A rainy Thanksgiving Monday here in Montreal which brings out the green in everything in the garden- reminding us of just how much life there still is in the living- inspite of the more Fall like temperatures.
Yesterday, most of my very large family were once again blessed to get together at our dear Mam's for yet another incredible meal. Four wondrous generations who might not always agree on the finer points of all things, but who know the true blessedness of being together once again. My late Father, who gave so much of his life to glorifying God through his high standards for liturgical music might no longer be with us in body, but his spouse and three generations of their off-spring all joined hands, and once more sang thanks and praise in Mam's living room and dining room and out into the hall.
Afterwards, sitting n a quiet corner with one of my two wondrous Japanese-born great-nieces on my knee, I couldn't help but think of some of the angry voices within the Communion who are working so furiously to exclude themselves from the Communion. Holding precious Kioka, I thought of ++Peter specifically, and prayed that he'd be still long enough to get over himself.
And then this morning, back home once more in the blessed early morning silence of our tiny house, with my pup curled up at my feet, I logged on to such wondrous bounty.
First, (thanks to Susan+ Russel) the courageous witness of +Thomas Clark Ely, current Bishop of Vermont and a living blessing to the Church. This man of God literally took my breath away with a couple of his paragraphs cited on Susan+'s blog:
I regret that once again we made our gay and lesbian members the object of our discussion, something that by its very nature is a form of oppression. I ask for more than patience and forbearance from those so oppressed by our words and actions: I ask for forgiveness. I also ask for their continuing faithful and steadfast commitment to the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church. Finally, I offer my apology to those who disagree and are deeply troubled by recent actions of the Episcopal Church for whom any of my words and actions have contributed to a sense of alienation or oppression. It is never my intention to treat others as objects or to act in anyway that fails to respect the human dignity of another..
I pledge to continue working for both the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons in the life of the Episcopal Church and for the full and dynamic participation of all members of the Episcopal Church in the mission and ministry of the Anglican Communion. Either one without the other would represent to me a failure on our part to live into the fullness of God’s saving grace, glory and hope for the world. I pray that you will join me in this work
A Bishop of our Church asking forgiveness of LGBT people and asking for our forbearance? Who can possibly doubt that God is alive and working wondrous things in the Communion in these seemingly difficult times?
The full text to +Thomas' extraordinary letter to his diocese can be found here http://www.dioceseofvermont.org/Elyletters/ElyLetters07/ElyHoBSept07.html
And if one radiant Bishop weren't enough, there's dear +Gene New Hampshire's letter to his people.http://www.nhepiscopal.org/artman/publish/article_534.shtml +Gene is writing as he leaves on a three month sabatical after five years (already) in the Episcopate... Now in my dictionary, sabatical is supposed to be about rest and restoration, but what's this belove brother in Christ doing before he gets around to R&R? He's heading out to meet the Church in the south, to shsre in their work and ministry, to meet the street!
The Christ-filled radiance of this precious brother literally moves me to tears.
Then there's this Sunday's sermon by Cannon Elizabeth+ Kaeton, a radiant sister in Christ who never fails to bless this life and practice at least a couple of times every week. Can that sister preach! http://telling-secrets.blogspot.com/
And if that weren't wonder enough for one morning, there's the most incredible process going on at Father Jake Stops the World-another living blessing.
Start with Harry's original post (what a truly radiant brother there!) but you have to delve into the comments to get a real sense of the wonder that's unfolding... Talk about grace at work.... Starting with Harry and Wayne+ having the grace and courage to claim the blessedness of their life together within the Church... and then Harry met Richard, who shared him with ++Katherine... factor in the Great ++Katherine's passion for ministry, and now there's this wondrous work of grace taking form in a space Father Jake (a.k.a. Terry) made possible.
I won't say more- you want to read this!
Somehow 'thank-you' just doesn't quite cover it.