Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sad, but Confident

As one who I am blessed to call a brother in Christ aptly called it, this past week (Lambeth 1) has borne some real resemblance to a roller-coaster, and not just for those who find themselves in or near Lambeth.

Cause for real joy yes, primarily in the wondrous work our sisters and brothers at St. Stephen’s Hall are daily publishing The Lambeth Witness
Magnificent work & witness!

No, I’m not going to tout any individual articles, but would rather encourage you to have your own ‘Lambeth Witness’ experience.

Sadly of course, Lambeth week 1 brought us a lot more than that- ending not with the witness of the Millennium Goals March, but with the ‘Faith & Order’ proposal, with more to come next Monday apparently. (See Mark+ Harris’ usual great analysis at Preludium )

Not that we should have been too surprised. In my opinion at least, the noise and chaos too often being inflicted on our beloved Communion has correctly called as ‘the last gasps of patriarchy.’ Only a fool would expect them to give up their centuries of privilege without a fight, and elsewhere I’ve detailed Who and what I believe its is they’re taking on.

That said, I admit to still being shaken.... no make that deeply saddened by the ‘Faith & Order’ proposal, and even more by ++Rowan’s public support for it.

Taking all of this to the bench of my practice I’ve sat long and hard ( no cushion on my meditation bench) praying for understanding, mindfully breathing myself into that unconditionality where insight sometimes happens.

A seamless, confident attentiveness.

Those who know me, if only from previous writings, understand that much of my appreciation and understanding of current events in our beloved Communion is influenced by the my reading and work in organizational transformation perhaps most succinctly embodied in the word ‘process.’

As noisy, threatening and confrontational as things may appear at times, we are part of and in an on-going process, which if we truly believe ourselves to be the Living Body of Christ, is being overseen and supported by the Holy Spirit Herself.

A dance, where the music might not always be audible.

A process, where some perceptions or understandings are outgrown, others re-contextualized; where some things fall away and in other, perhaps less-appreciated quarters new life and growth appear.

Process: alive and as on-going as the dance of life itself.

That said, I continued to sit- hoping for some real insight.

Reflectively back-peddling on the course of the last week; at one point, I sat with the fact that even with all goodwill and earnest prayers many have brought with them, the millions spent, the carbon footprint of the Conference, the Big Top, the wonderful work of the stewards, the faithful blogging of a surprising number of Bishops; week 1 has perhaps been most remarkable for its avoidance of what’s really going on in the Communion: the real context of Anglican life these days.

Two, not one elephants in the room, as several media have suggested.

And neither of them bare the slightest resemblance to the much beloved Bishop of New Hampshire, whose Christ-like exile has only invested him with greater moral presence and authority.

Elephant #1 (Under a throw of finest Episcopal purple silk) the pronouncements, provincial poaching, and public contempt heaped on both the Episcopal Church and its Presiding Bishop and the Anglican Church of Canada by the several forces working so very hard to do damage to the Church.

Elephant #2 (Under a generous rainbow-hued throw) The Episcopal Church’s sense and engagement with its vocation to grow into an ever more inclusive embodiment of the unconditional love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I could wax long on the list of those faithful Christians insulted or erased by the simplistic misrepresentation of what’s going on in both North American Churches as the consecration of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, but I’ve done that elsewhere.

As obvious as it might appear to many of us, I would suggest that it is only by throwing off the over-organized, polite denial this current exercise appears to be built on, inviting the ‘elephants’ into the centre of the room, thanking them for their presence, trusting in the Holy Spirit and joining them in colegial prayer; listening in non-accusatory judgement, and sharing the fears that some may have, that the real work of our Church can begin.

As conscientiously as many good people may be prayerfully trying within the precincts, more than 200 brother bishops are boycotting Lambeth, showing real contempt for this exercise in faith. And I would suggest that it is only by owning this loss, by grieving for much of the posturing and rhetoric of the past months that this Conference will find itself capable of realizing any real gifts for the future of our Communion.

Likewise with the prayerful, faithful on-going experience of the Episcopal Church. In any real-life context, the loving, graceful response to someone one does not understand or appreciate would be to engage one’s friend or sibling in dialogue, perhaps even prayerful dialogue.

Haven’t see too much of that from our Primate and Bishop’s though, have we?

A conference built on denial and avoidance- even polite denial and avoidance, I would suggest, has about as good a chance as the house built on sand cited in Scripture.

As to this infamous ‘Faith & Order’ proposal, and the other ‘bomb’ anticipated in so many quarters, currently undergoing the effects of monolithic bureaucracy in another quarter of my life, I can’t say I’m surprised so much as saddened by their predictability.

That’s what patriarchy does:
pronounces instead of working to consensus
legislates instead of listening
outlaws instead embracing the gifts of diversity & ambiguity
manages instead of trusting
defines rather than opening itself to the grace and life of a ‘situation.’

Was this the only Lambeth possible?

Hardly, I would suggest-

But of course anything else would have required the prelates, collectively and individually to step beyond the precincts of the patriarchy so many of them find themselves trapped in
to own the grief and loss of the boycott;
to graciously, attentively receive and listen to the struggles and experience of the North American Churches;
To trust,
and to faithfully wait upon the Holy Spirit for insight an understanding.

Such a Lambeth would have been built on a humble, honest ownership of the brokeness
of our Communion-
the same brokeness which, with God’s good grace leaves us open to be possibility of the Holy Spirit’s partnership at work and at play in our individual lives.

Faith & Order?
Whatever it is which threatens to land on our heads and hearts Monday?

As sad is it would be for Lambeth 2008 to be known primarily for the reports which weren’t endorsed, for the proposals which failed and at least one headline about an ’aborted Anglican Inquisition;’ as sad & confusing as things might seem at times, my faith is in the very real presence & working of the Holy Spirit, and in the essential goodness of the 1,000+ brothers and sisters meeting in Kent (Bishops & spouses, LGBT brothers and sisters, even the media-) all elements in a sacred, on-going process of living transformation.)

Is there a future for the Anglican Communion?
What does it look like?

In closing, I’d offer the words of the blessed & blessing Bishop of Colorado, the Right Rev. O’Neill, writing on the day in London.

While there is no disagreement on the sentiment of opposing global poverty, our collective will is sadly lacking. If we, the Church, do not speak a powerful word of compassion and equality and justice (the very words of our Lord) into the indifferent structures of our government and society, then who will? Is that not what the prophet Micah meant when he wrote, “and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

It gets back, I think, to the fact that when it comes to participating in God’s mission “the road is made by walking it.” Period. End of sentence. This is what our world longs to see—not spectacle, but women and men of faith standing together courageously, without condition, in Love.

Until we Christians are willing quite literally to stand in complete solidarity to the poorest of the poor in our world, we bear witness to nothing more than a garden party and we have no good news to share with a world that is starving to hear it.

Let the people of God say Amen!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Have these bullies of the patriarchy no shame?

