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I suddenly remembered the moment that I decided to attend my first Integrity/New York eucharist, more than 23 years ago. St. Luke-in-the-Fields was two blocks north of where I worked, and the service was at 7 pm (I seem to recall). They put an ad in the gay rag in New York, and every week that ad nagged me to go to church. I had not been to church for many years at that point, as a former RC I preferred to eat doughnuts and read the New York Times on Sunday morning.

So I walked north to St. Luke, and instead of going in I walked around the block. When I got to the front door again, I walked by it and around the block yet AGAIN. I finally walked in the front door on the third try, and was greeted by the most wonderful man I have ever met in the church: Nick Dowen, then the president of Integrity/New York. He welcomed me in, sat me down, and was very kind. I had to leave right afterwards as the speaker at the coffee hour was someone I knew from another context who wasn't very nice. I returned the next week.

And thus, today, October 2, is the 23rd anniversary of my reception into "this branch of God's Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church", as my certificate (on my wall) says. Every journey starts with a couple of laps around the block, it seems.
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In the US Episcopal Church, today is the commemoration of the Rt Rev'd Charles C. Grafton, II Bishop of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He was an Anglo-Catholic (as we would term him today) and was somewhat infamous for the vestments he and fellow bishops wore at the consecration of his coadjutor, Reginald Heber Weller in the year 1900. The picture is referred to as the Fond du Lac Circus and is reproduced below:

On the occasion of the Consecration of the Rt Rev'd R.H. Weller as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, 1900.

This is the first known photo of Episcopal bishops wearing copes and miters rather than the usual rochets and chimeres. The dioceses from which these bishops hailed are now referred to as being in the Biretta Belt.
Seated (l to r): The Rt Rev'd Isaac Lea Nicholson, Episcopal Bishop of Milwaukee; the Rt Rev'd Charles Chapman Grafton, Episcopal Bishop of Fond du Lac; and the Rt Rev'd Charles P. Anderson, Episcopal Bishop Coadjutor of Chicago. Standing (l to r): the Rt Rev'd Anthony Kozlowski of the Polish National Catholic Church ; the Rt Rev'd G. M. Williams, Episcopal Bishop of Marquette (now Northern Michigan); the Rt Rev'd Reginald Heber Weller, the Rt Rev'd Joseph M. Francis, Episcopal Bishop of Indianapolis, the Rt Rev'd William E. McLaren, Episcopal Bishop of Chicago; the Rt Rev'd Arthur L. Williams, Episcopal Bishop Coadjutor of Nebraska; St. John (Kochurov) of Chicago, protomartyr of the Bolshevik Revolution, Fr. Sebastian Dabitovich, chaplains to the Russian Bishop—St. Tikhon, then Orthodox Bishop of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.

Why do you have all this to say about a long-dead bishop? you may ask.

Well, among his writings is the below-reproduced letter to a bishop (unnamed). You may find some of the sentiments Bishop Grafton expresses a bit, well, quaint in one way but, in reference to the Leper Colony—er—the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, the Anglican schismatics who have buggered off to Rome, timely as well. Any emphasis below is mine.




In addition to the two enclosed cases Bishop —— deposed the Rev. ——, educated at Sewanee, a College graduate, in middle life, married, and who verted to Rome. He married a woman of large means, and the consequent worldliness and luxury, together with disappointed ambition, led to the loss of his priestly vocation. This is one of the many cases I have known where marriage, for various causes, has led to a priest leaving our church for the Roman communion. The wife sometimes wants her husband to give up a life which involves such self-restraint and denial.

And now let me, my dear and younger brother, fraternally say that college education has nothing to do with a man's loyalty to God and the Episcopal Church. Some of the most pious, loyal, useful, and God-fearing priests in my diocese have never been to College. Marriage is found to be no security against sensual sins, and in a diocese like mine in many cases it just halves the priest's usefulness and doubles his cares. (emphasis mine)

The true reasons why so many men leave the ministry are: first, that they have never understood or felt the enormity of sin, or realized their own fatally lost condition, and have been most superficially converted. This I am forced to believe is the condition of many of the clergy, and that the sayings of some of the Fathers is true, that a number, it may be a large one, of the Bishops and priests will be eternally lost. Again, in our seminaries, the students are not taught what vocation signifies, how it is to be discerned and preserved. Their conversion is assumed. The sanctity of the priestly life is not aimed at; they are not properly trained in the art of meditation and prayer. Especially they are not taught that in Holy Orders the indelible stamp of priesthood is put on their souls, which shall shine forth forever in heaven, or burn on in intolerable torture in hell.

