The Episcopal Women's Caucus celebrated the results of elections for suffragan bishops yesterday and Friday in the Diocese of Los Angeles.
Offering their "heartfelt thanks and praise to God and ... gratitude to the people of the Diocese of Los Angeles," members of the EWC Board wrote,
With these two elections, the stained glass ceiling has not been shattered, but it has received a mighty crack. We long for the day when all God's children with an authentic vocation to any of the four orders of ministry, tested and affirmed by God's people, will be able to live into God's call regardless of their gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class or economic status, or physical ability.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." --- Galatians 3:28
Meanwhile, Advent is definitely a time for reflection. It seems about everyone has found the time to sound off on a statement made by the Archbishop of Canterbury in response to the election in which he suggests that an uneventful consent process would endanger The Episcopal Church's relationship to the Anglican Communion due to the "very serious questions" it would raise.
Here are just a few of the thoughts advanced.
UK adovcacy group Changing Attitudes:
This order of priorities is totally wrong and misguided. The Archbishop allows himself to be driven by conservative forces in the Communion who wish to cleanse and eradicate LGBT not just from epsicopal office but from any role in the church – no baptism, no confirmation, no communion, no membership of any congregation.
A reverse colonialism is at work, and very effectively at work, in which the place of LGBT people in the Church of England has been severely diminished over the past 11 years, starting with Lambeth 1998. This becomes more and more intolerable for us in the UK, and utterly intolerable for LGBT Anglicans in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and every part of the Communion where the church judges and condemns us.
The attitude towards the place of LGBT people in the Anglican Communion has become totally intolerable and raises new and challenging questions about the place of LGBT people in the Communion.
Blogger Susan Russell:
We know that Jesus wept at the news of the death of his friend Lazarus. And I believe Jesus weeps today at the death of the great experiment of Anglican comprehensiveness that has been for four hundred years a bright beacon of what is and can be possible in living out the gospel in the world.
But even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. For we know that the end of the Lazarus story is not one of death but of a new chance at life. And we know that our Redeemer not only lives, but that He calls for all of us to “come out” of the darkness of those things that blind us to the light of Christ present in each and every member of God’s beloved human family.
Blogger Lionel Deimel:
What I have learned from being in a repressive and cynically-led diocese for many years anticipating an inevitable split is that there is much to be said for getting the unpleasantness over with. The departure of Robert Duncan and his dissident followers was indeed painful, but it was also liberating and energizing to Episcopalians left in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Likewise, everyone knows that The Episcopal Church cannot really turn back from its path to full inclusion of LGBT persons in the church. Demonstrating that Gene Robinson’s election was not a fluke will send the message to the Anglican Communion that our commitment to the Gospel, as we understand it, is more important than indulging the prejudices of the Nigerias and Ugandas of the Communion. Consenting to the consecration of Mary Glasspool, as we must do, will create facts on the ground that will make acceptance of a covenant like the one presented to the Anglican Consultative Council last spring impossible to accept.
Times of London religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill:
The fact is, whatever the ecclesiological jurisprudence, it looks bad. Very bad indeed. ...
I wish I could do something, write something, to help the Archbishop get out of this mess.
But it feels impossible. His difficulties I fear are truly manifold.
While most accept the Archbishop’s sincerity in opposing the Ugandan legislation, many suggest that he is being naïve about his tactics and giving the impression that Christian leaders will not speak up for gay people’s human rights.