This convention, our first General Convention gave Kay and I a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the movers and shakers of the Episcopal Church. On our first few day we had the great privilege to meet and talk with Bishop Christopher from Uganda who was to speak to the United Nations about the crisis in his country. And then only a few hours later Bishop Barbara Harris came by the Integrity Booth to chat. Bishop Harris was a part of the Chicago Seven; the first group of women who were ordained as priests in the Episcopal Church.
As it is early Tuesday morning after the Integrity's colorful and wonderful Eucharist, and for whatever reason I can't sleep; I am trying to put together some thoughts about what happened yesterday evening at the Integrity Eucharist.
Maybe it's the beer I had consumed at a late snack with people who have become wonderful friends, maybe it's the excitement of our Church passing the Same Gender Blessings. Or maybe it's just can't settle down because I am so excited and wound up by the evenings events. It's like I am inside a whirlpool of spiritual waters and wind being tumbled and tossed reaching for the coat tails of those who have climbed higher in this cleansing wash.
I feel like I am in one of Rod Sterlings "Twilight" episodes of which was so enthralled watching when I was younger. One of those surreal happenings. As Torch Bearers, Kay and I accompanied Bishop Mary Glasspool, Bishop Gene Robinson and the group of identifying trans people escorting them to the Alter and table. At the time for the Gospel reading, we again walked with Deacon Carolyn Woodall giving light and escort for the Gospel Book, followed by Bishop Glasspool sprinkling holy water and giving us a generous sprinkling as we snaked around the overflowing hall, allowing the people to touch the Book, as we sang joyously to an African song with drum accompaniment.
This was the Integrity's Eucharist, but the emphasis was on the trans community and their partners. This service was for us, to finally welcome the "T" members of the Church membership; the celebration that was 25 years in the making.
During the closing few day, a stanch group for very conservatives churches walked off the convention floor in the House of the Deputies as they felt the Church had gone too far to the right by approving the same gender blessings; some even resigned. If you refuse to come to the table, your voice will not be heard and your vote will not be counted when the roll is taken.
The Voice of the GLBT members are here; in strength, in force to be heard and recognized; but now the real work begins. Now we can go back to our home churches and make real changes, for as Bishop Harris has said; "Just remember, the spirit behind you is larger and greater than the force in front of you."