They selectively not only mis-represent the Holy Scriptures, publicly tie the love of our blessed Saviour into knots, alienate faithful Christians from each other in their own interests; they judge and discount the working of the Holy Spirit in an Independent Province of our Church, abuse the gracious patience of the Primate of that same Province, ferment discord and disrespect centuries old Provincial boundaries, now n their latest assault, they try blaming the dear brother who has born the brunt of their vitriolic ugly behaviour for their shameful public displays and lack of control.

And this right on the heels of the dissembling performance by ++Rowan at his press conference yesterday. An example which might have given +Daniel implicit permission for his little stunt today- joined by+Jack Iker.

Of ++Rowan, Jim Naughton of Episcopal Café: The Lead reports

‘but Williams seems to be arguing that bishops not only represent their diocese, but participate in a worldwide ““fellowship,”” that Gene’’s membership in that fellowship is ““questionable”” for reasons that Williams did not elaborate upon, and that he had been excluded for those unexpressed reasons.’


The only thing questionable as a reflection of Anglican faith and tradition, as far as I can see is

the total absence of respect towards the people of New Hampshire and the working of the Holy Spirit among them;

the election, the confirmation of their choice of their candidate for the Episcopacy by the requisite number of American bishops- themselves duly elected, confirmed & consecrated, and the Spirit-filled consecration of that same brother Christian

the discourtesy and shameful public rudeness repeatedly carried out towards the Primate of that same independent Province because of her gender and the grace and intelligence she has shown in execution of her office.

the complete disregard for the autonomy and boundaries of the Episcopal Province of the American Church; fostering dissent, poaching parishes and one diocese to date

the threats, verbal violence & lack of courtesy heaped on one of their own brothers- duly ordained, duly elected, confirmed and consecrated

the willful, selective use of Scripture to misrepresent the Good News of Christ Jesus

and then there’s the whole shameful handling of Lambeth by which ++Rowan’s cowardice; failing as ‘first among equals’ to call those who persist in exposing themselves as bullies of the patriarchy to accountability implicitly confirms all of the above and discounts our LGBT lives of faith as ‘necessary collateral damage’ once again.

If all of this is not questionable Christian behaviour, I’d like to know what is?

Will nothing stop these men in the shame they cause our Church, the scandalizing of untold numbers of laity who have spent their who lives faithfully worshipping and supporting our Church, and the spectacle they make in the media?

++ Rowan’s performance however was old news today, and two of his brother prelates stepped up to take his place- both equally shamefully.

brother ++Daniel, I guess it would be an understatement to say you positively break my heart, and that we disagree on perhaps everything but the punctuation in your statement.

++ Daniel wrote ‘We believe that human sexuality is God’’s gift to human beings which is rightly ordered only when expressed within the life-long commitment of marriage between one man and one woman. We require all those in the ministry of the Church to live according to this standard and cannot accept church leaders whose practice is contrary to this.’

++Daniel, of Christian charity I respect this to be your belief, and even that of the Church of Sudan, which is the only quarter in our Communion for which you are duly consecrated to speak. That said, might I not expect the same courtesy from you as a fellow Christian, and a life-long Anglican?

++Daniel wrote ‘We believe that God created humankind in his own image; male and female he created them for the continuation of humankind on earth.’

Coming from a continent struggling with poverty, starvation, AIDS, over-population in urban centres & drought in too much of the countryside how can you possibly perpetuate such a primitive understanding of our humanity?

++ Daniel wrote, ‘Women and men were created as God’’s agents and stewards on earth.’

Brother if we are in accord on this, why aren’t you speaking to the exploitation, the pollution, the extinction of the same resources of this precious earth, rather than interfering in the life of the Holy Spirit in another province of the Communion, as equally autonomous as yours?

++ Daniel said in his interview ‘God is not making a mistake creating Adam and Eve,”” Deng said, asserting that homosexual activity contradicted Biblical teaching. ““He would have created two Adams if he wanted.’

But did God’s involvement and blessing stop with the creation of Adam and Eve?
Or is God not implicitly present in the blessed birth of all his sons and daughters, made in the image and likeness of the one true living God?

++ Daniel wrote ‘We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching’

That dear brother in Christ Jesus is your opinion. But I might also add that it is an opinion which is not informed by the presence of a identifiable gay and lesbian community in your life, by your own admission. Which perhaps has not witnessed the violence, prejudice and lies these same people have suffered, most often at the hands of purported Christians. Or likewise witnessed the wondrous acts of healing and redemption being carried out by the Holy Spirit as these brothers and sisters consecrate their love and their lives to God within our Churches

++ Daniel wrote ‘We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in the USA and Canada in consecrating a practising homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships.

This too is your prerogative, dear brother, but in the context of our Church’s life and transformation it stands as nothing more than a personal opinion or the practice of your Province. To use this as grounds for passing judgement on the working of the Holy Spirit in another Province is an insult to all parties involved, and hardly becoming of one who loves the Anglican tradition.

++ Daniel wrote ‘The unity of the Anglican Communion is of profound significance to us as an expression of our unity within the Body of Christ.’

I would suggest that this is true for every, faithful living Anglican, and for anyone to set themselves up in judgement by suggesting to the contrary would be a great act of disrespect, both for our Communion and its members.

++Daniel wrote ‘It is not something we can treat lightly or allow to be fractured easily.’

And just who would you suggest is treating our Church in this manner, ++Daniel?

++Daniel wrote, ‘Our unity expresses the essential truth of the Gospel that in Christ we are united across different tribes, cultures and nationalities. ‘

I have yet to meet a living, breathing Anglican who does not believe and embody this- inspite of unsightly behaviour in some quarters of the Church. And here, let me clear, I am not referring to our American brothers and sisters in Christ.

++Daniel wrote ‘We have come to attend the Lambeth Conference, despite the decision of others to stay away,’

Brother this is where, sadly, we start to part company. ‘Despite the decision of others to stay away-‘ sadly, that was THEIR decision, and the discourteous manner in which they carried out that decision, did not, I would suggest bring any glory to our Church.

++ Daniel wrote ‘to appeal to the whole Anglican Communion to uphold our unity and to take the necessary steps to safeguard the precious unity of the Church’.

How, dear brother, can those present at Lambeth be expected to singlehandedly uphold our unity without the presence of those same partners who have chosen to boycott & dishonour the current fraternal exercise of prayer, worship and Scripture, without single-handedly capitulating to their opinions and demands?

++Daniel wrote ‘This has not only caused deep divisions within the Anglican Communion but it has seriously harmed the Church’’s witness in Africa and elsewhere, opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment.'

With all due respect, Whoa Daniel!

We obviously have two different recollections of the course of the past months in the life of the Communion.

It was not the voices of full inclusion for all baptized who threatened or called schism?

It was not the witness of the transformative Church which publicly dishonoured the gifts and ministry of American Primate, of the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the people of New Hampshire, of the Lambeth gathering, of the polity and people of the American Church and of election of one of their duly elected & consecrated brothers.

Do I need to remind you? Sadly, it was our brothers who decided to set themselves apart from Lambeth, and who invoked GAFCON- mis-representing & insulting the government of Jordan in the process of inventing their own mythology.

So, sadly dear +Daniel, it will come as no surprise to you that I completely repudiate your call for our blessed, radiant brother +Gene to step down from is Episcopacy and to renounce his calling as Bishop.

