Thursday, July 23, 2009

Catching Up

A lot has happened since I last posted. In no particular order:
General Convention has ended
The BBC Proms have begun
Liz and I went to the wedding of her (our) grandniece Sara and saw a great many family members including Jane, Scott and Amanda
So far this week and last week I have been to three meetings here at Morningside Gardens
To accomplish this, I have driven at least 660 miles with another 180 to go to get back to our summer base at Heart Lake (in truth, Liz drove some of it)
With all this I have been trying to keep up with the intertubes

Right now (Thursday morning) Liz is in Philadelphia and will come back Friday morning - then we drive back to Heart Lake.

I have another meeting this evening while Liz is in Philadelphia and I have to come back from Heart Lake next Tuesday for a board meeting.

All this is by way of prologue -- right now I want to write about some of the significant actions taken at General Convention. First, a couple of resolutions whose designations have become well known -- D025 and C056. I wrote last March that our tiny church of St. Mary's, in Manhattanville (now sometimes called West Harlem) voted at our Annual Meeting to call for the rescinding of 2006's B033 and also for approval of the blessing of same-sex unions. D025 effectively, but not formally, rescinds B033 and C056 is a small but significant step in the direction of approval of blessing of same sex unions.

As an autobiographical aside, when I was in a same sex relationship, my partner Rex Slauson was against "gay marriage," at least in the church, because he felt it was a slavish imitation of a straight institution. It must be said that Rex was not able to be faithful, so maybe that's why he held that opinion. Since Rex died in February 1973 (after a heart attack in a bathhouse) I've had a lot of time to develop my own views. At the end of 1974, about 21 months after Rex's death, I realized I was in love with Liz. We were married in February 1975 and for at least 15 years I fooled myself into thinking I was bisexual. Then Liz and I went to a Conference of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus EEWC in Virginia and at a presentation about the wives of "ex-gays" I realized that I was still simply gay and not bisexual. As always, I am reticent about what that means in our marriage, except to say that I have never "fooled around," but I am not reticent about my advocacy for full inclusiveness in the church.

Two members of our parish work at 815 -- both are in same sex partnships. As it happens neither was there at this year's Annual Meeting, and the other LGBT people aren't as tuned in to issues in the wider church as I am. So I was the one who made the motion about B033 at our annual meeting, and I was the one who realized I had forgotten to mention the blessing of same-sex unions.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thoughts on B033

While General Convention has been going on in Anaheim, I have been following several blogs and other sources on the internet to see what has been going on. As I mentioned a few months ago, my parish, St. Mary's, Manhattanville, at its annual meeting took a stand for the repeal of B033. Now B033, a resolution passed at the 2006 convention, provides, that is asks for, an effective moratorium on the election of of an openly gay or lesbian bishop in thr Episcopal Church. It is an amazingly hot issue for LGBT persons, considering that most of us don't aspire to be a bishop. But with B033 in place, all LGBT Episcopalians are damaged in two ways -- first, we are being told that the Episcopal Church welcomes us -- but only up to a point and no further. Second, we are being told that we cannot -- for a season -- see a person like us in the the role of bishop.

I live on the edge of Harlem, very close to 125th Street. On election night, 2008, when Barack Obama won the election for President, people poured into the street to celebrate -- especially African American people. Never mind that Obama has been a disappointment in several important ways -- to have an African American as President is very important to people of color -- and as we were reminded again today, to Africans as well as to people in the United States.

Just as people of color all over the world rejoice to see Barack Obama as President of the United States, so too many LBGTQ people who are not Episcopalians rejoice to see Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

NOTE: I have revised this post because my remarks on bishops were not really related to my remarks on B033. July 13, 7:50 AM


The Friends of Jake, of OCICBW, and Wounded Bird are at this moment assembling in Anaheim, and probably heading towards the doors of the Integrity Eucharist. I wish I were there. 'Nuff said.

Monday, July 06, 2009

July 5th - Last week's Pride March and beyond

Sunday July 5th Liz and I got up early at Heart Lake and drove home (2-1/2 hours taking I80 on a Sunday morning) in order to attend St. Mary's, Manhattanville, one last time before starting our ten (or more) week hiatus.

As I wrote last week, at the Pride March I carried one end of the Diocese of New York Banner and Lisa carried the other end. There were lots of pictures taken, but I haven't yet seen one that includes me. Here, though, is a picture of Lisa and her sister with +Gene Robinson.
Lisa has this picture on her phone and was able to send it to me when we spoke after church. I'll keep looking to see if there are any posted pictures of the full banner -- if there are, I am sure to be in them.

The reason for the ten week hiatus from St Mary's is that Liz and I are about to move to Heart Lake for the remainder of the summer. When we are there, we attend the Heart Lake United Methodist Church, where Liz plays the piano to the delight of the congregation, including Judy, who is a great musician but doesn't really play the piano. So once we get there, it's hard to not be there on a Sunday.

We're leaving for Heart Lake on Thursday, and so far my calendar shows that I have to be in New York for meetings every week for the next month. Usually I drive down alone the day of the meeting and head back the next morning.

Thus begins the summer.