|From the Boston Business Journal|
The long-awaited rite for blessing same-sex relationships has arrived, and is going into effect this Sunday in those dioceses where they are permitting the rite's trial usuage. Called, "I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing," the rite tracks much the same liturgy that exists for straight couples in the church, with Scripture readings, presentation of the couple before the presider, vows and rings. I posted a link to the rite on Facebook and the overwhelming reviews from my Christian, and non-Christian, straight friends has been "beautiful."
It is well-written. It is a right and good and joyful thing. And it is not available in all dioceses of the church.
I'm beginning to feel a little bit like I live on the Island of Misfit Toys. I see the postings from friends celebrating this momentous occasion in the history of our church, and yet I know this Advent will be no different than the ones from previous years when it comes to the place of the LGBT faithful in this diocese. We are to give our time, our treasure, our talent (up to a point), but there is no will power to really live into that final statement of our Baptismal Covenant:
"Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?"
There is no out-clause of, "Well, except for those queers!" And there is nothing that excuses the rest of the Church, the larger body living in enlightenment, from keeping their laterns safely ensconced in their own dioceses when there are still large pockets of darkness that exist in the Church as a whole. LGBT people in Florida live in a state where the civil authorities have been stepping on our necks for decades, and the church has chosen to keep its prophetic voice silent on such matters. Refusing to even discuss the new rite, and issuing the edict that there will be no blessing of same-sex unions even before there was a vote at General Convention, was just business as usual.
Some have talked to me about how it was in the days of women's ordination. Heck, they can't seem to get over the gender issue in England, not to mention those places in this country where parishoners still will cross to the other side of the rail rather than receive the Eucharist from a woman. I know my sisters in Christ have endured much pain and hardship in the face of such anti-Christian behavior and dogma. That doesn't make the foot-dragging and the intentional snubbing of LGBT Christians as fully-baptized members of the church any better. In fact, haven't we spent enough time beating each other down rather than building each other up? Are we really that slow to understand that when Jesus fed all the many thousands of people, he fed all and all were satisfied? Is "all" too difficult to comprehend?
And so here I sit, on the Island of Misfit Toys, wondering when we will see the day that all people see justice and peace, and have their dignity respected. Hurrah for you, my brothers and sisters in elsewhere Episcopaland. And don't be afraid to send some light this way!