"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, August 05, 2003 A vote that happened today that I think will have far-reaching consequences in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion - and it's not what you think.
Today, the House of Deputies passed D006,which raises up the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (see the link to the right for more info) as a mission orientation for the Episcopal Church, challenges every diocese to give 0.7% of its net disposable income to efforts to acheive these goals and sets up a system of accounting so we can celebrate as we move toward fulfillment of this.
I'm really serious when I say that I believe -- if we all take this back to our communities and dioceses -- that this can have the most transformative effect on the church of anything that has happened at this convention. THis is about us adopting a mission orientation that would put us in a position to lead this nation in the work of global reconciliation.
I have LOTS of information about the MDGs, the 0.7% challenge, a new organization called the Cambridge COnsultation (www.cambridgeconsultation.org) that is getting this going, and lots more that you can use to bring this to your community and diocese -- and I'd love to share. Lifting this up in our campus community and through it connecting students to overseas mission experiences is already starting to transform us.
There is a LOT going on at convention that isn't being covered on CNN. WOnderful things. Today a ultra right wing and an ultra left wing priest stood up at the same microphone and cosponsored a compromise resolution about reparative therapy. It was a truly grace-filled moment. An amazing woman named Sarah Lawton has been doing amazing work in advocating for young vocations issues ... including pushing for a requirement for othercultural competency from ordinands. My good friend Vicki Zust spoke eloquently and helped pass a resolution to get the ball rolling on doing something about seminarian debt (hear that, Joe?).
PLEASE lift these things up to your communities and remember them in your hearts. I'm not trying to say what's happening with Gene and the same-sex blessings aren't important -- they are. But there are things that are even more important ... things that have to do with trying to save the lives of millions of people and make the lives of billions better. These are the things that will transform our communities, not tear them apart.
Now, about the Robinson consent. It was an amazing moment -- knowing you are a part of history -- and at the same time knowing we are venturing into uncharted and turbulent waters as a church and as an Anglican Communion. We have done the right thing -- of that I have no doubt. I also have no doubt that in the morning, the sun will come up , God will still be God and the church will still be here and -- I hope -- we will all be standing around the Lord's table together.
We are being called into a difficult place -- Wayne spoke eloquently about this at our deputation meeting this evening -- but sometimes God calls us into difficult places. Our task together is to try to set a course through the best we can in love.
Keep praying. Keep doing the Lord's work of healing, feeding, caring and reconciling. Keep loving. If we do that, all the rest will take care of itself.
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."