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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Hey, kids! Really big doings today!

That's what Mickey used to say at the top of the hour of my favorite childhood TV Program, "The Mickey Mouse Club.

The EWC Legislative Team met at 6:30 AM (I actually got the guys at the little but very pricey coffee shop at the Hilton to make me a poached egg on English muffin - no potatoes, no meat - for $6.00. That's cheap here. One of our team ordered whole wheat toast the other day and was charged $7).

Then came hearings on Church Structure at 7 AM. Of special concern was their proposal to dismantle the Committee on the Status of Women. Marge Christie did her usual brilliant job of putting the issue in historical context so we might be better informed in our decision making for our present and future.

The daily press briefing is at 8:45 AM which is always filled with helpful information. Neva Rae Fox is doing a good job of keeping things flowing, allowing for questions but moving things along when some of our more "orthodox" brethren rather brazenly tried to ambush Bishop Frede about "Father Cute".

Clearly, some were scratching for a fight or to unloosen a careless remark that might lend itself well to being repeated out of context. Neva stopped that right quick.

I'm on my way to the 11:30 Eucharist where the Archbishop of Canterbury will be leading the "Bible Study" portion of it.

At 1 PM is a Brown Bag Lunch sponsored by The Chicago Consultation with speakers Dr. Jenny Te Paa and the Rev. Canon Dr. Jane Shaw. You can catch them on a great video about B033 at The Lead.

At 2 PM the the Prayerbook, Liturgy and Music Committee will hold an open hearing on resolutions related to the blessing of same-sex unions. They want those who are speakers to arrive at 1 PM to sign in.

You don't have to be insane to survive General Convention but it helps.

The House of Deputies has approved the Special Order of Business to meet as a Committee of the Whole on Thursday, July 9 at 5 pm. The session will be devoted to a presentation about the issues at hand and to facilitated conversation between deputies.

In between these two Committee of the Whole sessions, the World Mission Committee will hold an open hearing on Thursday, July 9 at 8 pm to consider resolutions related to B033.

I'm watching my time in the gym disappear before my very eyes.

Other than that, kids, it's just business as usual.

Or, as Mickey might say, "It's real swell!"

If I get to speak tonight at the World Mission Committee Hearing, this is what I plan to say. It's part of today's edition of ISSUES. You can read the whole thing here along with some great articles by Ed Rodman and Katie Sherrod.


I wish to make a plea here for a change in language that keeps us focused on the issue before the church, at least, as LGBT people understand it.

LGBT people are not - I repeat NOT - asking the church to bless our same sex relationships.
We are asking the church for the same thing afforded to 'opposite sex' (to quote the former Ms. California) relationships. We are asking the church to bless the COVENANTS we make between each other.

That's it. That's all.

With all due respect, 'opposite sex' couples do not ask the church to bless their relationship. Neither are those of us who are 'same sex' couples.

With all due respect, we are not asking for your approval of our relationship, just as 'opposite sex' couples do not ask for approval of their relationships (even though the statistics prove that 50% of them will end in divorce).

With all due respect, we are not asking you to welcome us in any other special ways than you welcome 'opposite sex' couples into your congregations.

With all due respect, we are not asking you to make us members of the church or even to 'accept' us as full and equal members of the church. Our baptism already does that. We are already 'included' in the Household of God. We are asking you to recognize that fact and act accordingly.

This is not in the same category as blessing hounds, boats, motorcycles, vestments or religious jewelry.

We are asking the church to bless the COVENANTS we make between each other for faithful, life-long monogamy in a relationship marked by mutual respect, equality, fidelity and the holy love that is a reflection of the love of God.

Thank you.


Muthah+ said...

"You don't have to be insane to survive General Convention but it helps."

As it says in I Cor--we all have different gifts. We
DO appreciate your insanity. We lift it up and give thanks for it! You do it so WELL!

The women have always been considered insane--but it is an important insanity--it gets things done.

David said...

Praying here you get to speak truth to power this evening dear Elizabeth.

Never mind Ms. California. How about calling it what it is gender-dissonant as opposed to same-gender. And those gender-dissonant marriages which don't last? Well I guess they'd be gender-discordant, wouldn't they.

just a thought


Lindy said...

I hope you get to say all that!

Paul (A.) said...

Today's Center Aisle has yet another article asserting that The Episcopal Church should "stop presuming a theology of blessing and actually develop one."

You'll never find out about something if you never bother to read the books.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, Lord. It's just a newer, younger, more earnest version of "but we haven't done the theology yet" which we've heard since 1973.


Joel said...

I completely agree with you on "Acceptance" Elizabeth!! Just one extra thought. After 28 years of marriage, I still see my Love's and I's "covenant" not just between us two, but between us and the Church, the physical living communion-ity which "holds-it-in-being" reminding us of who we as a couple are in Christ and reminding the Church Who it is in our life-together-sign." The Christian Covenant, that is, the One and Only Covenant of the Church, of Christ, is Trinity. The or any Christian Covenant in this world is always Trinitarian, never, ever, between the two of the "couple." As the Babylonias say, "marriage is between two..." So, not at all arguing, just singing with you, another verse. I fear however politics will win and so one or another side will "win" (the other "lose") or a consensus of both will win and so all will lose the very thing we already unacceptingly have and yet keeping looking for. I hope I am wrong.