Saturday, August 02, 2008

Outside the Box

Today, I've been glued to the blogosphere, looking for reports from this next-to-last day of the Lambeth Conference. Now that I read what has happened, I am deeply troubled. But I wrote this last night, still in a spirit of hope and optimism, intending to give it one final edit before posting it. I post it now, despite my sorrow, followed by a postscript.

= = = =

[Hat-tip to The Lead, which reports on blogging bishops, and deep thanks to Ann Fontaine who has been scouring the blogosphere to give us summaries and highlights.]

+Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona, reports on an "optional" session held during Lambeth on ideas for staying together. He says it was mostly a re-hash of old positions, but two bishops offered a new idea:

Two of our bishops (Reeves of Camino Reale [sic] and Rivera of Olympia) offered a great plan based on relationship rather than doctrine. They called for a "rule of life" in which we would meet more often, pray for each other, and enter into supportive missionary relationships. But both being women, their proposal did not get very far.

I liked the story they included, even though it failed to get the attention most of of [sic] the old men:

Joan Chittister, in speaking of the nature of a Rule of Life, tells the story of someone who visited a huge sheep station in South Australia. After driving the vast expanse of the ranch, the visitor asked the rancher, "I see you have herds of livestock all over your ranch, but you have no fences. How do you keep your sheep on the ranch? The rancher responded simply, "We have wells."

The moral of the story – let's concentrate on offering things that will draw people to church, instead of putting up barriers to keep us apart.

I'm with Bishop Kirk Smith, and I appreciate this story. Instead of building fences, let us drill deep wells.

The refuseniks have their darlings: Akinola, Orombi, Nzimbi, etc. They keep harping on segregation and fundamentalism. I appreciate this different model offered by Bishops Reeves and Rivera, and I hope it might gain some traction.

= = = =

As I said, I wrote that last night. Today, as far as I can see, there is absolutely no will among the majority of bishops at Lambeth truly to think and act "outside the box." It will remain power politics as usual. The demonizing of the Episcopal Church and gay/lesbian people will continue. Episcopi vagantes will continue to be hailed as "orthodox" "men [sic] of conscience."

But still, I wanted to highlight this creative offer from two of our bishops.


Blogger Roberta Grey said...

It is wonderful to know that my former rector Nedi Rivera has not let the "wearing of the purple" cloud her sweet spirit and that she is still not afraid to let her voice be heard! From our small little congregation at St. George's, Salinas to her time at St. Aiden's in San Francisco, she has always promoted the full acceptance and love of ALL of God's children, no matter the circumstances! From the gender wars (where one of her major opponents was her own father)diversity in culture clashes to sexuality issues she has always walked the path of tolerence and understanding. Lets hope that somebody listens!

8/03/2008 10:26 AM  
Blogger Yankee_Fan_At_Fenway said...

Thank you for the sheep story! And thank you for continuing to write despite the sadness we in the GLBT community feel.

8/03/2008 12:09 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Roberta, whenever I read of her, I think of your stories and your joy.

YankeeFan, somehow we have to keep in touch with our joy, no matter what others say about us. I don't know about you, but I am in a healthy diocese. Despite the slings and arrows "they" try to launch against us.

8/09/2008 1:03 AM  

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