Grass and sky are but a distant memory, as unto the land of Zion for the exiles in Babylon of old. I sit myself down by the rivers of Clear Creek Mall, and sing songs of Zion. It is time to go home.
Most of the talk going into General Convention was about three things: a new presiding bishop, marriage, and restructuring the church. We already know most (though not all) of what will happen with respect to the first two. What about 2012's goal of "reimagining the church"? In the battle between structural reform and institutional inertia, is inertia winning?
Bishops from across the theological spectrum engaged in substantive debate: they cited Scripture, the rubrics of the prayer book, their own ordination vows, and the Constitution and Canons, all of which were deemed relevant to the issue.
Yesterday morning, the bishops sitting in secret conclave in St. Mark's Cathedral elected one of their brothers as the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, the soon-to-be Most Reverend Michael J. Curry. There was, alas, no white smoke from the cathedral chimney.
All of this has lain heavy like a stone on my heart. But I do not have to live in fear when I go to the house of God on Sunday mornings. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy upon us.
God has chosen to speak in our church by way of Robert’s Rules of Order. I give you two snapshots today of how the apostle Robert has been speaking in the church.
Michael Curry’s answers were always the most stirring, but Thomas Breidenthal’s were often the most substantive and clear on specific points of theological and church-political controversy. That is perhaps not surprising. They are men of different gifts. Which gifts does the church need more now?
Salt Lake City in a real sense stands as a judgment upon the divided Church of which our synod claims to be a part.