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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Herstory is made in LA!

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles made herstory yesterday in electing the Rev'd Cn. Diane Bruce as its first woman Bishop Suffragan.

It made herstory again today when it elected the Rev'd Cn. Mary Glasspool as its second woman Bishop Suffragan.

She is also the first to be able to be an honestly, open, self-affirming lesbian woman in the House of Bishops.

The field of candidates was absolutely stellar, including my dear friend, Rev'd John Kirkley of San Francisco, the Rev'd Zelda Kennedy of All Saint's, Pasadena, the Rev'd Sylvestre Romero of San Jose, CA, and the Rev'd Irineo Matir Vasquez of Hawthorne, CA.

I must say, however, that while the church would have been enormously enriched by any two of these wonderful candidates, I am, I confess, absolutely 'over the moon' that these two women have been elected to the House of Bishops to serve in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

It's been a long time since we have elected a woman to the 'junior house' - so, to elect TWO is pretty amazing.  That one should be a person of God's Rainbow Tribe is, well, for me, unspeakable joy.

What a great day for the church!  For our baptismal vows!  For all those who really believe St. Paul when he told the church that, in our baptism in Christ Jesus, there "is no male or female, no Jew or Greek, no slave or free . . . . we are all one in Christ."

You know, I can't really say much more than that.

I can only weep great, bit, fat tears of joy- that I would live to see this day.

Oh, glory.  Oh, glory.

Glory, glory Hallelujah!


Margery said...

What a wonderful day! Step by tiny step we're heading toward the finish line! Congrats to both priests!

PseudoPiskie said...

A great day, indeed! I wonder if Lawrence will decide that this is a national duty the Dio of SC should be involved with. You know what Love(less) will do. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

What a GREAT day it was! I am so proud to be an Episcopalian!

Kirk Petersen said...

Wonderful news -- another step in the right direction. Now if we can just get marriage equality passed in NJ...

Marcia King said...

Listen. Do you hear it? Probably not. The sound is probably obscured by the noise from your celebratory bells. That sound in the background is the fabric of the Anglican Communion tearing again.

This news out of LA is not good, as these posts would imply. It will cause further division, loss of membership, and is not a witness to the Christian faith as delivered to the apostles. No. It is a sad day and unlike others on this site, I am not proud to be Episcopalian today. By the way, the bells you hear are reminiscent of the poem by Poe: mournful and heartbreaking.

textjunkie said...

Whoo hoo!! ::happy dance::

Erika Baker said...

She will need so much prayer and support to cope with the vitriol that will come her way from now on. What a courageous woman.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

A wonderful day indeed!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

The Gospel on the move ;=)

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, Marcia, truth, happiness and joy - like beauty - are all in the eye of the beholder.

I'm truly sorry you feel this way. As for schism, well, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I fear you're a little late to the party. According to folks on the right, it's happened so many times, I've lost count. 2000? 2003? 2006? I don't know, I lose count

If recent events are any indication, there will be a raised eyebrow from Lambeth Palace, then some spin, then a yawn, and we'll move on.

Cameron Partridge said...

So, so happy about this election, and I just pray we get the consents. And to your reply re: the various schisms we can of course add 1974/6 as well-- truly, the beat goes on. : )

Caminante said...

No, no, Elizabeth. Schism already happened back in 1976 when those pesky ordinations were regularised (sad smile).

As for these oft-trotted out words, 'the Christian faith delivered to the apostles,' there is stuff even in that we no longer respect or observe. I know they have become the protective mantra of those who are not happy with what TEC is up to but they aren't going to hold back the Holy Spirit making all things new.

Elaine C. said...

Well, there was some upset and small groups of people leaving the church over the changes in the prayer book, both when we adopted the 1928 & the 1979. There was upset over the ordination of women as priests, and bishops ...

As a matter of fact, most of the people who immigrated to this continent from England and Europe were religious dissenters breaking away ... it seems to be human nature.

