Today was a day of legislation bookended with wonderful and different liturgies. The morning Eucharist featured our Nation's first people with drums and singers from the Rosebud Reservation; readers from several different tribes and an excellent sermon that witnessed to the resurrection power as a small church with no congregation, no budget, no money for a priest. But a priest was assigned who listened to the Spirit's call and began to feed the people with the produce of a garden planted on the church grounds. As the people came, they offered their gifts and drew in others, lured by the kept promises for new life, transformed life. The native flute, along with psaltery, dulcimer and guitar were enchanting.
Some of the big pieces of legislation came out of committees today. Transgendered people were assured of their place in the church and all its rites as another group was added to the anti-discriminatory canons. When we say the Episcopal Church welcomes all, we really want all to mean all. In committee it was moving to see that those most in favor of bringing blessings for same-gendered relationships to approval worked with those opposed to see that a conscience clause was part of the perfected resolution. It makes one proud to see that in the midst of disagreement there is civility in debate and care for the sensibilities and theologies of others. It hasn't always been that way. Maybe we are growing up into the stature of Christ; serving one another and doing away with triumphalism when what we hoped for is achieved. We also dealt with significant issues about the conflicts between Israel and Palestine and how we might best be agents of healing and reconciliation.
Today was the Integrity Eucharist. Each convention the room needed to house the celebration is necessarily larger. No longer a small hidden meeting room, but the largest ballroom available. Mary Glasspool and Gene Robinson, presided and preached, respectively, as the 2 openly gay bishops. As he said, "now that Mary is on board, he can retire." Incense wafted through the air; a gospel procession throughout the assembly in which folks reached out to lovingly touch the gospel in their midst; unbelievable music with a hint of jazz (led by Dent Davidson) and African drumming. Gene was inspiring as he exhorted us that our faith family lived in tents--always moving on where God directed them. It would have seemed easier to settle down and get comfortable, but God has people on the move. I'm sure that there is a link to his sermon somewhere, but I cannot easily locate it. Louie Crew, founder of Integrity was honored with a long standing ovation and gracious thanks for his joy, grace, love and generosity.
And with this brief synopsis of a wonderful day, I say, "May God bless you richly and abundantly wherever you are on your faith journey. God loves you and I am compelled to say that and live into the truth of that, too.