Sunday, June 11, 2006
Prayers for the Episcopal Church
When you go to the home page of the Episcopal Church, you would hardly know that they were about to hold their General Convention and you would certainly not know that it may be roiled with controversy about sexual orientation.
At the last General Convention three years ago, the House of Bishops voted to elect the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as Bishop of New Hampshire. At this convention, there will be a series of votes on issues related to sexuality, but perhaps the most important vote will be the vote for the new presiding Bishop of the EC in the United States.
The current Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Frank T. Griswold, has been a strong supporter of sexual justice. In fact, the Religious Institute is proud that he was one of the earliest supporters of our "Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing." There is a wonderful article in Sunday's New York Times on Bishop Griswold, which quotes him in part as saying:
"God's truth is always unfolding. If we can accept that there are new truths that science brings us, or new discoveries in medicine, why is it when it comes to sexuality, there is no new truth...a number of those most upset...have enjoyed the mercy of the church in the case of their own divorce and remarriage, which is something Jesus commented on."
Seven candidates are running to succeed Bishop Griswold -- four voted for Bishop Robinson, three did not. Let us pray for our colleagues and friends at the General Convention that God's grace prevails and that there will be an affirmation not a reversal of full inclusion for all.
P.S. I'm delighted to tell you that Mother Jones has reprinted my editorial on why progressive religious leaders must speak out on sexual justice. I'm off to speak in Guelph, Canada on Monday and Tuesday, and will be back with a new post on Wednesday.