Saturday, November 15, 2008
If you can't sing it, well, I will . . .
Well, it's official.
The Diocese of Fort Worth has left The Episcopal Church.
Here's the full story from ENS.
The full text of Bishop Iker's convention address can be read here.
Katie Sherrod has been faithfully blogging away at Desert's Child.
I won't link to the ultra-orthodox, uber-Christian blogs. You know where to find them. I wore out my kevlar vest and asbestos sneakers on my last visit there and I haven't had time to replace them.
I have been reflecting on the election of Jack Leo Iker as bishop of Fort Worth, TX. I had just come into the Diocese of Newark and was asked to join a group of women who were protesting his election, specifically, and Jack Spong's tie-breaker vote for him (despite the negative vote from his Standing Committee) in the House of Bishops.
The Bishop of Newark, true Liberal that he is, explained his vote at the time by saying words I'll never forget: "If there's room in the House of Bishops for someone like Jack Spong, there's room in the House of Bishops for Jack Iker."
It was in that moment that I knew I was not a Liberal. I am a Progressive Christian.
I love Jack Spong, but I thought he was wrong then and I think time has proven that to have been a correct assessment. The House of Bishops could have only big big enough for someone like Jack Leo Iker if there were an addition added for women who are bishops.
With a lock on the door to the men's side.
And, Jack Iker had the key.
I am sad for the pain and turmoil in The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and all those faithful Episcopalians who will try, against formidable odds, to stay and rebuild the Episcopal presence there.
The Episcopal Diocese of the Southern Cone, under the direction of Jack Leo Iker, will try to take the diocesean property that no longer belongs to them. There will be court battles they know they will lose, but they already have the conservative oil money in the bank.
From the depths of their great Christian love and charity, they will try to kill The Episcopal Church with death by a thousand legal paper cuts.
They also have the money to rebuild their own churches. That's not the point. They'll do that after they make The Episcopal Church bleed green.
So, you'll forgive me for not being gracious. You'll forgive me for not weeping and moaning and wailing and gnashing my teeth.
There is plenty of that in the Via Media Fort Worth. They have worked very hard to be kind and civil and Christian.
Me? I'm with Ray Charles and the ladies.
I understand from Katie's Blog that someone played a tape of this song after the vote results were revealed. That was neither the time nor the place for that. This is.
I think, eventually, even the members of the Via Media Fort Worth will come to see that this was the best thing that could have happened for them - as well as their "orthodox" brothers and sisters.
And, they will sing with me. Eventually. Not tonight. I understand. But, eventually.
This too, shall pass. And all will be well. In all manner of things, said St. Julian, all will be well.
Until then, hit it Ray . . .