A scandalous suggestion under any circumstances, but particularly disappointing coming from a Christian brother at a time when in so many quarters it has become so abundantly clear that our beloved Church, upheld by the unfailing grace and compassion of the Holy Spirit is undergoing a transformation and reconciliation to the ‘love beyond our wildest imagining’ of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. And with unwavering faith in that same Love, I will carry you in my heart brother ++Daniel

Sadly ++Daniel, you are quoted as having ‘called on the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson to resign to preserve the unity of the Anglican Communion.’ elsewhere you are further quoted as telling him to resign and go home to be a ‘normal Christian’.

Brother, it is this statement, more than any other which moves me in the Spirit to challenge you.

Not only is such a suggestion an insult to the Holy Spirit and Its working in the American Church, we both know it is only the unfailing grace of that same Holy Spirit which can preserve any unity within the Body of Christ.

And it was NOT the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson who engendered this threat of schism in the first place, but those who refuse to recognize that the Holy Spirit could possibly ever act outside the limits of their experience and understanding , those whose witness and practice has repeatedly dishonoured the Communion.

Holy Scripture tells us ‘by their fruits ye shall know them.’

I would invite our GAFCON brothers to cast off their jeuvenile genital fixation and look at Bishop Robinson, the man and the fruits of his ministry, and then to own their own shameful part in the long suffering our Communion has undergone.

As to your comment about ‘normal Christian’ as your brother in Christ, I would dare to remind you that there is nothing ‘normal’ about our lives or vocations as Christians; that in Christ Jesus we are all equal before God and man, having been equally redeemed by the same sacrifice on the Cross.

‘Transformation,’ ‘reconciliation’ & ‘renewal’ it’s not hard for me to imagine how frightening these words must be for some, especially when it’s being carried out in lives the ‘establishment’ prefers to reject, abuse or ignore. But this too, I would suggest dear brother is only further proof that this work of redemption & renewal I speak of is clearly from God, in accordance with our Lord Christ Jesus’ ministry and His promises to the Church.

So of course dear brother, confident in that same ‘love beyond our wildest imagining,’ I will remember affectionately in prayer.

your brother in Christ Jesus, whose Love is indeed beyond our wildest imagining.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

They Just Don't Get IT- Do They

I’ve held off writing in this space for a while now.
For a couple of reasons:

With Lambeth upon us, I’ve felt there’s been more than enough ‘talk’ going on- and most of it by better educated, more articulate voices than mine.

I’ve also felt deeply moved to spend this time in practice ,study and confident prayer- most particularly for my lesbian and gay brothers and sisters gathering at St. Stephen’s Church, our radiant cloud of inclusive witness. My awareness of the risks they are taking, of their radiant love for the transformative process we call the Anglican Communion, and the costs several have paid for their lives of embodied faith is almost constantly with me as I go through my days here in Montreal.

Several of those radiant beings are personally precious to me for the contact and mutual support we have shared, and this morning I am particularly mindful of one dear sister who will be boarding a plane for Lambeth later this afternoon.

And if I’m going to be honest, I have to admit there’s been a third reason for my silence. When I hear of fellow LGBT Christians being advised by civil authorities that they have to be measured for kevlar bullet-proof vest before going to meet with other Christians in a public venue, of course I am overcome with fearful concern, and there was one raw week when I was completely incapable of any approximation of ‘trust’ when it came to these dear souls.

Complex. Slightly weird at times. But yes, what an incredibly interesting time to be a gay or lesbian person ‘claiming the blessings’ of Anglican faith and practice!

But they still don’t get it.

And by ‘they’ I’m referring to the vested interests of the Anglican establishment.

A couple of cases to illustrate my point.

1. The current inherent insult:

The media ad nauseam claim it’s all about +Gene, and LGBT folks claiming the infinite blessings of our baptism, but perhaps benefiting from a physical distance from Lambeth I’d like to suggest, with all due love and respect that in the ‘bigger picture’ that dear +Gene New Hampshire, ++Katherine and all my personal LGBT heroes of faith are little more than footnotes to what’s really going on.

As a Church and Communion we constantly pray and strive to remain open to the will of God as revealed in the course of our lives; in our personal prayers and public liturgies we entreat the Holy Spirit to guide us, to sustain us , to make us worthy of embodying Christ’s redemptive love- ‘a love beyond our wildest imagining’ as one dear, radiant brother reminds me by his life and ministry.

We ask for the engaged presence and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in almost everything we do as a Church..... well folks, THIS IS IT.

The gift of the Holy Spirit in these times is the living miracle of thousands of gay and lesbian lives, scorned, rejected, beaten, discriminated against, stepping up and taking our loving, Lord at His word. Opening their lives once more to the possibility of something beyond the fears, lies and violence perpetuated against them. Taking Christ Jesus and those purporting to be His Church at their word, and living lives based on the unfailing gifts of their baptismal promises.

So just Who is really bearing the brunt of this current round of insult due to a lack of faith and imagination, small-mindedness and petty nastiness?

You want gifts?

Well could it be any clearer what the Holy Spirit has sent the living body of Christ Jesus in these times?

Those that that same Church has rejected.

Men and women who have not only born the marks of the Church’s frightened condemnation, but who have trusted enough in Christ’s unfailing love to give the Church another chance, over and over again- every Sunday when they bless your pews, every week-day when they serve on your committees or join you in prayer.

You want miracles and signs that, as our precious Lord promised, the Holy Spirit is present and actively at work in the Living body of Christ?

Look no further than these radiant lives, singing your hymns, praying your prayers, and with hard-won faith and life-altering gratitude kneeling to receive the body and blood of Christ from your anointed hands.

Could the living embodiment of these joyous, grateful, faithful lives be any clearer a sign?

And yet

A precious, radiant embodiment of that same redemptive working of the Holy Spirit is being excluded from the worship & councils of his fellow bishops

A radiant sister whose intelligence and grace, skills and education would be celebrated anywhere but in the councils of our Communion has suffered long months of vitriolic cursing and sneering condemnation

Both radiant individuals called and ordained; elected, duly confirmed, consecrated and sustained by the Holy Spirit to the ministries of service they carry out in our Church.

Elsewhere, and in too many quarters of our Communion, countless, faithful sisters and brothers in faith live in danger for their lives, suffer the discrimination of law, the rejection of their families and damnation from their pulpits, because of a regime of fearful patriarchy the Church- our Church continues to tolerate

The headlines persist in saying this is all about +Gene, but I would suggest that anyone with the courage to accept & use the intelligence our loving, long-suffering God has given us and the unfailing grace we continue to be showered with each day, will realize that nothing short of the presence and active engagement of the Holy Spirit is the real issue here.

Try hemming IT in with selective quoting Scriptural references which are little more than cultural contexts,

Try delaying IT with chapter and verse of canon law

Try avoiding IT with seemingly necessary diplomatic exclusion and a fearful silence in response to the threats, violence, piracy and cursing coming from some quarters of the Communion

But this is the Body of Christ, the live theatre of the Holy Spirit and you did ask-
for that same Holy Spirit to nourish, teach and sustain us,
to grant us the grace to embody that ‘love beyond our wildest imagining’ as the living Body of Christ.

