Sunday, July 20, 2008

All are Welcome?

Lambeth has started in earnest. After spending 2+ days in retreat, the opening worship was held today in Canterbury Cathedral. There are lots of great stories about how important the retreat time was to setting the tone for the conference, and about a willingness to be open to one another and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

There were also a few (very few) comments in ENS reports of bishops commenting on the absence of Bishop Gene Robinson. "Bishop Mark Beckwith, of Newark, noted the singing of the hymn 'All are Welcome' after communion, but referred to the exclusion of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, who is in a same-gender partnership. Beckwith said, 'my heart was broken because, in fact, we are all not welcome here.'"

+Gene asked for prayers in his own blog, Canterbury Tales from the Fringe, noting the he has been surprised at the difficulty of being cut off from his colleagues. I trust he'll share his observations of the Inclusive Eucharist that was held this afternoon.

As we pray for all the bishops gathered in Canterbury, let's add a particular prayer for +Gene. It seems to me that he is in the unique position of bearing the burden of exclusion which so many people on the margins experience regularly. It is an imminently priestly act, though I cannot imagine an easy one, even for such a deeply committed priest and bishop as +Gene is.



I'll admit that it's not easy for me to have patience with Lambeth about the exclusion of Gene Robinson, so I appreciate your thoughtful writing about it.


Donna McNiel said...

Thanks, Nathan-
I wrote to someone today that as I read the Lambeth news, I vacillate between hope and despair!

wendy said...

Hi, Friend.

I suck. My heart pounded so hard when I first heard about the exclusion of ole +Gene that I think I've shifted from pain to denial. So, I've neglected to pray. Thanks for the gentle reminder.


wendy said...

Okay. Me again.

I just spent 20 minutes on +Gene's blog. So full of grace and pain and hope.

Is it possible to be humbled and pissed at the same moment? I think I am.

Sigh, again.

Donna McNiel said...

I KNOW! Me, too.

I just read his blog from yesterday and thinking about the program tonight (actually, right now) prayed for him, and I swear, in praying for him, he seemed to make me a better priest. I can't explain it any more than that. I'm stunned by him and God in him...

Leslie Littlefield said...

+Gene is such an awesome example of a Christ like individual. I consider him to be one of the bravest souls in history.