House of Bishops – Day Six – Tuesday

I am sometimes amazed by God’s grace.  Consensus was reached on our statement to the wider  Church. There was one negative vote — a liberal.

No one will be happy with all of it, but it is an accurate statement of  where we  are as a House of Bishops today.

Check it out on http://www.episcopalchurch.org

Now…over to the Archbishop of Canterberry and the Primates!

12 Responses to “House of Bishops – Day Six – Tuesday”

  1. Reverend boy Says:

    Bishop Epting,

    I have mixed feelings about what the bishops had to say in their resolution/”mind of the House” statement. As a gay man, I believe we have turned a corner, but still have a long way to go. My own commentary on the statement is posted via the link to my blog.

    All the best,

    the Reverend boy

  2. ecubishop Says:

    Thanks…” a long way to go ” is right! I think people on both “sides” would agree with that!

  3. thomas bushnell, bsg Says:

    i am pleased that the bishops did not reaffirm B033. on the other hand, i am bothered that the bishops wrote a carefully crafted statement which might mislead some people into thinking they reaffirmed B033.

    i am pleased that the bishops did not promise to ban the celebration of gay unions. but i am bothered that the bishops wrote a carefully crafted statement which some people might misread and think they had.

    i would rather the bishops had simply said, “you all think B033 is extremely important; we have decided not to approve any sexually active bishops at all, because we cannot stomach treating gay people any differently from straight people.” but that wouldn’t fly, since it would require everyone to sacrifice instead of just gay people.

    i am delighted that the bit about unions didn’t put any fingers on the scale about what general convention might do, and importantly, didn’t promise to vote against such.

    i hope the commitment to civil rights will include this country and not just Zimbabwe. is the house of bishops prepared to say that this “unequivocal and full commitment” includes marriage? or is that where the equivocation and partiality of the commitment comes to the fore?

    i’m confused that ENS described the statement as “clarity”.

  4. Linda in Iowa Says:

    I’m disappointed that the bishops seem to have had preservation of the institution as their highest goal, above “love your neighbor as yourself”.

    As one of your lesbian neighbors – and sisters in Christ – I have to say this doesn’t feel much like love.

  5. thomas bushnell, bsg Says:

    i still wonder why the house of bishops had to say anything.

  6. CBNYC Says:

    I wish my fellow gays and lesbians would be less concerned about begging the benefits of Christ – whining for someone else to save them and give them the justice they “deserve” – and focus more on living like Christ. At a minimum, that would mean (a) forebearing the ignorance and weakness of others, (b) graciously self-sacrificing their own advancement and profit for the sake of serving sinful others.

    If we ACTED like Christ instead of endlessly whining and claiming that we’re due the benefits of Christ, we’d have a more persuasive witness to the communion – and the world – at large. Our own relentlessly self-interested posturing damns us.

    If we could love our brothers and sisters in their weakness and error, we’d be a lot closer to “claiming the blessing” than by trying to hijack political processes and shove through our agenda.

  7. Christopher Says:

    I wish our bishops had been more honest. In reading your statement released yesterday, I could not help but read these words with some sense of unreality:

    We proclaim the Gospel that in Christ all God’s children including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church.

    Yet the affirmations found in the statement that you have made say otherwise. Clearly, by singling out non-celibate gay and lesbian persons–even those in committed relationships–and our “manner of life” as unfit no matter the fruits of the Holy Spirit and virtues evident in our committed relationships and by continuing to speak of pastoral and ritual care of our relationships and other important events in our lives in terms of “private response”, we are not “full and equal participants in the life of Christ’s Church” at least as expressed in The Episcopal Church. We know this. Acknowledging what actually is is the first step toward recognizing a problem. We who are lgbt faithful are not full and equal participants in this church. This is a church sorely wracked by heterosexism. Beautiful words will not hide this reality. Even the world sees. And sadly, seeing, many in the world will turn away, for our words are far from our actions and who we are as an actual body. Some honesty would have gone a greater way in serving the gospel of Jesus Christ.

  8. Linda in Iowa Says:

    As part of my (secular) job, I train people in anti-racism theory and practice. One of the fundamental concepts in this work is that of “privilege”. One way privilege functions is to accuse members of the non-dominant group of “self-interest” or “selfishness” when they point out injustice directed toward them. This may be done by members of the dominant group who are made uncomfortable by having the situation named for what it is, or even by members of the non-dominant group who have internalized the hate directed at them.

    CBNYC’s comment here is a good example of this principle in action.

