Thursday, June 22, 2006

B-033: Hoping For Unseen Things

Regarding B-033.

The House of Deputies had only 30 minutes to debate and discuss before voting. Some agree that if the vote had been taken after lunch, the outcome would have been very much different.

My theory is that this particular issue was held until the very last moment, when the HD was the most exhausted, most worn down and then it was literally rammed through by the HB or at least part of them, and those in the HD that just wanted to be done regardless of the cost to anyone but themselves. I am only speculating because I was not there, but it is the sense that I get when reviewing all the notices, dispatches and bulletins. Next time this issue better be at the forefront and that we brook no delays in its determination.

As for ++Katharine. Please do not judge her too harshly with this one situation. There is a strategy in hand and though we may not be very keen on it, we do need to get to Lambeth and have her presence made known, acknowledged, accepted and carried through so she may gain the necessary leverage back here to tame the radical right who would see our American church reduced to nothing but discriminatory, selective membership.

So I urge you who are discouraged: we have gained a very powerful and progressive ally in ++Katharine. Let the Holy Spirit continue to work, though we may not understand it now, it will become clear later.

As for those who feel abandoned, you are far from it. This is exactly how the other side wants us--helpless and abandoned, hoping we who believe in the full inclusion of all the baptized will skulk off to our little closets and stay there.

Let me remind all who feel this way that we are to "hope for that which is unseen, not for that which is seen," because we already have that, and we can't let go of it.

And it may be hard to fathom now, but "all things WILL work together for good, to those who are called according to His purpose," and we are called and will be there to answer it. There is much to hope for, my brothers and sisters, much. The Holy Spirit inspired the hearts of the bishops to bring us ++Katharine, and she will be God's instrument. Sometimes we have to take one step back to take three forward. I will reiterate: she must be invited, acknowledged and accepted at Lambeth in order to deliver a concrete message to the radical right and show the Communion that she cannot and will not be contained or "put in her place" according to their legalistic thinking. The God they worship is not the God or Christ or Holy Spirit that I know personally and that Scripture has revealed, and in who's Name I was baptized.

As for the election of our new PB, it is truly a good time in life to be named Katharine, however it may be spelled. And as hers and my name come from the Greek, may the cleansing and purging of hatred, loathing, narrow-mindedness, poverty, homelessness be "cleansed and purged" as much as humanly possible under +Katharine's guidance. And she will guide us as the Spirit of God will her in leading us. She will need our prayers and support in every quarter to make her the most effective and enlightening PB we have ever had in our history.

It is time to move forward and decide just how we are going to personally and individually fufill the mission of reconciliation in the Church [notice how unspecific I am???], and how what we do each day affects and reduces poverty, homelessness, conflict, war, genocide, helps those recovering from natural disasters, and the like. Let's try to reconcile these needs with what we can do to prevent and remedy them today. And it is our mission also to reconcile with our conservative brothers and sisters. They are listening whether is shows or not. Eventually we will get through to them.

So there is much hope, as long as we continue to do the work of Christ every day and remember that there is "NO TURNING BACK!" from the course that has been set by the efforts ++Katharine Jefferts Schori, Rev. Susan Russell and Integrity, Michael Hopkins, Bishop Chane and the B033 Dissenters, and many, many others, who care deeply for all the baptized and will give no quarter until the work is accomplished and Christ's mandate for all the baptized is realized.


Will Byrd said...

Dear Catherine ... such a healing and encouraging voice and message. You are so right, and perhaps what surely appears to be a step backward means three steps forward when it comes to ++Katharine being able to make the difference. You reminded me of yet another scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 when God promises to give his children a future FILLED with hope .. for God KNOWS the plans He has in store for each of us.
Blessing and Love, Will

Songbird said...

Catherine, that is beautifully felt and written. Many things happen in large denominational meetings that are influenced by pure and simple human exhaustion, and that is a pity.

Jeff Martinhauk said...


Let's hope that we can all move beyond yesterday to focus on tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Lovely, positive site.

Thanks for it. Going to look up Jer. 29.11 now ! :-)

Catherine + said...

this is the verse that Will Byrd referenced to save you all from flipping pages...

Jeremiah 29:11 (Contemporary English Version)

11 "I will bless you with a future filled with hope--a future of success, not of suffering."