Seth Walker profiles the former Rector and current Priest-In-Charge of St. Mary's, Eugene, Oregon, and in the process explores the difference that it makes to hold the line from a place of love, rather than to just pick a side and declare oneself to be in the winning camp.
Berktold says his goal was simply to keep parishioners going forward together rather than apart. In terms of the congregation's ability to survive or even thrive in times of challenge, it would appear to have been a successful strategy.
On how to reconcile the Golden Rule with the rest of Scripture:
[Priest-In-Charge Bingham] Powell: I think we read Scripture through the lens of love. When Christ is asked about the most important commandment, he says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself."
On the evolution of women's rights in the church:
[Former Rector Ted] Berktold: .... When things start to become normal, the whole thing changes. When I was first ordained in 1971, women's issues were really big. When the first woman was consecrated bishop I received a cut-up confirmation card from a member of the parish who said, "Take my name off the rolls." Many, many women have been consecrated bishop now and no one raises an eyebrow. As time has gone on, we have normalized things that seemed extraordinary.
I think it takes courage and real spiritual strength to stay together in diversity. I do not think going off in a little partisan group with all of your exact, like-minded friends and proclaiming yourself right and everyone else wrong, or yourself saved and everyone else damned, is particularly courageous. This is a parish of great courage to do what it does. At the bottom of it is love.