Saturday, July 29, 2006

After Columbus

At Telling Secrets: After Columbus, Elizabeth Kaeton posted a powerful essay that summarized to me much of the pain and hurt we're facing in the aftermath of Columbus. As she said there, there's no telling how people are suffering after GC's passage of resolution B033. In the comments section of her blog, I told this story. I also share it here.

Coming from a most powerful time in the Eucharist and coffee-hour conversations at Trinity on Sunday -- which had helped me to see that I must come back to TEC, whatever the hurt -- this encounter was a sobering, tear-sparking one.

After Columbus, and because of Columbus, I took a sabbatical from TEC. But I found myself in the city after a month, in which was a marvelous Spirit-filled church (and Oasis parish) I had visited a couple of times before. I thought this might be just the moment to return to TEC, and I did -- but wearing my brand-spanking new t-shirt that says, "My manner of life is a challenge to the wider church." It was a good day.

Then I stopped in at a Starbucks, before starting the 2+ hour drive home, and the young man (college-age, I'd guess) at the register saw my shirt as I approached the counter. He didn't even greet me as he obviously, slowly read my t-shirt.

Then he looked up to my face, greeted me, and sadly said, "Episcopalian?" Yes, I returned with similar sadness.

"I had never gone to church, but I just found the Episcopal Church a year ago," he told me quietly. "I thought I'd found a home. But I don't go anymore, after Columbus."

After Columbus.

And I stood there with tears welling up. As was he. But I needed to say something, to encourage him that it is our home. But I couldn't do it with much firm conviction. I simply said, "I know. Today was my first day back. I had to wear this shirt for armor. But it's hard. It's hard."

Then we shook off the tears, he got my latte, and as I left, I said again, "But please try to come back."

This is the way the gays leave.
This is the way the gays leave.
Not with a bang, but a wimper.

4 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Lisa,

Well, I finally got here to read your blog. Thanks so much for taking the risk to write what is in your heart and on your mind.

Thank you, too, for pointing me to the Site Meter. I have discovered that you can actually track the comments.

I did so with one Dn. Phil Snyder of Plano, Tx who has an amazingly snarky site called STAND FIRM.

I was pretty clear that I was being baited and the connection from the site meter proved my hunches to be absolutely correct.

This is all to give you a warning - there are a lot of slimy creatures out there - really pathetic individuals who love to 'bottom feed' on the distress in the church.

Say your prayers, work hard for justice and when all else fails, may you find the comfort promised by your faith.

8/01/2006 8:43 PM  
Blogger ... said...

Elizabeth+, Lisa:

It would appear that the collective crowd over at Stand Firm and those who contribute to it are cut of the same snarky cloth. I've read some of the content and its the same, tired, worn arguments. And as Jake commented elsewhere, when they have nothing to say, they just grab a post from one of the blogs they dislike and mount it for target practice. The derisive tone that they displayed regarding Lisa's encounter with the young man at Starbucks was just one classic example (see the full pile of dung over at Kraalspace) of cold, hardened and most un-Christlike souls. They seem to revel in turning people away from God's table.

While not surprising, its still sad. If scism means that our beloved church loses this element, then why should I work for unity?

-J

8/03/2006 3:45 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Lisa,

We're on opposite sides of the fence but I do want you to know that I am sorry that you feel so badly.

God Bless you,

Bill

8/03/2006 5:16 PM  
Blogger Pat Greene said...

I was dealing with the death of my sister-in-law, so did not follow GC06 as closely as I would have otherwise. I was elated at the election of Katherine Jeffords-Schori, of course, and was so relieved at the rejection of A161 that I did not pay much attention to B033. I wish I had.

I wrote about Rowan William's suggestion to subdivide the Communion a week later. One of the things I've struggled with is holding on to a belief that we can continue to bring people in at the parish level and do good work in bringing all people to God regardless of what the wider church is doing. It's hard.

We just ordained a transitional deacon who is a lesbian in a long-term committed relationship. Thinking of how she must be feeling in the wake of GC06 is painful.

I'm glad you decided to go back.

8/06/2006 2:36 PM  

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