"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 It's after midnight and I'm just back from a great gathering of some of the younger people here at General Convention (of course, in the Episcopal Church, that means anyone under 40!). It was a great mixture of old friends and lots of people I'd never met before. Steph and Steve are both here, and it's great to see both of them. Steve is looking great coming off all his time in Tanzania and his travel. I can't wait to see the video presentation he has.
I was at a meeting of the officers of the legislative committees today, and the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies both spoke to us. They give me great confidence that our church has the leadership it needs to take us through what will be a difficult two weeks in many ways. Both called on all of us as leaders to embody the best of what Christ calls us to be ... people who can love each other across ideological lines.
The last time General COnvention was in Minneapolis was 1978. Just like today, people were saying that something was going to happen that was going to split the church ... the removal of the barriers of ordination for women. But the Holy Spirit moved ... and the church didn't split. And I believe it didn't split for two reasons. First, that the ties with which God binds us to gether really are stronger than those forces that would tear us apart. Second, that people, when push came to shove, didn't shove but embraced each other despite a legislative process that created winners and losers.
I guess I'm hoping two things going into Convention. The first is that whatever we decide regarding same-sex blessings and the consecration of Gene Robinson, that we can remember that we ARE the Body of Christ and that the communion we share is a divine reality, not a human construct. And that our choice is not whether we wish to be in communion or not -- we are whether we like it or not -- but whether we will follow Christ's call to live into the reality of the communion God has already created.
The second is that the many, many, many other important things that will happen these two weeks that don't happen to involve human sexuality -- things like the push for global economic and social justice, making the ordination canons friendlier for young adults, empowering the ministry of the diaconate, strengthening campus ministries, and many others -- won't get lost in the media circus.
Pray for us. As I've said ... I'm looking forward to it. THere are so many amazing and wonderful people here. God is present.
Thank you for all who kept my parents in prayer today. My dad's procedure went amazingly well. Just as with Joe's dad, they did the angiogram, found no blockages so they didn't have to do the angioplasty. He's back home tonight!
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."