Friday, October 15, 2010

AWE-and then-SOME

What sad and awesome days we get to live through.

First there were the stories- one after another- as the media finally caught on to what our tribe has known for far too long- our young are dying, too often and unnecessarily because of being bullied, taunted and shamed for who they are and who they love.

This is not news, but thankfully the media has made it news lately, and as I read and wept over the details of these young men, I couldn't help but be proufoundly aware of what a powerful, transformative opportunity the Holy Spirit was offering we people of faith to witness, teach and embody the real truth of the life, death and unfailing love of our resurrected Lord.

Yes, I blogged the previous posts, and I emailed: my network of LGBT clergy,a bunch of gay sangha buddies,and some of the most awesome LGBT people of faith I know: urging them to post to IT GETS BETTER, to blog, to be visibly present at the memorials and protests at people of faith.

But there's a whole wondrous lot of folks who have wondrously done so very much more:

First of all Dan Savage and his husband, who couldn't possibly know what an incredible force for love healing and good they were unleashing on the world with their creation of that first post to IT GETS BETTER.

And in their wake the thousands- literally thousands of LGBT folk- MY TRIBE! who posted to the site. I've spent hours listening to you, hearing your stories and blessing you for your generosity.

And as I did I found myself sitting in a strangely familiar place- the realization that once again it was my tribe- the very victims of this violence, both verbal and physical, who were teaching the world; giving them a living example of what it truly means to be human- to be created in the image & likeness of the living God.

Once again it was LGBT owning that 'crucified place' and reaching out to others, the only embodiment love and hope and concrete, experiential advice many of them would know.

It was about then I bombarded many of those I love personally with my e-mail calls to witness and action, and I promptly was struck by two realizations:

As generous and loving, as brave and caring as my spiritual kin in the Church are, they and I both knew our love, encouragement and support couldn't quite be as generous and open-ended as we would all want it to be. By telling LGBT youth at risk they could be assured of unconditional love, support and acceptance at every Anglican/ Episcopal Church, in many cases would have only increased their suffering, their experiences of rejection, bigotry and emotional violence.

In the days which followed a few of our clergy preached, and preached powerfully and none more so than Michael Hopkins, and Ed Bacon of All Saints Passadina.

Two remarkable bishops: Mark Beckwith and George Councell issued a joint letter following the death of Tyler Clementi .

There was a letter from Bishop Mark Sisk to the people of New York

And it was about then that the second realization struck: recognizing how much homophobia is learnt or supported by 'official religion' made these messages necessary, but where was our Church where they were most needed: out there on U Tube
personally embodying to the Love beyond our wildest imagining which created us, redeemed us, sustains us, and daily calls us forth to live life more abundantly?

And it's about then we got the eminently lovable Harry and Wayne and remarkable Father Brian Coleman
And in the days since I continued to storm heaven for our Church to step up to the plate, to not this time blow the opportunity for transformative witness, healing and embodiment.

Well, as cold and damp as it is here in Montreal today, with driven rain and wild winds driving leaves off the trees and into the rain-soaked ground, we were given SUCH a gift- to our Church, to my tribe, to the world, with this: our Bishop Gene Robinson's personal witness... making his POWERFUL witness to God's unfailing, unconditional love and the vocation of LGBT people- right where it needs to be heard right now- on U Tube.

Words.... there's just aren't words for my deep personal gratitude to this cherished brother in Christ; for my appreciation and joy to be able to witness 'the Gene effect-'his powerful, positive presence and the Christ-centered directness of his ministry and for the difference he makes in LGBT lives- never more so than in the hall of more than three thousand LGBT leaders, the first time I heard the bishop speak.


Here's a thought: try imagining what our Church would be like if the blessed faithful of New Hampshire hadn't listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, if they hadn't acted on the answer to their prayers. Moribund, stale, status-fffing-quo ? Worse than you want to imagine!
Thank-you New Hampshire. God bless you New Hampshire- yeah, I know S/He already is, look at the extraordinary gift of a Bishop you got!

Another cherished friend who cannot go unmentioned is notre Grandmere Mimi, bien-aimee. Every step of this current growing awareness by the media of the tragic effects of the bullying of LGBT youth, Mimi has blogged- speaking out against homophobic bullying and lamenting these unnecessary deaths. Mimi has been a longtime courageous ally of full inclusion of the LGBT faithful; a refugee from Roman Catholicism, the lady is a living blessing to our Church, and we are the better for her voice and its witness. Today, Mimi's post directs us to another Church leader John Vest and his pastoral letter against homophobic bullying


And, as another 'much beloved' Elizabeth reminds us, U Tube videos such as Gene & Brian's can be powerful tools of ministry and teaching. Savy Elizabeth tells us, the more often the videos are accessed, the higher they rise in the IT GETS BETTER inventory. So please share them, please pass them on, please share them with the youth in your parishes, in your schools.

Yes,as wonderful as Harry & Wayne are, as powerfully prophetic as Brian and Gene witness to the unconditional, unfailing love of our God, I'm still storming heaven for more; more LGBT Anglicans/Episcopalians who will self-identify as such on camera, and witness to their lives, and their growth and healing in that Love beyond our wildest imagining.

1 comment:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Cher David, thank you so much for your kind words. One person's efforts can seem such a small thing, but if each of us does what we can, then the efforts combined become a powerful force for justice and equality.