With my sincere and fraternal regards,
Yours in Christ,

I find this letter refreshing in its frankness. I do wonder, however, whether the Ordinariate's priests have swum the Tiber because they found marriage an irresistable state, or because they went to college.
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Twenty-two years ago, October 2, 1988, I was received into the Episcopal Church at the Church of the Holy Apostles on 9th Avenue at 28th Street in Manhattan. The day that I walked into St. Luke-in-the-Fields on Hudson Street, sometime early in 1988, has changed my life utterly, I hope for the good.

PS: Yes, I know it's October 3rd already. But only by 5 minutes, so I hope you'll all be indulgent.
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(I originally posted this to the Integrity Lightspeed email list. However, I think I want others to read it too.)

I have been reflecting on the current situation in regard to lesbian and gay clergy and bishops and the Anglican Communion. Mostly for my own clarity of mind I wanted to talk about recent events in the light of the wider picture.

The confirmation of Canon Glasspool as Suffragan Bishop of Los Angeles will have a massive effect on the Episcopal Church as regards the confirmations process for episcopal elections.

First, it's happened without any corporate arm-twisting or extensive public angst on the part of the bishops and Standing Committees. They just got on with their jobs. The circus that attended upon Gene Robinson's confirmation at General Convention in 2003 was not present, and the Diocese of Los Angeles and the Episcopal Church just got on with it according to normal procedures. (NB: I think that 2003 was played absolutely correctly by the Diocese of New Hampshire under the circumstances of the time.)

Second, I believe that the replacement of apostate bishops and Standing Committees from San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, and Fort Worth reduced the number of negative votes considerably, along with reducing negative comment by bishops around the task before them.

Third, I believe that anomalies like the South Carolina confirmation of a few years ago are likely to become few. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! Iker's confirmation was "fool me once", now Lawrence's confirmation is "fool me twice". The confirmation process needs to be a tool to ensure that the Church is united in its episcopal leadership. It's much more traumatic to have to depose bishops and reconstitute dioceses than it is to refuse consent.

The effects of Canon Glasspool's confirmation internationally will be just as dramatic.

The wishy-washy response from the Archbishop of Canterbury is, of course, entirely within his personality and previous history. He realises now that, just as the Pope of Rome hath no authority within the dominions of the Monarch of the United Kingdom, the Archbishop hath no authority in former colonies of England. He will, of course, end up applying "sanctions" to the Episcopal Church, more in sorrow than in anger. These may include such items as keeping TEC out of the Primates meetings, the Standing Committee meetings, the Anglican Consultative Council meetings, and eventually the 2018 Lambeth Conference.

However, TEC should respond with sorrowful acceptance of all this. The good news is that a lot of people will now have clear dates in their diaries through not having to attend these bodies. The decision whether to continue TEC funding of international bodies in which it will have no voice is yet to come. I would counsel that funding that is directly connected with mission in the world should continue, while funding that is connected with propping up the institutions of the Anglican Communion ought to be, at the very least, re-evaluated. This would restore a proper balance and allow those funds to be applied at home to the mission of TEC in its provinces in the US and overseas.

The response from other countries will be interesting. I suspect that Canada, Scotland, or Australia may be the next provinces to elect lesbian or gay bishops, and the effect will be much less by that time. The poorer provinces may feel unsettled by all this but if the older provinces all have a stake in this the Anglican Communion will become a rump of the Church of England and the poorer provinces of Africa, Asia, and the Southern Cone.

And thus we come to the Windsor Report. It's dead, just like Jacob Marley. Its ghost will haunt the deliberations of Anglicanism for a while yet, but now that TEC has pretty much indicated by its actions that it will not go along with it (I would be surprised if it even came up for a vote at GC 2012) there is no point in proceeding. I suspect that General Synod here in England will be consumed with talking about woman bishops for a while yet, and there have been powerful voices in that body that have said that it is impossible for GS to be tied to such an agreement in any case. In addition, the old Synod will be dissolved in July with elections being held in September/October this year. So Rowan Williams is boxed in--even his own province is finding it difficult to endorse Windsor.

So, finally, what will emerge? I think that conservative provinces will have a difficult time staying in formal communion with TEC and other more "liberal" provinces. It is possible that they will secede and form their own communion. I think that should this happen informal bonds of communication and communion will begin to form. Companion diocese arrangements (such as that between the Diocese of Southwark and dioceses in Zimbabwe) will continue even while formal bonds within the Anglican Communion are torn asunder.