Each and everyone of them; living, breathing embodiment of Christ’s love, of Christ’s patience and forbearance.

Living Gifts:
redeemed by that same sacrifice on the Cross
sustained by the grace, love and engaged partnership of the Holy Spirit

lives raised in fear, scarred by threats, violence, lies, prejudice & exclusion, but, through God’s unfailing grace embodying in their healing-to-wholeness their joyous faithfulness & the active engagement of that ‘Love beyond our wildest imagining’ the working of God among us.

living breathing gifts of the limitless faithfulness of our Saviours promises and the efficacy of the Holy Spirit in our lives

Gifts of the Holy Spirit & nothing less

God grant Her Church the grace and humility to say ‘thank-you’.

2. Ownership

There’s a lot of print and talk coming out of Lambeth already of the Church’s need to return to its vocation of evangelization. In too many of the documents, blogs and interviews the world continue to wears the implied quotation marks of its Church-assigned otherness.

But excuse me folks. Might we not be forgetting something here?

As any reparative therapy practitioner can tell us, ‘naming’ and ‘ownership’ are necessary prerequisites of any honest exercise in healing or restoration, and I would dare to suggest that any attempts at simply resurrecting old models of evangelizing ‘the world,’ ‘society’ or however you wish to objectify is doomed to be as alienating and inauthentic-sounding as many in the past.

Yes, too many of our pews too often remain empty
Yes, the great majority of humanity goes about their business with the Church little more than an architectural detail or bad memory in their lives
Yes, inspite of the Church’s best efforts to make the language, music and design of many of our liturgies relevant, they just don’t get it.

But I’d suggest that one reason they don’t get it- inspite of all the good intentions and earnest efforts of so many of our younger priests ( a joyously number of them gay or lesbian) is because our Church, and not the world has a rather gigantic breach of its own making to ford before any of them really get it- that ‘love beyond our wildest imagining’, which has become the only standard I personally will any longer accept of anyone claiming to speak as the Living Body of Christ.

Naming it- too simply put for some perhaps, it’s the shamefully long history of violence, condemnation, wars, objectification and expulsion the purity police of Christianity have carried out to shore up the privilege of their seeming authority

It’s the intentional distortion of Holy Scripture and selective mis-representation of Christ’s ministry of unconditional loving inclusion.

It’s the untold suffering, solitude and impoverishment of God’s creation blessed by those same ecclesiastical ‘authorities’

It’s the fear and ugly rancour coming from certain quarters of our beloved Communion which has brothers in Christ scandalously dishonouring the fellowship of the Blessed Sacrament in Tanzania, objectifying and condemning a sister equal, and dealing body blows to the very Church entrusted to their care

It’s the marks of violence, discrimination and otherness too many of my radiant LGBT brothers and sisters of faith bare on their bodies and souls, and the very explicit death threats many of our LGBT brothers and sisters at Lambeth have had to step beyond

It’s the stained glass ceiling still politely weighing down on the spirits and heads of too many radiant sisters called to priesthood and the episcopacy: i.e. the episcopal candidacy of the very reverend Tracey+ Lind

It’s the millions of dollars spent on poaching forays, irregular consecrations, legal disputes, rebel conferences and pronouncements while untold millions exist in the hell of poverty and starvation, go untreated for HIV/AIDS, uneducated & homeless

It’s the pollution, vandalization and impoverishment of God’s radiant jewel- mother earth and the wars being carried out over her resources

It’s the suspicion and wariness our Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist brothers and sisters greet our every effort at rapprochement with

It’s not just the heroic, the lyrical & beautiful parts we inherit as a Church, these too, through the agency of men is our inheritance, and it is only when we stop the posturing and pronouncements to own these too, and speak in the honest, redeemed humanity of that ownership will we as a Church be taken seriously.

So what’s going on here, you might well ask.

I don’t believe it’s by chance that it’s our Communion the Holy Spirit is using in these times to collectively call all of humanity out of fear and quaking otherness into lives redeemed and embodying that ‘love beyond our wildest imaging.’

Our unique three-fold practice of honouring Scripture, Tradition and Intelligence, I would suggest find us in a particularly unique and unexpectedly supple place in the on-going redemptive work of the Holy Spirit.

Growing up in a devout Anglican home, in a largely Roman Catholic province, here in Canada, I heard lots of talk of ‘a penitent church’, & together we produced some remarkable & magnificent liturgies, penitential rites and, musical performances. almost all exclusively focussing on Christ’s redemptive sacrifice- honest, earnest reflections of their time.

And yet the poor continue to die of the fruits of our impoverishment
The sick and aged suffer from our indifference-
the cries of the world go unheard as prelates pronounce on the limitation of their own understanding and experience
And mother earth chokes on the effluence of objectifying arrogance

Closer to home... for decades now I have heard talk and read official documents produced by the councils of our Church speaking of a ‘listening process to the lives and witness of our LGBT baptized,’ but I have yet to see one concrete embodiment of this professed will of our Communion- one collective act, one medium wether actual or virtual for LGBT voices to be recognized and heard.

Is it not possible it’s we, the ‘people of faith’ who have got it all wrong- God’s paradigm of redemption?
Could it possibly be it’s the world and not our rites & pronouncements which, through the unfailing grace of God serve as the primary medium and measure of our redemption and transformation?
The same world whose inherent vocation just might be to keep the Church honest
The world, an embodiment of the essential sacrament underlying the seven our Church and tradition celebrate- Life itself.

‘The world’
‘That woman’
‘The gay bishop’
All simplistic objectifications of the embodied, on-going engagement of the Holy Spirit in our very real lives and times

For generations the Apostles, Saints and martyrs have witnessed to us that faith- our faith is essentially all about relationship- with a God who loves us ‘ beyond our wildest imagining,’ and with each other

And yet the breach remains, equally I’d suggest from humanity and the Church’s fear of falling into the hands of the One and Only Living God.

Simplistic as it might sound, I would suggest that what’s essentially going on here is an unfaltering call from the Holy Spirit to come closer.

To step out of the straight-jacketed fear and divisiveness, into an embodied love- the source of all love- that only Love ‘beyond our wildest imagining’

To throw off the shackles of dualistic thinking and to recognize the wondrous seamless redemptive work of the Holy Spirit- as seamless as our Saviours robe at Golgotha

To gratefully own, not only our painful collective and individual pasts, but the redemptive blessedness of our baptism

Inheriting through grace and Christ’s sacrifice & promise to His Church, and the witness of the saints and apostles, a full confidence in the active, on-going engagement with the Holy Spirit in our lives

That’s what’s going on here - we’re called - by nothing less than the very ground of our being. Embodiment, nothing less what’s is expected and promised to those who respond.

3 On a personal note

Last evening, as dusk settled over the small garden which has been such a source of
joy and insight for me, I gave thanks collectively and individually for so many of the radiant LGBT lives of faith who have blessed me personally & so powerfully in these last months and years. Living embodiment of Christ’s unfailing love and mercy towards me, I named them.

