I did not expect either of those resolutions to make it through both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops in this General Convention. I was downright pessimistic. But both houses surprised and delighted me.
Now that they have, I find myself in a place of peace and gratitude and quiet.
It is over, at last. The chips will fall where they may, as the Primates and other loud voices of the Anglican Communion react. But I give thanks that we did not let our church be held hostage to those reactive voices.
I give deep thanks to the deputies and bishops who voted for those resolutions in such overwhelming numbers.
Of course, I find myself thinking back to 2006 and the resolutions that broke my heart. I spoke and ranted and grieved here quite publicly. And certain conservative sites linked here and derided me. They guffawed at my pain and disappointment, and used my blog for target practice. They jeered at my grief. I am not going to do the same ... for I understand the pain.
You know what? There is not a bit of triumphalism in my heart as General Convention adjourns this evening. Given what I experienced in 2006, I feel great sympathy for those who came down on the losing side in 2009. I can imagine some of the pain they feel. And I bet I know the kind of frustration and anger that some of those sites are projecting. I’m now going over there now. Tomorrow, I will visit and see what they are saying.
In 2006, I believed that the majority had spoken against my understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was heartbroken. I do not believe I called the majority “heretics” or “apostates” or any of those names. If memory serves, I simply spoke of my grief that they had rejected a portion of God’s people. I took a brief “sabbatical” from the Episcopal Church, then I came home to my parish and continued to pray and work for change and progress in our church.
In these last few days of GC2009, the votes have gone in the ways that I hoped they might. The Bishops have astonished me! I am happy that the Bishops and Deputies have spoken where we are, in hopes that we can now move forward.
But still … I remember how desperately grieved I felt after 2006. And I know some people are feeling a similar grief after 2009. I have read some of the blogs from the conservative side of our church, and I know they are hurting. I have been tempted to comment on some of those blogs, but then I read that they think that any word from someone like me will feel patronizing or condescending.
I pray that we can move forward together ... eventually. I hope we can together “march in the light of God” one of these days.
I thought I would post a big "ALLELUIA" if our Bishops and Deputies moved forward on the resolutions that mattered to me. To my surprise, I find myself grateful but subdued ... because I understand some of the pain that those on "the other side" must be feeling.