Friday, April 11, 2008

Moving Forward

Just over a week ago the Church of Wales voted NOT to allow women to be ordained to the episcopate.

You'd think I'd be used to this by now, but sometimes it still catches me by surprise. I think I continue to be stunned the we human beings can be so slow to catch on and so persistent in our prejudices and ignorance. That's what I think happened in Wales. But the reality of it took me by surprise. Even after the fabulous celebration in Lodi and getting to sit at the feet of our amazing Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and after feeling my own sense of vocation affirmed and confirmed. When I read the news from Wales I cried, and felt terribly discouraged. It was like the one step back, after two steps forward.

But today comes the news that Australia has appointed a woman as assistant bishop in Perth, and so the Anglican Church of Australia becomes the fourth province in the Anglican Communion to welcome women into the episcopate. And we're moving forward again.

I'm very grateful. It doesn't make rational sense to me, but as long as there are some who say I shouldn't be a priest because I am a woman, these moves are about my own vocation, not only the Church's vocation in the world. I assume it is the same for people of color or gay and lesbian people who are told they can't do or be something because of unalterable characteristics of who they are. And so as long as their are people willing to be more inclusive of others, it is progress for all of us.

May God bless Kay Goldsworthy, and the whole Church through her ministry.

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