Rowan Williams is now a broken Archbishop. His international standing has now been compromised. His moral authority in England has been eroding away for years as the C of E stands on the more conservative side of many social issues such as the place of lesbian, gay, transgender people in society and euthanasia for those who are terminally ill and likely to be in intractable pain during their decline. The general public is gradually pulling away from the C of E on these issues and increasingly, I think, sees the C of E and especially its Primate as oddities and throwbacks to an earlier, less complicated society. The bishops and archbishops in the House of Lords have seen their places under increasing threat in the past few years. I suspect that the wider question of House of Lords reform will continue for a while yet.

Rowan's lack of easily-understood communication skills has made him a laughing stock in society. For all his faults, George Carey was easily understandable--a kind of a bluff old Colonel-Blimp type of archbishop whose writings (such as they are) and public statements are easily disgested and readily understood--even if one doesn't necessarily agree with them. Rowan speaks like a Professor of Metaphysics at some University of Cloud Nine--it is nearly impossible to understand what he says unless you too have a doctorate of theology.

I expect that when the question of woman bishops is finally settled in 3 or 4 years' time, an exhausted Rowan will then retire. This will give the new Archbishop an opportunity to settle in before the next Lambeth Conference. It will also give an energetic new Archbishop the task of keeping what's left of the C of E together while women begin to be consecrated to the episcopate.

And I repeat my prediction: the current Bishop of Croydon, Nick Baines, is well positioned to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury. A son of the Midlands (he served his title in the Diocese of Lancaster under our recently-retired bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler, who then brought him down here first as an Archdeacon and then Bishop of Croydon to replace +Wilfred Wood, the first black bishop in the C of E), he is the communications person for the House of Bishops. He blogs, he tweets, he is very thoughtful (even if I don't always agree with what he says). And, what is more, I understand that his diary has been cleared from June or July. This often precedes a move by a Bishop to another post. It would be unusual for a suffragan Bishop to be translated during an interregnum in the suffragan's diocesan bishopric, but not unprecedented. In addition. Southwark is well-served by retired assisting bishops such as Lord Richard Harries, once of Oxford, and David Atkinson, once suffragan Bishop of Thetford and previously Archdeacon of Lewisham here in this diocese. We have one, Mark Wood, who is quite elderly but, as +Tom Butler once observed, "Put him in a taxicab and direct him to a parish and he'll be able to do what needs to be done." Baines would be well placed for Rochester, as he's a broad-minded Evangelical. However, I suspect that he's for the North at the moment and we will have to wait and see. As ++Rowan is Catholic in outlook (if not in temperament, except that he mistakes himself for Pope), the rule of Buggins' Turn means that the next ABC is likely to be an Evangelical. Cue Bishop Nick, with 4 or 5 years of running a diocese under his belt. I'd be willing to bet some money on it.

At the end of all this long, long process, which began in the 1970's (I believe) with an advertisement by Louie Crew, looking for like-minded Episcopalians who sought justice and equality for lesbians and gay men in the Church, we will have at least some Provinces of the Anglican Communion that fully practice that justice which they preach. I hope that I'll be living in one of them.
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I suppose that if Groucho Marx were around he could sing the subject line!

The Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has announced that Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool has received the necessary consents from Bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees. She will therefore be consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Los Angeles on May 15th in Long Beach, CA. Coincidentally, the date is that of Long Beach Pride.

Canon Glasspool will be the first openly-Lesbian bishop in the Anglican Communion and the second openly-gay bishop after Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

There has been no announcement from Lambeth Palace, and no news items over here in England. I expect to hear something tomorrow on the Today program on Radio 4. If not, I'll be very annoyed, as they made a big fuss about her election. His Grace the Most Rev'd Rowan Douglas Williams, DD, PC, by the Grace of God Archbishop of Canterbury, made a very po'faced press release in December after her election. I wonder what will be on the Lambeth Palace website tomorrow. Their Twitter account is @lambethpress, and I've subscribed.

I toyed with the idea of travelling to Los Angeles for the consecration, as I did for Gene Robinson's consecration in 2003, but my feet and the fact that I'll be hosting my brother here in London the previous week means that I doubt I'll be able to swing it.

Cheers! Hooray! Just as with woman priests and bishops, soon the election and consecration of openly-gay and lesbian bishops will be seen as run-of-the-mill.
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Yes, the priest who decided to leave the RCs and transit directly to the Episcopal Church, along with his fianceé?