I spent a portion of my morning listening to one angry hurting woman -- who refused to take communion because she was so upset. She could list many, many of these changes as times she's "nearly" left the church -- because it is going the wrong way. I feel her pain, it so fills her life that there is no room within her for anything else ... its very sad

Marcia King said...

Thanks for posting my comment, Elizabeth. Was almost surprised to see it since it draws fire and dilutes the general happiness felt by many of this site.

Not sure why someone would view the grief of the woman in her church so lightly or the statement regarding our faith as delivered to the early church as irrelevant. But for what it's worth, (and for most on this site, I doubt his comments are meaningful even though his office is one of the instruments of unity) here is what the Archbishop of Canterbury has to say about Rev Glasspool's election:

Anglican Communion News Service
Archbishop of Canterbury's Statement on Los Angeles Episcopal Elections
Posted On : December 6, 2009 9:54 AM | Posted By : Webmaster
Related Categories: ACO Lambeth
The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.

The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.

The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, Marcia, you couldn't possibly dilute the happiness felt by those on this site. We've come too far and know too much, now, six years after the election of +Gene.

Oh, did the ABC say something? Yawn? He's still acting like an arrogant ruler of the colonies. It's so rich that he accuses Americans of being neo-colonialists in Africa when he doesn't hesitate to try and rule TEC from Lambeth Palace.

Wake me up when he has something important to say - oh, like, say . .. the proposed genocide of LGBT people in Uganda.

Yeah, like that's gonna happen any time soon. Doesn't want to appear to be a ruler of the colonies.

Czarina said...

you know what i find offensive...the fact that a mere 12 hours after glasspool was elected the ABC deemed it necessary to make a remark about this unremarkable event [unremarkable cause, gay, straight, black or white, she's an episcopalian worthy like any other to hold the office of bishop - and remarkable, in all that it's worth]. however, he has yet to make a public statement about the atrocities that the ugandan law is about to impose on not only homosexuals, but their allies, for mere association. he finds it a break in the communion for a gay woman to be elected bishop, but sees nothing wrong with people being put to death for their sexuality or others, gay or straight, for associating or even knowing these people? now THAT'S sad!

Mary-Cauliflower said...

I think I may have left this comment before on your blog (I know I've said it but cannot remember where). The thing I like best about Rev. Mary is that she has experience in turning around moribund parishes. I met her in the 1980's, when I lived in Allston, MA and she was rector of St. Luke's and St. Margaret's. She was able to revive a small, urban church in a neighborhood with very little self-identity or center. I also visited her parish in Annapolis when I was part of a search committee for another Massachusetts church. She told some moving stories about building bridges and helping people overcome old hurts. Though she opted not to continue as a candidate for our search, she was extremely generous with her time and her prayers for us.

IT said...

Is there any way in which Rev Glasspool is not qualified? She seems to have a distinguished vita with significant amounts of appropriate experience.

She is not qualified because she's a lesbian. She is not disqualified because she's a lesbian. It should be irrelevant, and apparently was felt to be so by a majority of electors in LA.

If women can be bishops, and divorced people can be bishops, and black people can be bishops, then what's the fuss about? Neither women nor divorcés, nor African Americans are qualified nor disqualified because of those descriptors. Nor should GLBT people.

Andrew Brown, writing the Guardian, nails it:Consider the case of two Anglicans of the same gender who love one another. If they are in the USA, the Anglican church will marry them and may elect one of them to office. If they are in Uganda, the Anglican church will have try to have them jailed for life, and ensure that any priest who did not report them to the authorities within 24 hours would be jailed for three years; anyone who spoke out in their defence might be jailed for seven.

Under Williams, the church that marries two women who love each other is to be thrown out of the Anglican Communion. The church that would jail them both for life, and would revile and persecute their defenders, stays snugly in his bosom. Not even the Archbishop's remarkable gift for obfuscation can conceal these facts forever.

I think that sums up the problem with this election, and it has nothing to do with Rev. Glasspool