Even at this remove- here in Montreal, I was so very aware of just what wonder was taking place in Long Beach CA that day. A mixed weather day here, with several visitations of rain which were perfect for the garden and keeping me centered on the practice as I sat in prayer and solidarity with the siblings in Christ assembling in the Long Beach convention centre.
I’ve written elsewhere and often of what an enormous blessing and privilege it is- this new collegial solidarity- being able to uphold each other in prayer and practice because of the sharing and connection made possible by the internet, and never more so than on Saturday when so many of the individuals I love and admire, and yes regularly uphold in prayer were assembled for the consecration of Diane and Mary to the episcopacy of the Church of God.
Starting perhaps with the obvious: ‘The Great ++Katherine’, the Giant of New Hampshire, ‘+Barbara the bleloved Harris’, +Jon Bruno, Ed+ Bacon, Susan+, Elizabeth+ and all those other wonderful brothers and sisters willing to leave themselves open to the sheer wonder of the Holy Spirit doing something truly awesome & breathtakingly wonderful in our time- the priests, the laity- all that praise and celebration. But in the three hours of my practice of solidarity there was so much more- a certain young man Tommy Braveheart fighting for his life with the love, support, presence and prayers of his two wonderful parents- which I’d never have known about but for our dear Margaret- another young man Declan in the same situation for another reason placed on my heart by another treasured brother, Paul,
Which brings me to where I am this morning, as the early morning sun streams in through the doorway after having blessed my emerging garden- Thanks.
Not too often of late we’ve heard thanks within the councils and halls of our Church, so this morning I get to strike my own list:
To our brothers and sisters in the Episcopal Church for their prophetic courage, faithfulness and openness to the working of the Holy Spirit in the raw and confusing reality of our times; for your embodied love not only of our tradition but your passionate conviction that the Good News of the Gospel and the working of the Holy Spirit Herself are more relevant than ever, and for the audacious ways in which you embody this certainty. Thank-you.
To many of the articulate, passionate and visionary voices you have given to the current..... ‘discussions.’ Thank-you. This morning, among others Mark+ Harris, Terry+ Martin, Barbara+ the beloved Harris, Elizabeth+, Susan+, +Jon Bruno, Ed+ Bacon, Katie Sherrod, our own Barbi Click, Thank-you.
To the Giant of New Hampshire- living blessing, beloved brother and prophetic witness that he is- God alone knows how heartfelt and real my personal thanks- Thank-you +Gene.
To ‘The Great ++Katherine’ (that’s how we pray for her in our home) - for your visionary calm, your articulate intelligence, for your courage and passionate love of our Church, for your long-suffering grace and fortitude in the face of much of what you’ve suffered at the hands of smaller, frightened minds- Thank-you.
To get very personal for a moment- to two radiant priests (P.S. & M.W.), each of them very real & blessed leaven in my life, and along with dear Grandmère, the source of much of the privilege of intercessory connection I mentioned earlier- a heartfelt Thank-you.
To the whole wonderful mix of the American Church, and most particularly those I have not mentioned by name- Thank-you. In your process and praise you continue to serve as a reminder that our Church is part of the living Body of Christ and not a liturgical museum, participants in the sacred dance of Life with the Holy Spirit Herself and not an accidental collection of quirky misfits.
Which brings me to one of the two most recent gifts from the American Church to the world- our +Mary Glasspool. Through the good offices of IT- another gift of the American Church- at http://friends-of-jake.blogspot.com/ I learned that Mary’s favourite passage of Scripture are the same two verses which have kept me going through the thick and thin of the last couple of decades Romans 8:38 – 39:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] 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.
I learned this, and much else thanks to the link IT had posted to The Advocate profile on our newest bishop at http://advocate.com/Print_Issue/Features/A_Woman_of_Faith/ Thank-you IT.
Rumbling and rattling of Episcopal staffs, threats and dire predictions, waffling and wiggling that there might be within ‘certain,’ too predictable quarters of the Communion this Monday morning; I think it is only right and proper to give the first & last word of this post to our newest bishop- a word which resonates with those of a passage of Scripture we both treasure:
“Because God is bigger than the church.”
Bishop Mary Glasspool, http://advocate.com/Print_Issue/Features/A_Woman_of_Faith/