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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

You are only as sick as your secrets


Well, there are secrets and then there are secrets, eh?

There are secrets that ought not be secret. Indeed, it just doesn't make any sense to keep them secret - you know, like, oh, say, the membership of the special Theology Committee of the House of Bishops - unless, of course, something sinister is going on.

Even if nothing sinister is going on, the fact that the constellation of the membership of the HOB Theology Committee is a secret makes it seem as if something sinister is going on - or, at least, intended.

Well, Lisa Fox over at My Manner of Life, has discovered the identity of eight of the ten members.

You can get all the information by clicking the link above, but here they are:

Co-facilitators:

* The Rt. Rev. Joe G. Burnett, Bishop of Nebraska
* Ellen Charry, Princeton Theological Seminary

Members:

* Deirdre J. Good, General Theological Seminary
* Willis Jenkins, Yale Divinity School
* The Rev. Grant LeMarquand, Trinity School for Ministry
* Eugene Rogers, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
* The Rev. George Sumner, Wycliffe College, Toronto
* The Rev. Daniel A. Westberg of Nashotah House

Now, for pity's sake, what was all the cloak and dagger secrecy about?

I mean, all they're doing is writing a report. They are not trying to put out a consensus document. They do not intend to propose "a way forward." They are simply charged to make theological statements – one pro and one con – about same-sex relationships in the life of our church.

That's it. That's all. Just another report. Thank you. Done.

Sheesh!

But wait! There's more!

ENS (Episcopal News Service) is reporting another "secret" meeting at General Convention.

Are you ready for this? Hold onto your hats, kids. Here it is:

Sometime during July 7 - 9, there will be a meeting between the Archbishop of Canterbury and eight LGBT deputies.

They are:
* the Rev. Michael Barlow, Diocese of California.
* Louie Crew, Diocese of Newark;
* the Rev. Canon Lisa Gray, Diocese of Michigan;
* the Rev. Tobias Haller BSG, Diocese of New York;
* Joanne O'Donnell, Diocese of Los Angeles;
* the Rev. Altagracia Perez, Diocese of Los Angeles;
* Rebecca Snow, Diocese of Alaska; and
* Michael Spencer, Diocese of Eastern Michigan.

Yes way!

Now, before you get your tighty-whities in a knot, this is not a 'secret' meeting.

This is a 'private' meeting.

BIG DIFFERENCE.

Here's a quote from ENS:

Barlowe said that he and the other deputies understood the meeting was to be brief and private, but that it was not a secret.

"It's not a summit or constituted in an official way," he said. "We don't expect to issue a communiqué or anything like that."

Instead, Barlowe said, he hopes the meeting will be a chance for dialogue and a chance for Williams to hear about the ministries of eight Episcopalians whose "significant fundamental characteristic" is "our deep love for the Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion." The eight deputies' lives reflect the broad range of ministry of all Episcopalians, he said.

This is an opportunity for the Archbishop of Canterbury to ACTUALLY sit and talk with - and hopefully listen to - the real life incarnation of 'the issue' that is such a deal-breaker in the Anglican Communion.

This is the first time "officially" that this will have happened. Goodness knows that +++Rowan has met countless times with the former Bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Pittsburgh, not to mention the former rector of an Episcopal Church in Truro, VA, as well as others from around the communion who have had his ear about their perspective of 'the issue".

But, +++Himself has not met "officially", albeit "privately" with any LGBT people.

Personally.

Privately.

In the flesh, as it were.

Can I just say? IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME!!!

I'm a big devotee of the Incarnation. Indeed, as I have preached from my pulpit and written on this blog, I think it is the central most important doctrine of Christianity.

If you don't believe in the Incarnation, well, you really can't call yourself a Christian, can you? I mean, what's the point? Jesus would then be just a really wise man who taught a way of life like the Buddha or Gandhi or . . . well, you get what I'm saying.

When we see and meet the Christ in each other, something changes. When we honor and respect the Christ in each other, it can be transformative.

That's no secret. That's what our faith teaches us.

We are to live our faith boldly, out loud, in the light, as witnesses to Christ's unconditional love for all human kind which he demonstrated on the cross - a decidedly public act.

Whew! All this even before General Convention has begun.

Fasten your seat belts, kids. It's going to be a very interesting ride to Anaheim.

7 comments:

David said...

dear Elizabeth
please allow the foreigner (me) to ask the dumb questions.

why only eight LGBT deputies?
is someone trying to suggest there will only be eight out LGBT deputies at Anaheim?

when the meeting is already foreseen as being 'short' and 'private' I worry about it having being as empty a gesture as the 1 hour Millenium Walk at Lambeth 2008; shorter than either the lunch at ++Rowan's or tea with her Magesty.

this is not a time for empty gestures thank-you ++Rowan.

David@Montreal

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, this is the first time - despite his "Listening Process" - that +++Himself has condescended to have a face to face meeting with LGBT people from TEC, so that fact is a HUGE victory.

I suspect that eight was the number chosen in order to (1) achieve gender parity, (2) balance in clergy-lay ration, (3) as near as I can see, there are gay men, lesbians, and a bisexual woman who is married with kids. There may not be a deputy who is transgender and (4) enough representation to have a chance and good dialogue but not too many so that the ABC can't focus and therefore not really hear.

It may not be a gesture as full as you or I would like to see, but I don't think it's empty. We shall see after the meeting.

Jim said...

I wish I could be as hopeful as you write. I suspect the PR heat over 'talking about them instead of to them' finally got to him or his staff or (this is my hunch) the PB. Do I hope he finally begins to get a clue -- sure. Do I expect it? Two words: Jeffery John.

This is a man who reads, "greater love has no man than he lays down his life for his friends" and responds by laying down his friend for his career. Here we have two primates, one with B033's crucified places and the other with Fr. John on their hands. Sorry but I am not real hopeful.

FWIW
jimB

David said...

Watching all this cautiously from Canada, I don't know all of the eight, so personally I'm backing saint Louie Crew, and only hope he dresses appropriately- takes along that hot pink feather boa perhaps and uses it as saint Louie sure knows how to do.

thanks Elizabeth
hugs

David@Montreal

Lindy said...

If the members of the secret committee would have outed themselves that little drama would have ended weeks ago and deprived Mr. Paisley of his power game. I am really quite put out about it.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I know, Lindy. I know.

Lapinbizarre said...

Louie Crew meets Rowan Williams. Going to be some heavy carpet chewing at SF.