I think it is fairly amazing that the Episcopal Church in America has been challenging fundamentalism since 1789. I mean, think about. [Pausing to do the requested thinking....] OK! Pretty amazing, huh? And we are still at it today, more so than ever before.
When you consider all that is coming to the threshing floor at the 75th General Convention in Columbus, Ohio, it can be fairly overwhelming, unless of course, you have been maintaining a rigorous reading schedule, have visited your opthamalogist frequently because your vision keeps changing [and our Vision does keep changing doesn't it?], because everyone is bringing different kinds of "grain" to the floor for the triennial threshing, to winnow the sustaining grain from the bothersome chaff.
And this grain, the grain which should be born of the fruit of the Spirit, unifying Grace, and unconditional Love, will eventually be ground down and kneaded, over and over by many different hands to hopefully create the bread of life for our spiritual sustenance and healing reconciliation with those who join us there, and with whom we actually have more in common than we do differences. This is not to minimize the critical and sensitive issues at hand facing all of us during this Convention.
More so, it is to emphasize the need for setting aside narrow legalistic judgments and instead turn to the fulfillment of all that came before, and has been, and is unified in Christ: He who is the fulfillment of the Law, the unconditional love and acceptance of all the baptized in Him. This prayed for compromise, that does not relegate the burden of success or failure upon the shoulders of the currently excluded and the marginalized of the Church, namely our LGBT brothers and sisters in Christ.
It is necessary to review our history as a church in these United States to realize that we are far from finishing our challenge to fundamentalism within our denomination. And as important as equality for the baptized is, we must also remember that there are other issues that beg our attention and should receive due treatment. If only our "Anglican orthodox" brethern would expend and reinvent their legalistic energy to the overcoming of poverty, discrimination, poor education, delayed rebuilding of the post-Katrina South, and reaching out to all as Christ bid us do, then the scapegoating and vilifying of our LGBT members would hopefully end as part of the overall mission.
We need to pray, and diligently, for everyone: every deputy, every alternate, every bishop, every priest, every committee, every interest group, whether we agree with their views or not, because the time is now for unity, constancy and peace.
Light a candle daily, burn incense so that our prayers for this General Convention will go up as the incense to God, pray the Episcopal rosary [I thank my priest/counselor friend in Maryland for bringing this blessing to me!], meet together for the Octave of Prayer, send encouraging and hopefilled messages to your deputation that God's will shall be done, not ours in its finiteness.
Love your neighbor, whether you agree with him or her, or not. Witness to the churched and unchurched that we can overcome our worldly differences as well as our opinions of God. Most of all, love the God who made us, and loves us and travels this potholed road with us in the coming days. Amen.