Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sublime, ridiculous and glorious!

The hectic pace of Convention continues. But amidst all the busyness, joys abound. Perhaps the most memorable of all experiences of General Convention are the innumberable images of our great diversity.

Yesterday, just in the worship service alone, I saw...spirited drumming from one of our overseas dioceses...a eucharistic minister with her seeing-eye-dog-in-training by her side...three tables of deaf men and women, signing the singing of hymns, looking like a beautiful and syncronized ballet troupe...Native Americans, Asians, Africans and African-Americans, more Hispanics than I ever remember, European-Americans, all worshipping the God who made the time of the Lord's Prayer, the words given to us by Jesus being recited in countless tongues, sounding like the Day of Pentecost, when each heard the Gospel in his/her own language, a glorious cacaphony of sound...and then, at the moment I was taking communion, the opening notes of my favorite hymn, "I want to walk as a child of the Light." Indeed!

Legislation goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. One minute testifying before one hearing asking for pastoral generosity in those dioceses where marriage equality is now or soon will be a reality, to respond to the pastoral needs of our gay and lesbian couples. The next minute slogging through the legislation of my Structure Committee, tending to the tedious, but necessary, issues raised by our canons and the groups doing ministry in the Church -- where and how does it fit into the structures of the church. One exciting, the other mundane -- and all to the glory of God.

We also had a disturbing private (no one in the gallery) conversation in the House of Bishops that led me to feel discouraged about what lies ahead. That conversation is private, so I can't detail it, but there seems to be a kind of belligerent attitude toward the House of Deputies by some of our bishops. Their vision of the episcopate is way too "high and mighty" for my taste, or my theology, and I am not happy about it. The last thing we bishops need is a larger measure of arrogance. Didn't Jesus save his most serious criticism for the religious powers-that-be of his day who lorded their power and position over others?

Mark is now here -- thank God! -- along with my camera. So perhaps tomorrow I will have some pics to go along with these musings.

Off we go into another long day. Hearings on same sex blessings and moving forward from the two moratoria (on blessings and gay bishops) of B033 from the last Convention. And of course, the conversation and worship which remind us of our community in Christ. Pray for us!