Also, especially mindful of a sweet sister who has become inestimably precious to me, leaving for Lambeth this evening; in faith I claimed the sureity and safety of our faithful Redeemer for each of my radiant brothers and sisters witnessing with their lives of at Lambeth.

I don’t know of another time in my life when the blessings and practice have been this redemptively close to the bone- and that’s saying a lot, as those who know me can attest. Equally implicit is both the blessing of my Anglican baptism and faith, and being born a gay man in the image and likeness of the living God. Both of which, with time, I have learned to give thanks for.

Interesting time- indeed.

And so, one breath at a time, though God’s grace alone, we prayerfully proceed; always with an eye out for the wonder of being surprised by joy and with an abiding sense of our blessedness.

Humbly offered by one of the least, but most blessed of you, your brother in Christ Jesus


Towards God’s greater blessing, to God’s greater glory- always & unconditionally!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Richard Rohr O.F.M.

Another one of those wondrous, unexpected adventures in grace.

A dear on-line friend sent along a quote which he thought might be appropriate to the shared support we are currently offering a mutural on-line buddy. It was by Richard Rohn O.F.M. yet another radiant life I had never come across.

As per usual, the quote, lead to some background research; led to an impressive, interesting Google search and to Father Rohr's official website.

It also led to a surprisingly succinct collection of four quotes by Father Rohr on the Wikepedia site of all places; each of which stands on its own, but together encapsulate so much of what is currently at stake in our blessed Communion.

So without comment, or further ado

"The question for us is always 'how can we turn information into transformation?' How can we use the sacred texts to lead people into new places with God, with life, with themselves?"

"We have for too long been reading sacred texts from our dualistic consciousness, split from the very mystery that the story of the birth of Jesus seeks to reveal." -Jesus in the Manger: A Story of Transformation

"Jesus is the universalist par excellence, always making the outsider the heroes of his stories: the non-Jews appear as those with more faith and more compassion, the sinners become those who are saved, the women better than the men, and as he continually puts it, 'the last will be first'." -Awakened and Astonished

"At last we have a group of dedicated Christians who are willing to use disciplined and Christian means of nonviolent protest against its church's failure to live the Gospel.... Our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered brothers and sisters have been left outside of his realm of grace for far too long. We can do so much better, and we will." - Letter of Endorsement to Soulforce, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization


Richard Rohr O.F.M.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Checking my dance card

Just how much posturing, dishonesty, threats and duplicity is the average person to take from those in certain quarters who claim to be the ‘confessing’ leadership of our Church?

And then, of course, in other well-intentioned quarters, there’s the diplomatic silences and ineffective fumbling & bumblings of those who fear being expelled, or in one particular case at least, those who have been almost-hypnotized into ineffectiveness by staring down their own ‘worst case scenario-‘ the rupture of the Communion.

One thing I’ll give ‘em- the only thing I’ll give them- those dissembling bullies of Gafcon, they sure know where it hit for maximum effect those of us walking the tightrope of a living faith we average Christians walk every day. And more specifically in the case of we LGBT people of faith, in that place of waiting in hope for our often-abusive parent (the Church) to come to its senses, to own the effect of their past actions, and to open their eyes and hearts to the true and lasting work of reformation and renewal the Holy Spirit is working in the Church in these times.

Please don’t misunderstand me- when I look at the big picture, or the long run and remember the wondrous fruits of renewal, healing and reconciliation I find going on throughout the Communion and in the lives of so many LGBT folk, I am anything but despairing. But the fact is that once again, I and an untold numbers of brothers and sisters throughout the world have had to witness men with all the outer accoutrements of leadership within our Church resorting to formulas which, for generations have caused untold damage to countless LGBT lives of faith. (Their lack of originality of course only confirms their real impotence)

What saddens me even more however is the silence and ineffective bumblings in other quarters of the Church as certain of the apparent leadership try to hold on to their own version of what effectively no longer exists i.e. a whole Communion. ( ++Katherine and a cherishe brother ‘in the eye of the storm’ being the two most visible, radiant exceptions to this passive despair.)

The bottom line (the most glaring example perhaps) is the accumulated time and energy which has been expended by the collective Church responding to or dancing around the venomous outbursts, priacy, threats and posturing of brothers who have knowingly & intentionally chosen to alienate themselves from us. (A tremendously greater investment than that the Church has made in learning from & listening to the witness of our LGBT lives of faith, which was supposed to have been their declared intent.)

Slipping on my ‘organizational transformation’ cap, I can’t be too surprised by the outcome of Jerusalem.

Of course they’re not ‘leaving’. Being a lot more savvy (bullies often are) than many voices of inclusion, they’ve realized the limits of their threats, (and just how much they might lose in real estate and loot by storming out.)

Typical bullies they ‘want their cake and to eat it too,’ and have no qualms about dismantling the Church as we know it, re-writing decades of Spirit-lead embodiment, scholarship and renewal within the Communion, and remaking the household in their own grasping likeness.

Staggered only a little more than momentarily by the Jerusalem pronouncement and a sound bite on the CBC of the ‘Australian voice of Gafcon’ talking of ‘defending ourselves from post-Modernity’ and ‘rescuing’ folks, I hauled out my bench and sat in prayerful silence, resorting to the elements of practice counting the breaths at first to get beyond the verbal mis-representation and patriarchal posturing I’d just read.

In the long run though none of this should really prove all that surprising...

As much sharper minds than mine have long ago witnessed, this is about a whole lot more than the consecration of a single bishop, the blessing of the committed lives of faith and faithfulness of our LGBT brothers and sisters, or even the ordination and consecration of our sisters in faith- (all three of which I would suggest have been the means for endless blessing in the continued life of our Church.).

it’s even greater than colonialism or post-colonialism as Gafcon would suggest.

Yes, in part at least, it has something to do with embracing and learning to the fullness of our Divinely created humanity

Yes, in part a least, it has to do with power

Essentially however what’s at stake here is our understanding and experience of the meaning of our individual and collective lives, and our relationship with God who since the beginning of time has ‘loved us beyond our wildest imagining’ and Whose Love has too long put up with the posturing, pronouncements and theatre of men as they try to colonize and create franchises of that Love.

Of course there’s also our stewardship of the planet and the botched job the patriarchy has done of that

The care we take or refuse to take of our brothers and sisters living in poverty, with illness, or fear for their lives

There’s our understanding of God’s bounty and how grossly disproportionally certain humans have chosen to distribute it

There’s the impotent prison of self-alienation patriarchy would perpetuate, which bumbles all too often off to war; squandering the bounty of this earth on great arsenals ‘just in case’ and then becoming their own self-fulfilling prophecy

There’s the objectification of any difference outside patriarchy’s collective small mind, and the generations of violence, alienation and the empovrishment this has brought about

None of which denies that wondrous, unfailing love ‘beyond our wildest imagining,’ it only confirms the self-destructiveness of patriarchy and dualistic thinking.

As more than one radiant life has recently witnessed what we’re suffering at present are the violent last grasps of patriarchy.

