'. Among her many skills Susan+ delivers some pretty wondrous sermons, and the site currently carries a great one one for the Feat of St. Justin Martyr.

And of course Susan+ is not the only of our radiant LGBT priests, who inspite of all the ugliness currently being dumped on us, continue to gloriously witness to the good news of Christ Jesus. This is what I find so incredible... how so very often it is only our LGBT priests and those who have taken our full inclusion as their stand-of-faith, who continue to speak of God's passionate vision for Creation.

Living Blessings All!

Which I suppose brings me to the noise and acrimony.

The Living Church Foundation reports that on May 30th Archbishop ++Henry Orombi of Uganda. held a press conference at which he announced
as the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has extended invitations to “all the American bishops who consented to, participated in, and have continued to support the consecration” of Bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, the Church of Uganda would honor the commitment it made last December and not attend.
Though this saddens me greatly, I can't say this latest move by the 'bullies of the patriarchy' comes as any real surprise. There's an old Russian saying about the taste of blood on the tongue, and once never being enough.
Of course they were going to up the ante.... that's why I have no hesitation in calling it what it truly is- bullying.
First an act of open contempt for the Communion at the Tanzanian Eucharist, then +Peter's parish piracy and irregular consecration of +Martyn Minns, and now this.
For me at least, this latest 'threat' is a sickening Ecclesiastical echo of the racial purity practiced by the Third Reich... But in time, I have no doubt it shall come to the same end.
I can only pray for the day when these bullying brothers exhaust themselves on their terrified rage and acrimony..... And in the sudden silence let the true and living Christ speak to them, minister to them, heal their hearts and reveal to them the limitless, passionate love (Love beyond our wildest imagening) calling each of us out of fear into the wholeness Christ continuiously holds out to all of Creation.