Well, he may not be as straight as that last phrase might admit. Boyculture mentions an article by Cutié's radio producer, which may be tittle-tattle, or may not.

We shall see how this pans out. The Episcopal Church has no problems (mostly) with gay clergy, but to have Fr. Cutié swim the Thames, bring his fianceé with him, and then come out of the closet might be a bit rich.
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("Brick of the Day" idea shamelessly stolen from MadPriest)

Pastor Bob Book of the Church of the Common Ground in Atlanta, GA, and his wife scrub the feet of three dozen homeless men every Monday, based on the concept of Jesus washing his disciples' feet, with such pedicures including a soak, pumice-rubbing, nail-trimming, and massage, topped off by a clean pair of socks. Book says his crusade makes the down-and-out feel more confident, and the "worst ongoing" threat, according to him, is not Satan in men's minds but fungus in their toes. "It eats away and destroys the toenails and just makes it very hard for people to walk." [The State (Columbia, S.C.)-AP, 1-22-09]

I found this in "News of the Weird" today. However, it is not weird. It is a ministry of the most basic kind: loving one's neighbour as oneself. There are other similar ministries, such as the one here in the UK which does nothing but give gloves to people who are sleeping rough and have nothing to keep their hands warm, and another similar one which gives out socks. There are lots of places for homeless people to get food, basic clothing, counseling, a place to doss down at night. There are very few places where a homeless person can get their feet tended to. And, after all, many homeless people are on their feet for hours a day, going to the various places they need to go to for their basic life needs.

Wouldn't you know it, when I did a websearch for the Church of the Common Ground, and found its website, it's a ministry of the Episcopal Church.

For actually living out the Biblical imperative to love one's neighbour as oneself, I say that The Rev'd Bob Book, his wife, and the other people involved in the Church of the Common Ground, are my personal

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When I was a mere undergraduate at Columbia, I regularly attended St. John the Divine Cathedral on Sundays. The most thrilling part of the service, to me, was when the ceremonial trumpets of the pipe organ sounded at the Offertory.

The organ was seriously damaged by the fire in December 2001 that gutted the transept. Well, the building is almost restored, and so is the pipe organ. If you have a chance, and you're in New York on a Sunday, do go to St. John the Divine to hear the instrument that so thrilled me in 1972.
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Twenty years ago today I was received into the Episcopal Church at the Church of the Holy Apostles at 28th St. and 9th Avenue in New York City.

It's been quite a wild ride, and I'm not through yet. I'm thankful that I found this haven from guilt and knownothingism.
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The UK premier of "For the Bible Tells Me So" was at Queen Elizabeth Hall tonight, and HWMBO and I went. We met Chun and two of his friends at the door--Chun is an old mate of mine from Long Yang Club days (not bfs, just friends). We walked, and then separated as we were in row G and they were in row DD.

The movie was fantastic. There is no better testimony to the fallacies that people spout about the Bible than this movie. Everyone ought to see it. Bishop Gene Robinson was only a part of it; his parents were in it, as were many gay men, lesbians, and their parents. There were Biblical experts who carefully and correctly explained why the Bible says nothing about modern-day homosexuality but lots about ritual in Biblical times.

Then Sir Ian McKellen introduced Gene, who was resplendent in a white suit, purple shirt, and pectoral cross and collar. He talked about how the movie was made, how he knew that he really needed to be in it (after the filmmaker penetrated the layers of security around Gene before his consecration to talk to him about it), and the sentiments expressed.

I asked the first question: "I understand that after disinviting you to the Lambeth Conference, Archbishop Rowan actually sent the Diocese of New Hampshire a request for $4,000 to support the conference. Did you send him any money?"

Gene laughed and said, "That's not true. They asked for $7,000. Why they couldn't have removed the letter with the money request in it when they removed my invitation I can't imagine. I didn't respond."

There were other very respectful question, some very moving (such as the person who asked about transgender and bisexual rights within the lesbian and gay community).

We met Chun and friends again at the door and ended up at Pizza Express talking about all sorts of things including the North Shore of Massachusetts, since one of his friends had lived in Salem for a year and a half.

