Well, I went from the exhilaration and hope instilled in me from the election of our first woman Presiding Bishop to a brokenhearted “huh?”
Resolution B033 was passed at the Episcopal General Convention charging “Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life [meaning homosexuals] presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion
.” (insertion & italics mine) . I have worn myself out this week reading all the discussions and debate. I can honestly say that I see both sides although I do not pretend to grasp all the intricacies involved. I do not judge those who forged this resolution nor do I condemn those who voted for it. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for all involved.
On a purely personal level, I would like to say that I grieve. It’s hard to express why, beyond the obvious that is.
I read this quote from Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham Jail (found in the comment section of “Father Jake Stops the World” by “Mike in Texas”—sorry that I haven’t figured out how to link stuff yet):
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
I cannot help but wonder if we will look back and say, “My God, what have we done?” because we will have realized that we mistakenly tried to set the timetable for another’s freedom and justice, thinking our lukewarm and shallow acceptance was all that was required or even necessary.
But as I was reminded in a sermon this last Sunday, God is still in control and we do not yet see how this time will be used to further the movement and purpose of the Spirit. I do not see it or understand it, so I grieve. I think God understands.