Patriarchy which is implicitly dualistic to shore up its illusion of authority, its privilege & its excesses.

Patriarchy which arrogantly disassociates itself from the excesses, lies and abuses of the past in the Church and which denies itself the lessons, grace and healing in those same difficult truths

Patriarchy which judges, objectifies, orders & condemns, inspite of Scriptures injunction that we judge not, lest we be judge.

Patriarchy, which is implicitly monolithic: requiring a ‘them’ to sustain the illusion of a chosen ‘us’; a monolith built on the backs those who seemingly don’t know better, all too often all the while isolating itself from the lived reality of the faithful.

Almost sounds like a medieval curia to me, and ‘Curia ain’t no compliment’ to quote a dear acquaintance of mine.

So what do we do?

Building on the norms of inclusion and non-dualistic communication and the example of so many of radiant brother and sisters in faith who have claimed the promise of their baptism both in the Church and on-line, I would suggest that more than ever we are called to embody the future Church the Holy Spirit is leading us into.

A muscled embodiment which doesn’t resort to dualism, or condemnation, threats or name-calling, but which is the radiant, loving proof of Christ’s redemptive power in our lives.

A muscled embodiment which isn’t afraid of honest Scriptural study: God doesn’t need us to lie on her behalf.

A muscled embodiment which owns and learns from the centuries since the scriptural canon was closed: God didn’t go into hibernation when they closed the canon.

A muscled embodiment which honours and makes room for the experience & witness of all the faithful in its rites and liturgies.

A muscled embodiment which discerns between cultural norms and the true revelation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.

A muscled embodiment confident enough to learn and grow from the experience of other traditions and faiths.

A muscled embodiment not afraid to listen, to share, to apologize.

A muscled embodiment not afraid to establish limits to the behavior we find acceptable, and to act on those boundaries

A muscled embodiment which is not afraid to take God at his/her Word.

Sitting here, gratefully aware of many of the wondrous examples we have throughout the Church of this radiant, muscled embodiment, there are two portions of Scripture resonating within me:

Corinthians 13 ( the way forward)

and Romans 8: 38-39 (the promise)

So what more could be ask?

And as to that ‘big picture’?

It’s inevitable- the monolith of patriarchy is a self-consuming beast- their anger, venom and self-delusion makes it so. A creature which sees itself called to ‘protect itself’ and ‘rescue people’ bound to starve in its self-created fortress.

They just don’t get it.... before all the canons, the recognition of the sacramental, before all the orders and liturgies there was and is God’s inestimably precious gift of Life itself; the original, un-mediated sacrament; forever changed and redeemed by the life, teachings and sacrifice of our radiant Lord Jesus Christ.

One day, we’re all going to be dancing on the tomb of ‘patriarchy’ and if he’s lucky- real lucky, i just might invite +Peter to join- he is a brother after all. But he’s going to have to be patient- my dance card’s filling up pretty fast ( many of them names you might recognize)- more radiant brothers and sisters who have blessed my life than you can ever imagine, and +Peter will have to wait his turn.

But oh we’ll dance! To the Greater Glory of God- with deep and with profound gratitude for the lives of faith who have gone before, and in absolute wonder at the miracle God will have wrought.

Undoubtedly still in the thick of process now- that same process itself stands proof of life in the Church, of the larger lives we are called to and of the actively engaged, patient, loving God who is calling us.

Love never fails.
But where there are prophecies, they will cease;
where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Prophetic pieces

What a week!
Two incredible documents of faith crossed my path, and I'm not referring to either the Windsor Report or the latest self-important pronouncement from the gang of pirates wandering between Jordan and Jerusalem.

Remarkable for several reasons, they're articles, speaking with voices of Anglican witness, appearing in rather surprising quarters- which should be a lesson in itself about underestimating the grace of our loving God.
'Let Me Worship As I Am' (NEWSWEEK)is a powerfully honest witness to the healing, health and humanity Jimmy Doyle has found in the Episcopal Church, at times inspite of the opinions and issues which might incline him to stay in bed some Sunday mornings.

LET GOD LOVE GENE ROBINSON (GQ Magazine) is the result of an in-depth interview with the living blessing currently occupying the Episcopacy of New Hampshire.

Both powerful pieces of writing, both moved me to tears of joy and gratefulness. Both also reminded me powerfully of what an awesome blessing it is to be alive in the Church in these times, to witness and to participate in the incredible reformation of the 'structures' and a breaking-open of our lives in/of a God who 'loves us beyond our wildest imigining.'

I encourage you to bless your day with both articles, and find your own joy and blessedness in the witness of these three brothers (Jimmy, +Gene and Andrew Corsello the author of the GQ piece).

Both articles have within them a prophetic voice which speak to the incredible work I believe the Holy Spirit is working in our Communion for all humanity.

Jimmy Doyle: 'It is right to stand before God as I am, and speak my own truth.'

As to the article on dear +Gene, I'm not even going to try to lift extracts. I'll warn you though, watch out for when the blessed man cuts to the quick of the current situation, when he speaks of fear. Which of course resonnated with his witness on the same emotion in his new book ' In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God.'

All of which only resonates even more within me because of a rather remarkable series of exchanges I've been having with a 'shanga brother' who like me was damaged in the name of God and who calls himself a 'intellectual Buddhist' ( more on that another time.)

Writing this, I am only too aware of how far short my efforts fall of doing any of these remarkable men the credit they deserve for the blessings they have brought me this week. All I can do is urge/encourge you to access the links;to get +Gene's book, and find your own joy and blessings in these exceptional gifts.

for God's Greater Blessing, to God's Greatest Glory- always & unconditionally


Sunday, June 1, 2008

How often are we able to make such a concrete difference

You know I wouldn't be bothering you if this wasn't essential

To one degree or another we've all lived reminders of just what a scary place the world can be at times.

Some of us have paid a very real price for the violent fear of others
And some of us have also been mightily blessed to meet others who have paid, and who continue to pay that price in larger, more real ways than we will ever have to.

I'm referring to the Bishop +Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire who, with his beloved partner Mark was obliged to live with bodyguards in the weeks and months between his election and his Consecration as Bishop of New Hampshire. Who with Mark had to wear full body armour under their vestments at his Consecration.

The same man who continues to live and preach the unconditional love of God for all creation- a passionate love 'beyond your windest imagining.'

The same man who continues to speak love to those who curse and abuse him, the same man who offers to meet and share with those same 'brothers in Christ.'

The same man who has put up with the cowardly waffling of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and yet who has urged his brother bishops to turn up for a key church event he is being excluded from.

Well +Gene and Mark, with a great crowd of LGBT witness of faith are going to be at Lambeth.

Not protesting, witnessing.

Willing to meet, to share, to witness and to pray with those present.

Lambeth yes, but out there in the same world which continue to include regular death threats against these two brothers.

Lambeth yes, but out there in the same world where gay and lesbian men and women continue to pay with their lives, continue to suffer curses and condemnation in provinces of the church.

Lambeth yes, but even before the first prayer's been invoked, the threats have not only been made against Mark and +Gene on two continents, they've even invaded their home via their answering machine.