    Ironically, I’m on my way to Yakima, WA, this weekend to participate in a “Training for Trainers” workshop in the Episcopal Church’s Anti-Racism program. I wonder if I will leave to see the day when our church initiates and implements an Anti-Heterosexism program…..

  9. CBNYC Says:

    Linda in Iowa –

    You’re not as poor, weak and oppressed as you think.

    I ask you to consider Jesus on the cross – the ultimate victim, whose victimhood heals and reconciles all. He didn’t just cry out for help and endlessly draw attention to himself. He didn’t even decry injustice. He suffered unto death, prayed for the forgiveness of those killing him and allowed GOD to vindicate him. He GAVE his life, because he rightly understood none other had the power to take it from him.

    This is our model. Self-giving: that’s the principal I’m advocating. It’s rooted in my Christian faith. Patience, forebearance, longsuffering — I’m after the fruits of the Spirit, not conformity to anti-racism task force dogma. Your work – wonderful as it is – is not the same as the gospel. I resent your effort to pervert the gospel into something as shallow as a baby boomer justice initiative.

    TEC or Anglican primates have no power to take our dignity or deny us gays a place in God’s church. Gays and lesbians need to cut the chicken little approach and walk boldly, with authority and great faith. Our hope, our future is not held hostage to their decrees or demands. We don’t need a pack of theologically deficient Bishops to bless or approve us.

    Don’t let other Christians – well-meaning or diabolical – TAKE our life; let’s give it, voluntarily, sacrificially. A sacrificial gift is COSTLY; you’re trying to sledgehammer justice by walking all over brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s a cheap, destructive way of going about it.

    Why not offer up our “right” to run for Bishop or marry in the church? If Jesus gave up his divine rights (read Philippians 2) for a time, we can give up a couple ecclesial ones…for a season.

    It would be a Christ-like act of self-giving NOT because it’s just (Jesus’ death was not just!), but because we know God’s story, and God’s character, and because we are men and women of faith, who know that God will honor such a sacrifice and vindicate us as we trust in HIS faithfulness, and not in the power of Church councils, canons, hierarchies or institutional power plays.

    I’ll grant your razor thin insights into the horrors of “privilege” – perhaps I’m guilty as you’ve charged. But there’s also such a thing as hubris, pride, ungraciousness, narcissism – none of which require quotation marks or deconstruction to understand. Granted, you’d have to read a little more broadly than anti-racism tracts and listen to something other than the sound of your own voice to grasp such concepts.

    My advice to fellow gays and lesbians is to STOP playing the victim card. ESPECIALLY in the Episcopal Church, where we’ve effectively purged dissent and found the protection of power and authority in the form of men and women with supreme offices of power.

    We’re not being oppressed; we’re rich, free Americans. We hold institutional power in TEC. We’re safe. We might not have all the power and privileges we want, but we’re WELCOMED into the church, seminary and clerical collar. Let’s keep our sanity and a sense of proportionality here.

  10. Linda in Iowa Says:

    CBNYC,

    I don’t believe I claimed to be “poor, weak, and oppressed”. And I don’t appreciate your trying to put words into my mouth – your accusation of my “perverting” the gospel or any of the other over-the-top language in your message.

    I am at a loss to know where all this came from – it seems entirely disproportionate to anything I wrote. But clearly this is something powerful for you, judging by the intensity of your message.

    I will keep you – and all of us – in my prayers. You are my brother, I am your sister; we are God’s beloved.

  11. CBNYC Says:

    Linda in Iowa-

    I didn’t say you were poor, weak and oppressed, I said you THOUGHT you were poor, weak and oppressed. In the same way in which you were helpfully trying to point out a type of behavior you believed me to be exhibiting, I was doing the same for you. You think I display the wounds of “privilege”, I think you’re stuck in victim mode. Neither one of us presumably WANTS to be as we are; we have blind spots. That’s why we need each other.

    Amen! And thank you for your kind, supportive words — mixed with action! Prayer will unite us and help us find our way forward.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Christopher

  12. Linda in Iowa Says:

    CBNYC,

    I don’t how you know what I “thought” — you don’t know me, and I said nothing of the sort in my message. I did not say (and don’t think) you “display the wounds of ‘privilege'” — I merely stated that your statement was an example of one of the ways in which privilege functions. (By the way, “wounds of privilege’ is not a phrase in my vocabulary — I confess I don’t really understand what that means.)

    In any case, please don’t read your own thoughts into my words.

    I am most certainly not “stuck in victim mode” — saying this proves how little you know about me.

    Off to my training…. there is plenty of work to ge done.

    Peace,
    Linda

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