On Friday we were off to Thomasville, two towns west of us for a Convention of Church Women for Southern Georgia. As Kay was the coordinator between a certain church and the rest of the Diocese, she didn't not get the help that she expected and wound up doing most of the leg work, with getting room at a local hotel and what the church said they would do. Registration was suppose to close two weeks ago and surprising no one from the sponsoring church had registered for the convention. I was given a list of registered women and made and printed name tags, and sent out invitation for members of the board and past presidents for their luncheon. So it was no surprise that several women were at the meeting, without paying and not officially registered. We just wish that they had taken the time to actually register. So luckily I had printed several blank name tags which we had to use by the end of Friday's registration.
Just before we broke for the final service, a woman approached me and re-introduced herself to me as she recognized me from an Integrity Meeting 5 years ago (Integrity is the LGBT group for the Episcopal Church). She broke into a warm smile as she told me how she recognized me from so many years ago; and how she is so pleased to see me so active with church functions. She remembers that I was still cautious and beginning to believe in myself at that meeting those many years ago and was thrilled to see just how far I had come.
The Church we were meeting is a holdover of the Anglican style service of 1928 prayerbook and practice. The practice of not recognizing the role of women, keeping and continuing the practice of the alter against the back wall, making the Celebrant stand with his back to the members of the congregation; and certainly not considering LGBT members. With the new Bishop, he has allow this church to continue but he was certainly pushing all the buttons for the service today. His assistant on the alter was a woman, the Deacon was a woman, and to push harder I was asked to read the Old Testament Scripture. Me an out lesbian and trans woman standing before the lectern and the gathering of Church woman reading scripture in a church who's philosophy still holds on the Patriarchal way of dominance of his Church, (only 2 of these church's remains in the Diocese).