Sunday, May 16, 2010

There Are NO Outcasts

Diane Bruce and Mary Glasspool share a moment of mutual support. From the LA Times.

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!


Anonymous said...

I think I lost my comment, but you are so right in your thinking and I hope the Bishop of Florida comes to his senses.


Two Auntees said...

This has been a great week for lgbt rights!!

SCG said...

Peggins: I think the Bishop of FL is looking at the entrance through that narrow gate, and realizing that he can either stand still or take his first step.

Two Auntees: It has been an AWESOME week, hasn't it?

Anonymous said...

I wish it were true that there really are NO outcasts. In the Diocese of Milwaukee LGBTs are still second class citizens. If we discern a call to an ordained ministry too bad. Our bishop won't allow it. We'll have to move from stable communities, families etc. out of the diocese to become ordained.

SCG said...

Milwaukee Anonymous: I am trusting your decision to be anonymous comes from a place of needing to be. I know what you're saying in re: what happens to those who are discerning a call in a diocese where the Bishop insists that "the line is busy. Please hang up and try again later." The same exists here in Florida with our diocese. It's even worse in the Diocese of Central Florida (Orlando). And yes, they basically quote the Matriarch of our Church, Elizabeth I: "Go, go, go; seek some other where. Importune me no more." Still, you and I can see that no matter how much our respective diocesan Bishops insist that "it is STILL winter, dammit" in the Episcopal Church, spring keeps blooming in other places. Because, at the end of the day, God will work God's purpose out. Thanks for writing, and peace be with you.