So this is where you come in...

A sad and scary world which requires body amour for a rite of Consecration...

Unfortunately one of the necessary costs for the LGBT presence at Lambeth is protection for +Gene and Mark, and that costs.

Canon Elizabeth+ Kaeton (part of the Lambeth Initiative) and the good folks at St. Paul's Chatham have made it possible for us to have our own presence at Lambeth- by contributing to the cost of security for +Gene, Mark and our LGBT brother and sisters of faith.

Details can be found at Elizabeth+'s blog

And this is legit.

I'll personally vouch for Elizabeth+ and her long involvement in the cause of full inclusion of LGBT folk.

And I'm not asking anything I haven't already done myself.

As strange as it might seem, as much as it's about amounts, it's the initiative which is essential here- you can make a difference by doing the do-able.

For me personally, it was also an act of faith in that same 'Love beyond our wildest imagining.'

As some of you will already know my employment at the University is being 'phased out' in a month, as part of the exercise to balance a fourteen million dollar deficit.

So as I said, it's doing what you're able which is essential here.

Paypal or personal cheque.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender folk have too long a martyrology already- and you CAN make a difference, by doing what you are able.

This isn't just about +Gene and Mark- it's about birthright- our birthright as sons and daughters of the Living God- about claiming the blessings of our baptismal covenant- about embodying that 'Love beyond our wildest imagining'- it's about being 'truly alive' which we're told is only to the greater glory of that same Living God.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Who would have thought?

This morning's New York Times carries a story with a number of remarkable reminders buried in its simple resonant truth. 'How Govenor Set His Stance on Gay Rights.'

At its simplest, it's the story of one remarkable human being stepping up to the plate,speaking from his heart and lived experience; in the process bringing about a bureauceatic system to recognized the God-blessed, Divinely-crafted dignity of countless LGBT folk and their loving lives.

But keep reading... it's also a story, within a story... Two young boys in Harlem, entrusted by their busy parents to their 'Uncles', who not only babysat, but nourished and encouraged the boys, who told them stories and helped with their spelling homework.

In other words gave them cause to feel loved, safe, and cared for.

Two uncles who also happened to be a gay couple living in Harlem, all those decades ago- not exactly the gay-friendliest of quarters from all that I hear. And yet Governor Paterson tells us “I was raised in a culture that understood the different ways that people conduct their lives. And I feel very proud of it.”

A standard which might do Lambeth proud, perhaps?

But keep reading... the good Govenor reminds us, “In many respects, people in our society, we only recognize our own struggles. I’ve wanted to be someone in the African-American community who recognizes the new civil rights struggle that is being undertaken by gay and lesbian and transgendered people.”

Govenor Paterson's two 'uncles' were Uncle Stanley and Uncle Ronald, and all I can say is God bless you two wonderful human beings- wherever you are!

What an incredible chain of grace- starting with the most ordinary of things.... babysitting, spelling homework and of course, telling stories. And in the process, a lot more was set in motion than the simple helping-out of two busy parents.

One of those boys, as we now know grew to be the current Govenor of the State of New York. The same being responsible for the record-breaking inclusion of 'sexual orientation' for the first time in state human rights legislation. The same person, who recently issued his executive order to recognize our peoples' 'out-of-state' marriages an important first step in full marriage equality for the state.

For me the clincher- the proof of the Govenor's radiant humanity was this- speaking after the passage of the earlier legislation, he said “Now I can die in peace.If nothing else ever happens here, I feel that I can point to a contribution that I made.”

Just imagine -stick with me here brothers and sisters- just imagine the unadulterated joy and wonder our secessionist brothers and sisters will know when they finally 'get it' about the unconditional Love of God for all creation, the unique efficacy of the grace of Christ's redemptive sacrifice and the limitless patience of the Holy Spirit.

Not that Govenor Paterson's story lets any of us off the hook.

Before anything else, this article is a powerful reminder of the sacramental nature of the most elementary things in our everyday lives of faith.

Need, Trust, Babysitting, Spelling & Storytelling... the most ordinary elements. And yet we will never know how many lives have been blessed, enobled & made easier by the chain of grace in Govenor Paterson's own life and his acting on that same grace.

Talk about sacramental embodiment!

Who would have ever thought, the New York Times?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Radiant Bodyguard

It could be YOU.
No fees. No sign-up. Not even a uniform!
Just ‘you in your small corner, and I in mine,’ to quote the old Sunday School hymn.
The Radiant Body Guard needs YOU!

Most of us have read of the recent ‘Claiming the Blessing’ work session held in the Glorious Diocese of New Hampshire, preparatory to Lambeth 2008. It’s only one of many reasons which give me great hope verging on anticipation for the great blessings I believe the Holy Spirit has in store for Lambeth 2008.

This, of course, inspite of the cowardly waffling on the part of certain leaders.

This inspite of all the noise, acrimony and ugly misrepresentations from our patriarchally-challenged brothers

Bottom line, this Church is still the living body of Jesus Christ, Radiant Son of God, and as never before Lambeth and the Episcopate of our Communion are going to have a chance to be blessed by a LGBT presence like no other!

LGBT brothers and sisters from all over the world, making countless untold sacrifices to witness by their living presence- there in Lambeth.

None of them invited- but each of them acting on their hard-won faith to claim the blessings of their baptism, to turn up on the outside chance that the Episcopate might finally start acting on their oft-repeated promise to actively listen to the witness of our LGBT community of faith within the Church.

And if you’re anything like me you’re almost aching to be there- to take your place on the line with those brothers and sisters in faith- to be a visible presence, a living embodiment of the grace of Christ Jesus in our LGBT lives.

But this is exactly where you and I come in.

No matter how many of our radiant brothers and sisters make it to Lambeth we all know who the point man is going to be.

Who is paying the biggest price.

Who’s suffering calumny and rejection with our Lord.

Who, with Christ Jesus is being objectified, denied and shut-out.

And you don’t need to me to remind you what a confused, suffering and sorry world it is we’re all working to heal. We live, work and witness in it daily.

The issue of +Gene and Mark’s safety has been on my heart for a long time. Never forget, this is the brother who, with his spouse had to wear full body armour under his vestments at the sacred rite of his Consecration- not because of Muslim terrorists, but because of ‘fellow Christians.’

On my heart, and integral to my daily practice and prayers.

But we are neither helpless or alone in this- individually and together we have the unfailing grace of our Lord Jesus and His love - a Love beyond our wildest imagining, to quote a certain radiant brother in Christ Jesus.

So what I’m proposing is a covenant of daily prayer- world wide- three times daily... starting with +Gene and Mark’s continued protection, but growing to eventually include all of our LGBT representatives by name ( I’m working on that). And eventually..... well, how about claiming in the name of Christ Jesus the joyous wonder and awe I believe the Holy Spirit is preparing for Lambeth 2008.

Literally no limits to the grace we can claim in the name of our Lord Christ Jesus.

And it’s already started...

When the idea persisted earlier today I cast my bread upon the waters by e-mailing an individual in California who has become right-precious to me- and in less than an hour she’d already forwarded the appeal to more than forty of her parishoners and partners in prayer.

