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!


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