I wanted to share something that has been happening in my world. I haven’t had much time to blog lately because I am under a deadline for my newest book, Dismantling Injustice: A Disorderly Parable of the Song of Songs, which is due to my publisher March 15 and is scheduled to be published August 1. So here is a quicky…
As many of you know, one of the reasons that I became Episcopalian was that afters years of prayer over the matter, I had come to share the Episcopalian decision to intentionally embrace, in full inclusion within the church, all of God’s children including my gay brothers and sisters. Our presiding bishop, Bishop Curry, said it this way,
Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.
However, last week, the Episcopal church was suspended from the Anglican Communion for our decision to perform same sex marriages. The Anglican Communion is the koinonia or fellowship of all Anglican “denominations” worldwide. It was a sad decision, not just because it will deeply hurt those who are gay, but also because it threatens another reason that I became Episcopalian which was their history of intentionally worshiping together despite theological disagreements.
From the very earliest days of the Anglican church, it was founded on the principal that men and women of good conscious could disagree on important matters, but still pray and worship together.
My friend, Father Tom Kennar, who is a priest in the Church of England, posted these wise words to me after the decision to suspend us:
I personally can’t understand why it was necessary to suspend TEC… I had hoped for a more mature response solution, something that helped the Provinces to remain in fellowship while agreeing to differ. We are normally the experts of compromise (and have much to teach the world about how to live together while disagreeing). But, in a debate which is heavily dominated by competing societal norms, it seems that the Communion has chosen another societal norm… the language of conflict and exclusion. A sad day for ALL Anglicans, wherever we stand on the issue of sexuality. You’re still my Sister in Christ, though… Whatever our media-driven leaders say!
Like my friend, I am saddened that the church has failed to demonstrate to the world that we can still praise God together while disagreeing.
This morning, I stumbled across a video from Bishop Curry, who is the Presiding Bishop (head) of the Episcopal Church. In it, he is commenting on the Episcopal Church’s suspension from the Anglican Communion . I love that he calls us to be “the Jesus Movement.” If you haven’t read his book, “Crazy Christians”, you’d like it! Enjoy the video. I am so very proud to be a part of this denomination!
April describes herself as a Red Letter Christian who writes about scripture and spiritual disciplines. See her latest book, James in the Suburbs: The Disorderly Parable of the Epistle of James. You can follow her blog by clicking on the three stripes in the upper right hand of this page and scrolling down.