What a pleasant and inspiring evening.
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...comes from the StarGazette of Elmira, NY:

See the Hangovers at Trinity Episcopal Church

Curious? Look behind the cut. )
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Nineteen years ago yesterday (October 2, 1988), I was received into the Anglican Communion at the Church of the Holy Apostles on Ninth Avenue and 28th Street, in Manhattan.
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The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has referred to "standing at the foot of the cross" after coming up with a weaselly statement on the place of lesbian and gay people in the church and especially in episcopal orders. This is, I suppose, meant to reflect the personal pain that each bishop feels at being "forced" to abandon our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters to the wolves of Lambeth Palace in exchange for an invitation to tea with the Queen and Bible Study with Peter Akinola.

My response, in another venue, was this:

This guff about "standing at the foot of the cross" needs to be countered forcefully. We are all crucified and raised with Christ; this I believe fervently. However, bishops suffering from cognitive dissonance are not "standing at the foot of the cross". These bishops have themselves selected the tree, sawed it into planks, required lesbian and gay people and their friends to carry the cross to Calvary, personally hammered the nails in, and raised the cross on which they've crucified us on high. They should not be allowed the luxury of standing beneath that cross wringing their hands and saying how upset they are. The honourable exception, of course, is +Gene, who has himself suffered in this entire sorry situation perhaps more than we know. He's up there with the rest of us.
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The Rev'd Paul Woodrum wrote, in another venue, of pronouncements made down the ages. He's hit the nail on its ecclesiastical head.

1st Century:

"Certainly Gentiles have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place Gentiles may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional theology of the church lets us move in that direction."

7th Century:

"Certainly followers of Augustine have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about not only the date of Easter, but the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place followers of Rome may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the Celtic tradition of the church lets us move in that direction."

12th Century:

"Certainly Anglo-Saxon people have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place Anglo-Saxon people may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far Norman church tradition lets us move in that direction."

16th Century:

"Certainly recusants and dissenters have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place recusants and dissenters may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the Established Church and Crown lets us move in that direction."

18th Century:

"Certainly colonials have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place colonials may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far Parliament lets us move in that direction."

19th Century;

"Certainly slaves throughout the Empire have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place slaves may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far slave owners let us move in that direction."

1900 - 1960's --

"Certainly African Americans have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place African Americans may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far white American tradition lets us move in that direction."

1970's --

"Certainly women have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place women may hold in offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional patriarchial theology of the church lets us move in that direction."

21st Century

"Certainly gay and lesbian people have a place in the church as do all the baptized. The debate is currently about the appropriate limits of pastoral care and the place gay and lesbian people may hold in the offices of the church. The question is how far the traditional theology of the church lets us move in that direction."   (The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Rowan Williams, PC, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, 21 September AD 2007, New Orleans, LA, USA)
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My non-USan lj friends may not be familiar with the story of Jim McGreevey. The Honourable James E. McGreevey, former Governor of the state of New Jersey, came out as a gay man a few years ago. He left office (somewhat under a cloud because of his extracurricular activities while Governor with a "security consultant"), filed for divorce from his wife, and dropped out of politics.

He has now re-emerged as a convert to the Episcopal Church and has been accepted into General Theological Seminary, on 23rd Street and Ninth Avenue in Chelsea (the new Greenwich Village of Manhattan, repository for all things gay male). He intends to study theology with a view toward being ordained an Episcopal priest.

And thus we inevitably turn to Groucho Marx, who used to tell this story:

A priest came up to Groucho, shook his hand and said, "Mr. Marx, I'd like to thank you for all the joy you've brought into the world." Smiling, Groucho responded, "And I'd like to thank you for all the joy you've taken out of it!"

Religion, like politics, seems to be (in modern times, at least) an exercise in removing the joy from life. Where some organised religion says, "You mustn't bear false witness if you want to go to heaven," or "Don't use artificial means of contraception as it's unnatural and against the will of God," politics says, "Teachers: you mustn't take children on a field trip unless you've had a risk assessment done by your school of the destination as our insurance company won't cover us for damages if (God forbid!) one of the children is hurt," or "You are in such danger from terrorism that we will take away your privacy and your civil liberties in favour of trying to protect you from terrorist acts (but of course, we can't absolutely guarantee that some crazed terrorist won't kill you, so do watch out please...)". The joy of taking a trip on an airplane when you could just check in and walk to your plane has gone for almost 40 years now. Children end up staying in their classrooms (where they might be protected unless some mentally-ill alienated kid has been able to buy a gun), people end up fearful and nervous, and the joys of life are slowly sapped away from us.

