Food prep is quick and easy - lots of marinating and grilling. Everything is casual - including the conversation. And, there's nothing like listening to a baseball game on the radio while you're sitting on the deck after a great supper.
A dear friend came over last night, just to break some bread as we caught up on the stories of our lives. I marinaded some chicken breasts in orange, lemon and lime juice, garlic, ginger and grape seed oil, grilled it, and then served it cold with some cold grilled asparagus, and a thick slice of Jersey beefsteak tomato topped with an even thicker slice of mozzarella, drizzled with EVO, salt, pepper and basil.
We also had the first of the season's yellow corn - well, someone's season, somewhere in the USA. It was a bit tough, but it was a wonderful foretaste of what will be in a few weeks.
There was no baseball game to listen to last night, but, after our supper, my friend's Blackberry started to make a pleasant little sound, which meant that she had a email or text message.
It appears "Our Katie" has stepped up to the bat and decided to play good old fashioned American baseball with the Big Boys across the pond.
I'm sure that, by now, you've read her letter: Pentecost Continues! It's long but well worth the read. If you'd rather, you can listen to an audio tape of ++Herself reading the letter.
It's her response to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Pentecost Letter, and it's a pip.
There were no swings and misses. She never chocked the bat. Neither did she foul out for an easy walk to first, just to load the bases. She said:
The Episcopal Church has spent nearly 50 years listening to and for the Spirit in these matters. While it is clear that not all within this Church have heard the same message, the current developments do represent a widening understanding. Our canons reflected this shift as long ago as 1985, when sexual orientation was first protected from discrimination in access to the ordination process. At the request of other bodies in the Anglican Communion, this Church held an effective moratorium on the election and consecration of a partnered gay or lesbian priest as bishop from 2003 to 2010. When a diocese elected such a person in late 2009, the ensuing consent process indicated that a majority of the laity, clergy, and bishops responsible for validating that election agreed that there was no substantive bar to the consecration.
The Episcopal Church recognizes that these decisions are problematic to a number of other Anglicans. We have not made these decisions lightly. We recognize that the Spirit has not been widely heard in the same way in other parts of the Communion. In all humility, we recognize that we may be wrong, yet we have proceeded in the belief that the Spirit permeates our decisions.
We do not seek to impose our understanding on others. We do earnestly hope for continued dialogue with those who disagree, for we believe that the Spirit is always calling us to greater understanding.Then, she seemed to center herself with a deep breath and then a spit, straddled home plate, took steady aim and knocked that sucker right out of the park.
We live in great concern that colonial attitudes continue, particularly in attempts to impose a single understanding across widely varying contexts and cultures. We note that the cultural contexts in which The Episcopal Church’s decisions have generated the greatest objection and reaction are also often the same contexts where women are barred from full ordained leadership, including the Church of England.
As Episcopalians, we note the troubling push toward centralized authority exemplified in many of the statements of the recent Pentecost letter. Anglicanism as a body began in the repudiation of the control of the Bishop of Rome within an otherwise sovereign nation. Similar concerns over self-determination in the face of colonial control led the Church of Scotland to consecrate Samuel Seabury for The Episcopal Church in the nascent United States – and so began the Anglican Communion.
We have been repeatedly assured that the Anglican Covenant is not an instrument of control, yet we note that the fourth section seems to be just that to Anglicans in many parts of the Communion. So much so, that there are voices calling for stronger sanctions in that fourth section, as well as voices repudiating it as un-Anglican in nature. Unitary control does not characterize Anglicanism; rather, diversity in fellowship and communion does.
We are distressed at the apparent imposition of sanctions on some parts of the Communion. We note that these seem to be limited to those which “have formally, through their Synod or House of Bishops, adopted policies that breach any of the moratoria requested by the Instruments of Communion.” We are further distressed that such sanctions do not, apparently, apply to those parts of the Communion that continue to hold one view in public and exhibit other behaviors in private. Why is there no sanction on those who continue with a double standard? In our context bowing to anxiety by ignoring that sort of double-mindedness is usually termed a “failure of nerve.” Through many decades of wrestling with our own discomfort about recognizing the full humanity of persons who seem to differ from us, we continue to work at open and transparent communication as well as congruence between word and behavior. We openly admit our failure to achieve perfection!
As a Church of many nations, languages, and peoples, we will continue to seek every opportunity to increase our partnership in God’s mission for a healed creation and holy community. We look forward to the ongoing growth in partnership possible in the Listening Process, Continuing Indaba, Bible in the Life of the Church, Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, and the myriad of less formal and more local partnerships across the Communion – efforts in mission and ministry that inform and transform individuals and communities toward the vision of the Gospel – a healed world, loving God and neighbor, in the love and friendship shown us in God Incarnate.Get that, Rowan? We will ". . .continue to seek every opportunity to increase our partnership in God's mission . . ."
She doesn't say decisively whether or not we will abide by the sanctions imposed by the +++ABC, but I'm thinking we will. I'm thinking what she's really saying is, "Okay, whatever, but you can't shut us up or shut us down. You can't stop the Spirit."
We're still going to play baseball on our field and by 'the' rules - not the ones made up by certain "Instruments of Communion" who want to change the rules in the middle of a game that's not going +++His way.
The +++ABC can't be franchise owner as well as the ump who calls the shots as they come over the plate.
So, Rowan, as we say over on this side of the Pond - grab a dog and some suds, park your back end in a stadium seat, keep your pie hole shut and watch the game. You might learn a few things about how to play it.
Rowan, mighty Rowan has struck out, but . . . .
. . . .somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;It's gonna be a GREAT summer!
The band is playing somewhere,
and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing,
and somewhere children shout;
But there is great joy in Mudville - Katie,
Mighty Katie -
has Hit. One. Out!