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.


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