Mr. McGreevey is said to have been attracted to the Episcopal Church for a while. Indeed, how could he not be? The Roman Catholic church, not content with covering up its own priestly misdeeds over the years, wants to make sure that no one else has fun either. Appropriate genitalia are the key to having fun; any loving relationship where the genitalia aren't appropriately matched becomes sinful. The Episcopal Church, by contrast, has on the whole decided that loving relationships are worthy of being celebrated and supported on their own merits. This hasn't extended to general willingness to perform marriages where that is legal (Massachusetts) or bless same-sex unions (anywhere), but they're getting there. Gay and lesbian clergy and bishops are (mostly) accepted and celebrated.

So Mr. McGreevey is about to go from one joy-sapping vocation to another. My question is this: will his path to ordination be smoothed over because he is a celebrity? I have known postulants for ordination in the past whose path to ordination was blocked by things such as fibbing about their past, being divorced, or having extramarital sexual relations. These people, however, were not celebrities, just ordinary people seeking to answer a call that they heard in their lives. I hope that Mr McGreevey's days of joy-sapping are over. If he does have a genuine call, it's not up to me, to GTS, or to the Church to negate it: he'll persevere and, I hope, triumph. If he does not have a genuine call, it will become clear soon enough. Back to joy-sapping, then.

Six degrees of separation note: The Rev'd Kevin Bean, the Vicar of St. Bartholomew's Church in Manhattan, where Mr. McGreevey was received into the Episcopal Church, was previously the Rector of St. Andrew's Church in Marblehead, where my grandmother was (long ago, of course) a communicant.
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"New challenge for Thames swimmer". Must be about the Primates Meeting in Tanzania and the convert from Roman Catholicism who is now the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
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Eighteen years ago this evening I stood before the Rt. Rev'd. Stuart Wetmore and was received into the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Better late than never!
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From an email list I'm on comes the following:

Many years ago when I was a parishioner at the cathedral, the dean made the switch from red to white wine without telling anyone it was going to happen. The cathedral uses silver flagons and so it was not readily apparent until one took a sip from the chalice.

One of the grand matriarchs of the parish rose from kneeling at the altar rail and slowly made her way across the chancel to her seat after making her communion. In a wonderful throaty stage whisper that comes only from years of smoking she grandly announced: "I was not aware our Lord was anemic."
chrishansenhome: (Default) Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada. She is the first woman to be elected or chosen a Primate of a church within the Anglican tradition.

Is this a surprise? Yes, in a way. But she is very good on lesbian and gay issues, has been an extremely good bishop in Nevada, and will make a splendid Presiding Bishop and Primate.

The House of Deputies is currently considering the motion to confirm. More as it happens.

Louie Crew's information page on Bishop Jefferts Schori is here. Bishop Jefferts Schori's reaction to her election is here. May God, who began the good work in her, bring it to completion.
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The Rt. Rev. Mark Andrus
The Rev. Bonnie Perry
The Rev. Jane Gould
The Rev. Cn. Eugene Taylor Sutton
The Very Rev. Robert Taylor

You might want to go to the website for more information, but the slate includes a lesbian and a gay man. This will enrage the usual suspects in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

I knew one of the candidates reasonably well. When I lived in Chicago, I worshipped at All Saints Ravenswood. It was, unfortunately, a dying parish. The then Rector was, sadly, not up to the job for a multitude of reasons with which I will not bore you. The parish lacked vitality; it held on to older members without doing any outreach to what was becoming a vibrant community at the heart of Uptown. The building was somewhat decrepit, although it was a historic landmark of Chicago, the oldest wooden-frame church building in the city. We had 35 people at Mass on a Sunday morning and heavy debts. In 1992 the parish became a mission, and at the end of the year, in November, Bonnie Perry arrived to take over from the previous incumbent. I only knew her as Vicar for about 2 months. However, I've followed the progress of the parish avidly ever since.

From 35 communicants it has grown to about 220 per week. The budget has grown from $25,000 to about $350,000. It is a vibrant, inclusive, lively church where all God's children are welcomed and valued.

Bonnie has gone on to gain a doctorate from Seabury-Western in Congregational Development. She really should have gotten it just from her successful efforts at All Saints. It became a Parish again in 2000 and she became its Rector.

I think Bonnie would make a very good, effective, godly, and prophetic Bishop.

I have met Jane Gould (who is at St. Stephen's, Lynn, Massachusetts) and attended a service there. The building was in difficulty but the people in the parish were absolutely wonderful. It's another vibrant parish and I'm certain that Jane would also make a good Bishop.

I am plumping for Bonnie, however. But looking at the nominees, I believe that any of them would make an excellent Bishop of California.

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