This past Sunday, Father Geoff Farrow, a Roman Catholic priest who was kicked out of his California parish because he supported equality for lesbians and gays, visited All Saints, Pasadena, and wrote about his experience there and reflects on what he heard about the Episcopal Church’s actions at General Convention:
The music was beautiful and the verses ended crisply, I recalled a Catholic choir director who shared with me that the way that Catholic priests say Mass could make neurotics of most musicians. The other thing about attending an Episcopalian Sunday service that always struck me is that it is sort of like listening to the BBC. We both speak English, but they just do it so much better.
I smiled as I read the directive “Silence is kept” on the liturgical program (should I spell that programme?) The differences were not as pronounced as when I took a course in Shakespeare at UCLA, but they reminded me of my old English professor and I could imagine her smiling. The homily was very well constructed and focused on sufficiency. What is enough? How Americans answer that question as opposed to people in Third World nations. I thought of St. Theresa’s quip regarding material goods “you think you own them, but in reality they own you.”
Later on, Father Geoff was listening to the radio and heard a report about our General Convention and the nominations for episcopal elections in Los Angeles and Minnesota:
Yesterday I was listening to National Public Radio; the journalist was reporting that Episcopal USA had approved the advancement of lesbian and gays to the episcopacy. The journalist went on to mention that there are two such candidates to become bishops in California. NPR further reported that this decision had placed Episcopal USA on a collision course with more conservative members of the International Anglican Community and this at a time when tensions are already high over the consecration of Gene Robinson as a bishop.
I sat there in my car after the news program ended and thought how amazing it is that these people prefer justice to security…. When I said my first Mass at my last parish, the choir sang, “All are welcomed here.” I winced when I heard them sing that song, because my predecessor had informed me that they would send LGBT parishioners across the street to the Methodist Church, since they could not offer them services at St. Paul’s.
The choir did not sing, “All are welcomed here” at All Saints Episcopal, but the community silently proclaimed that invitation by their actions.
Read Father Geoff’s blog here.
H/T to Friends of Jake.