A word of hope from Bishop Gene

March 1, 2007

In the past week or so, I’ve been watching for any word from Bishop Gene Robinson in response to the communique that came our of the recent meeting of the Anglican primates in Tanzania. This evening, I learned that he has written this in response to a plea he received for a “word of hope”…

Let’s remember that, for now, nothing has changed. The Episcopal Church has been bold in its inclusion of us, “risking its life” for us in dramatic ways over these last few years. Not perfect, but bold. Just because The Episcopal Church has been invited to subvert its own polity and become a Church ruled by bishops-only, a Church that is willing to sacrifice the lives and ministries and dignity of its gay and lesbian members on the altar of unity, does not mean that we are going to choose to do it. That is yet to be determined. Let’s not abandon hope simply because that is possible. The Primates have the right to make requests of us (nevermind the threatening tone of those requests). We do not have to accede to those requests in exactly the terms in which they are made.

Nothing is surprising in this development. None of us thought this issue was settled, did we? None of us expected our detractors to stop their efforts – whether their goals be genuinely about the authority of scripture and its playing out in our lives as Christians, or whether those goals have more to do with power and money and influence. (BOTH are represented in the actions taken.) We are fighting a larger battle here. As you have heard me say before, we are engaged in the beginning of the end of patriarchy. Did any of us believe that such a battle would be won without resistance? Did any of us believe there would be no more bumps in the road? Did any of us foresee smooth sailing into the future?

We still have countless allies. We are not engaged in this struggle alone. There are countless heterosexual members of this Church who now “get it.” They have heard our stories, felt our pain and taken up our cause as their own. There are countless heterosexual families who have joined The Episcopal Church (they are numerous in my own diocese) because they want to raise their children in such an inclusive Church. There are countless lgbt people who have come to our churches for the comfort and solace and grounding in Christ that we offer – and we dare not lose hope or momentum for them as well as ourselves.

Read the rest here. I don’t really have any thoughts of my own to add, but am happy to hear from Bishop Gene. As I was searching for a word *from* him, Google searches yielded more than a few words written *about* him. I admire his strength and am thankful that he has the strong faith needed to carry him through times like these.

Also, click here for a transcript of Bishop Katharine’s podcast this morning, and here for additional thoughts from Bishop Gene.

And I just gotta add, there is something about seeing that man’s smile that just makes me feel a little better about the world. Thank you for that, +Gene.

Hat tip to An Inch at a Time for the picture.
Click here to read the sermon Bishop Gene Robinson gave  in Columbus this past summer.