Ten years ago I had never heard of Lambeth, did not know what a diocese was, nor what a vestry was and certainly did not know that women could serve on a governing body for a church. Then I was introduced to a small Episcopal church. I came with a previous history of being a Baptist with a long hiatus from religion.
The hiatus was a result of seeing a change in the church I had been reared in becoming less tolerant of "the other," no place for women and just what I saw as just plain mean spiritedness. At least some of this was directed to me personally from a little bigoted minister.
I was amazed and delighted to see a that the Episcopal church was very welcoming. I was welcomed into a community that took care of each other. Women were encouraged to take leadership roles in the church AND were taken seriously. Many different views were held by the people in the church and while there may have been discussions, no one expected to have their view "win out."
THEN I met Sarah. She and I became friends and then more. She came out to our church as transgender. There were lots of different opinions some of them difficult to deal with. Finally, after a time, Sarah and I know that we are beloved members of our small Episcopal church. There may be some that disapprove of us but that happens in every community. Eventually, it will all work out.
Lambeth is being held now and bishops are discussing what the place of lgbt's will be in the church and whether blessing of unions may or may not be permissible. For many people the discussions at Lambeth are only a passing interest but for Sarah and I it is very personal. We are the face of the "t" in lgbt and we also look like the "l" in lgbt for those into putting labels on people. This makes me so sad. To know that there are people in England discussing my place in the church and what is available to me in the church.
I wonder what the future will hold in the Episcopal church for the represented by the letters lgbt?