Monday, November 15, 2010


As you may have read, the Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson, recently announced his retirement.

I was talking to a priest today who, while supportive of full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in The Episcopal Church, also felt that Bishop Robinson's election was "too costly."

He asked me what I thought and I told him that change is always costly. The real question is whether we find ourselves on the right or wrong side of history.

Hathy and I have been watching a television series called MadMen together. It takes place in 1960, and let me tell you, that was a "man's world." (I was born in 1963 but I grew up in a town that lagged about a decade behind the nation with most change. So I feel like I lived through MadMen.

On November 9, this press release was issued by The Episcopal Church, to honor a pioneer named Lueta Bailey of Griffin,Georgia. On November 12, at the Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of Atlanta, Ms. Bailey...
...received an award commemorating the 40th anniversary of the seating of women as deputies to the Episcopal Church’s triennial legislative gathering, called General Convention. Bailey was the first woman to address General Convention, in 1967 in Seattle, and was among the first women seated at the 1970 General Convention in Houston.

Read those words again, especially if you are younger than I am. We now have a female Presiding Bishop and I got this press release from Bonnie Anderson, a laywoman who is president of the Deputies at General Convention, which I will attend in 2012. The senior warden in the church I serve is a woman and more than half of the vestry are currently women. (In fact I'm trying to achieve some gender balance by recruiting a few good men to vestry!)

Forty years ago, The Episcopal Church was still a "boys only" club. That "old time religion?" The "good old days?" For whom!?

Yes, it has been a hard decade for the Episcopal Church. Harder still for Bishop Robinson and his family. Harder still for gay and lesbian youth who are bullied, isolated, frightened - and this from too many so-called religious people. Change is always costly. Let's just hope it doesn't take us forty years to honor V. Gene Robinson for his courage, his ministry, his service to Christ.

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