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First public witness for a new bishop: Marching for Trayvon

First public witness for a new bishop: Marching for Trayvon

Orlando Sentinel:

Two days after he was consecrated as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, Gregory Brewer was marching Monday with the crowd demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.

He was the only white clergyman to address the Sanford City Commission inside the Civic Center that evening, urging city leaders to address the concerns of the black community.

“I thought it was very courageous,” said Andy Searles, a pastor with Aloma United Methodist Church in Winter Park. “It would have been very easy for him to sit in his office and organize the paperwork on his desk, but he made a statement of what the church should be.”

Brewer characterized it not as an act of courage but as one of faith and commitment to his diocese, which covers 15 counties and has 31,000 Episcopalians. It was the most direct way for him to make a public statement about what kind of Episcopal bishop he intends to be.

“Part of what I’m trying to do is chart a course of what my role is as bishop in Central Florida. I don’t want to hide out with my local churches. My role is to be involved in the life of my community as a Christian presence,” said Brewer, 60, who remembers Klan marches growing up in Richmond, Va.

Brewer, who was ordained in Central Florida and spent 16 years here, was rector of a small, multicultural church in downtown Manhattan when elected to succeed Bishop John W. Howe, who retired after serving 22 years. Apart from his opposition to ordaining gay priests, Howe was a low-key leader given more to intellectual study than community involvement.

Brewer comes from the evangelical tradition of the Episcopal Church that applied spiritual conviction to social activism, dating back to opposition to slavery and exploitation of child labor, said the Rev. Rory Harris, who has known him for 14 years.

“This is a consistent pattern with him. This is living out the gospel to be involved in the spiritual life, but have it inform our actions in daily life,” said Harris, rector of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Sanford.


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Nicole Porter

All I can say to you Josh is Happy Easter.

Josh Magda

“I can co-exist with people who feel the same as you at my own parish, why can’t you just accept that there will be some people in TEC, such as myself (as well as the Christian community at large), who won’t?”

Racists, homophobes, sexists and others are welcome in church- as Jesus said, it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick- but you should not be welcome to run the church’s policy and exclude gay people from full participation in the life of the church based on your ignorant, bigoted, or delusional beliefs and inept approach to Scriptural exegesis.

I think we should all stop feeding the homophobe troll comments on this blog, but I know we are going to keep it up.

Nicole Porter

JC, I can co-exist with people who feel the same as you at my own parish, why can’t you just accept that there will be some people in TEC, such as myself (as well as the Christian community at large), who won’t?


Nothing besides affirmation is “respectful” to you

Well, yes, when it comes to immutable, God-given qualities. I complete affirm your (I presume) femaleness, your two XX chromosomes. God made you that way, I respect you in and as female. I don’t regard you as “the secondary creation” or “responsible for The Fall”—as women routinely WERE regarded by Christians, not all that long ago.

I suppose this isn’t controversial to you. Rather, it ALL comes down to whether you regard homosexuality as something similarly innate—reflecting the Image-of-God (that God has a queer aspect, as God has a male&female one—while of course transcending those qualities at the same time).

…and then it comes down to your TRUSTING when LGBT people tell you this is the way God made them. Or will you merely offer another pat dismissal “that’s your opinion, we’ll have to agree to disagree.”

Can’t you understand why I wouldn’t feel “respected” by you in that situation? Can’t you place yourself in my shoes? To tell someone a Deep Truth about your own person, and have the reaction be, essentially, “I—who only know you via an online discussion board—know you better than you know yourself (w/ your mistaken opinions)”?

Really, Nicole: put yourself in my place. Truly. Just for this Triduum, try it.

JC Fisher

Josh Magda

I was trying to highlight the ridiculousness of pseudo-literalism. She asked if we were Jews or Christians, and I cited the Matthew verse that says we are still obligated to keep Jewish law, which would include the eight rather unsavory biblical marriage arrangements.

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