The Diocese of Los Angeles made history with the consecration of its first two female bishops, one of whom is a partnered lesbian.
And, as predictable as the Tallahassee summer being unbearably hot and humid, the heat and humidity of stupidity is rising elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. There are forecasts of frogs and plagues coming from those who describe themselves as "Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, Charismatic, Mainstream" (aka Anglican Mainstream) who see this as the death knell for the Anglican Communion. And I say, "Blah, blah, blah."
Reports from the service in Long Beach are that some 3,000 people were in attendance to witness this new life in the Church. Two people had to be removed from the arena, a man and a young boy, both of whom decided to use the moment to spout off the 1 Corinthians 6:9 passage about "homosexuals shall not inherit the kingdom of Heaven." My bible doesn't actually say that, but apparently some have decided to translate Paul's Greek to reveal that he acquired a term that didn't appear until centuries later. When the official moment in the service came for people to raise an objection, the arena was silent. And LA Diocesan Bishop Jon Bruno could continue.
"Today, as we pray over these two magnificent women, bring into your hearts those things that you bear against any other human being and cast them away... For we cannot be separated from each other if God is for us and with us. . . . There are no outcasts."
It was former Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning who originally used that phrase "there are no outcasts." And the Episcopal Church has been battling, struggling, crying, and praying its way to actually live into those words for the past several decades. Saturday's ceremony was another growth spurt as the whole Church moves more and more in the direction of seeing Christ in each other, whatever "other" that happens to be.
Bishop Suffragan Mary D. Glasspool, the lightening rod in all of this, didn't speak to the media on Saturday, but did take part in a news conference the day before. She notes that the inclusion of women and gays in the hierarchy of the church is a sign that the Episcopal Church isn't about lip service.
"We are being the church we say we are," Glasspool said. "We're not just saying it, we're doing it and there's something very powerful about that."
Amen, my sister in Christ! And congratulations to you and +Diane Bruce!