Next test, a semi-closeted colleague who never hesitated a moment.

Lambeth 2008 officially starts July 16,2008 and runs until August 3, with Pre-Conference events July 10-15th.

Whatever your practice- intercession- asperation- meta- affirmation- asked in the name of Christ Jesus I truly believe we’re in for some awesome wonder out of this Lambeth Conference. Steps in the on-going renewal and transformation of humanity’s relationship with God and the lives S/He has blessed us with- but wonder nonetheless.

Three times a day- lovingly confident in the faith we have been blessed with- claiming the blessing by blessing those who witness for us.

Lambeth watch out!

You've heard of the proverbial ole 'ring of steel?' Well I'm talking one wondrous ring of LGBT faith in prayer, surrounding +Gene and Mark, spreading out to cover all the brothers and sisters witnessing for us at Lambeth, weaving through the hearts and minds of the Primates and Bishops- all to the Greater Glory of God!

Another radiant chance to act on Saint Mychal Judge's injunction to 'Don't let the Church get in the way of your relationship with God'

We’re here! We’re queer! Now let us pray!

For God’s Greatest Blessing- to God’s Greater Glory- Alway & Unconditionally!


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Woah! Time for a reality check?

Quite the week, and it's rare that the causal connection between two of their stories has been writ so large in the media.

The 5 primates boycotting Lambeth, whining about how they have 'not been able to take communion' with Presiding Bishop ++Katherine Jefferts Schori and their inability to tolerate the presence of duly elected, confirmed and consecrated Bishop V.+Gene Robinson and his partner at Lambeth; and the murder of a 15 year old gay man in his high school cumputer lab. Does anyone else see a connection here?

I'm not for a moment suggesting that Brandon David McInerney has even heard of Lambeth, the pouting Primates, ++Katherine or +Gene; but he did pull that trigger because Lawrence King was 'freaking the guys out,' to quote one of their female class-mates.

What we're talking about in both instances is violence- and nothing less. A violent intollerence of difference,a refusal to learn or enrich their own lives by recognizing the Divinely-made humanity of that difference.

Bullies, through verbal or physical violence trying to impose their handicaped version of reality on others.

As if that wasn't enough the Primates go on to complain about the anticipated presence of 30 LGBT activists a Lambeth; Baptized Anglicans, many who are daily paying a price for their visibility and ministry as people of faith. And yet the 'purity police of the patriarchy' complain 'We would be the continual target of activist campaigners and media intrusion. In these circumstances we could not feel at home."

You bet your sweet corziers you would be!
And deservedly so- because the spectacle of violence, threats, mysogeny and homophobia in the name of God are such shameful scandals in this day and age they are worthy little more than the Entertainment News in the mind of many disaffected and recovering Christians.

As if this weren't enough, the week ended with this final insult, from +Cantebury himself, speaking of the pouting Primates' decision to boycott.

'Williams said the decision of some to be absent from Lambeth "not only shows the deep differences over theology and ethics that have so strained our connections; it also reflects, uncomfortably for us, some of the legacy of hurt that is felt by some of our provinces at what is experienced as patronizing or manipulative or insensitive actions and attitudes on the part of many of the churches of the 'West' or 'North' -- not only the Episcopal Church in the USA...That's hard to hear, but we have to hear it and to offer apologies and seek for better understanding. Lambeth can't be the end of the story."'

Excuse me?

What about the generations of violence, fear & homophobia spawned by the purple-shirted patriarchy and their kind?

What about the LGBT lives terrorized, cut short or handicapped by centuries of objectification, hatred and violence of LGBT people?

What about the countless lives of faith, hurt, confused or alienated from their own spirit because of the hatred and objectification of LGBT people of faith practiced by their priests and bishops?

Never has it been clearer- to me at least, what a rediculous spectacle these men are making of the redemptive love embodied in the life and ministry of our Lord's incarnation.

Ignoring, more than a hundred years of science, psychology & law they make a shameful spectacle of themselves by displaying just what an archaic artifact their understanding of the Gospel and Christian faith is.

Shame on them!

Incapable of understanding or dialoging with contemporary understanding of human nature, they insist on the subjegation of more than one half of humanity and a medieval condemnation of anything inconsistent with their hetrosexually-challenged masculinity.

Shame on them!

And shame on ++Rowan Williams too.

It's not as if there's ever a lack of human suffering to justify any argument, but once again ++Rowan, you, as our currently most visible embodiment of patriarchy have dismissed by omission the role of our Church in centuries of homophobic violence and discrimination; you've devalued the prayerful execise in faith of the people of New Hampshire; you've objectified and discriminated against a duly elected and consecrated brother Bishop and discounted the lives of all American Anglicans.

As if that weren't enough, your cowardly inaction and ineffective pronouncements have tolerated Episcopal piracy, the virulent oppression of LGBT men and women of faith, the scandalization of countless others & the public ridicule of our faith.

When is enough, enough ++Rowan? When do YOU draw your line in the sand.

Of course we LGBT folk have gained two more saints this week:

Saint Lawrence King pray for us
Saint Jody Debrowski pray for
Saint Matthew Shepard pray for us
Saint Mychal Judge pray for us
Saint Aaron James Light pray for us
Saint Billy Jack Gaither pray for us
Saint Barry Winchell pray for us
Saint Dejsn Nebrigic pray for us
Saint Steen Keith Fenrich pray for us
Saint Arthur Warren Jr. pray for us
Saint Marcus Wayman pray for us
Saint Danny Lee Overstred pray for us
Saint fred Martinez Jr. pray for us
Saint Arthur Warren pray for us
Saint Jeff Wahlen pray for us
Saint Edgar Garzon pray for us
Saint Gary Matson pray for us
Saint Winfield Mowder pray for us
Saint David Buller pray for us
Saint Harvey Milk pray for us

All you LGBT saints unknown to us,but martyrs to difference pray for us

And pray that the Anglican Communion learn to repent of its role in the homophobia & violence which murdered each one of you.

I'm tired of the martyrdom of my people at the hands of frightened homophobes, the gossip & objectification of my brothers and sisters by the insecure and imature, the discrimination and oppression of difference... because in the end fear is what it's all about... fear (or the inability to live & interact with) difference.

All of us should be praying for Brandon David McInerney- the poor, misguided 14 year old, 'freaked out' by Lawrence's difference, who probably doesn't even understand the forces at play that day- even less does he understand himself.

One thing the patriarchy is always very good at- condemning and punishment. Brandon is charged with 'murder, with hate crime and firearms enhancements- 25 years inprisonment, with an additional 25 years for the 'enhancements'.

And just where is the redemption in all this legal efficiency?
Is anyone even speaking with the boy- because a boy is what he is?
Is anyone ministering to his fear, his pain and witnessing to the unconditional love of Christ Jesus for him personally- a love beyond his 'wildest imagening'?
Is anyone even trying to understand what he was feeling and thinking?
Anyone showing him how he's been duped by the frightened lies of a bunch of impotent bullies?

All you gay saints and martyrs pray for Brandon David Mc Inerney.