As I was coming out of the 8 AM service this morning, a parishioner came up to me and congratulated me on being in print. After that column from Cal Thomas, and my reply to the editors of the Intelligencer, my letter apparently rated enough to get into Sunday's edition of the paper. Go figure, they printed the whole, slightly esoteric, and certainly verbose submission. I knew it was too long when several people noted that I could have gotten by with the last three paragraphs. Of course. But, would I be me? Nah....
Seriously, though, there has been an amazing amount of press around the issues that the Anglican Communion is facing nowadays. Even my predecessor, David Anderson-now rector of St. Luke's, Darien got some press time. In a New York Times article doing some mop up on the results of General Convention, a reporter paid a visit to his parish for their "report back" and his ruminations on the "crisis." Good stuff. I also commend my colleague, +Scott Barker's blog for a column he has pasted in from the UK's Guardian. All of that over the issues of sexuality and gender.
Reality for me is that I feel heartened that we actually spent more time as a denomination talking about money, social justice and the expansion of mission last month as a Church. As we recover from the floods in this region, I am proud of a church that chooses to care for its neighbors, rather than condemn them. I am excited about a Church that chooses to attempt to embrace the center, when the extremes seem to find time only to embrace deeper division.
Today, with a passage from Deuteronomy under my belt as a preacher, and with the healing of Jairus' daughter providing more fodder, I talked about our call to serve and love our neighbors. Even in the midst of the blatant testiness that we can too readily extend to others. In one passage, the writer enjoins the reader NOT to clench hands on money that could serve to relieve the suffering of another-even if the desire is NOT there to offer up assistance. Jesus persists with his ministrations to a little girl, even in the midst of rebuke, rejection and derision.
Why NOT do what we can to be in community? Why PERSIST in conflict and recrimination when people starve and ache and die when they don't need to? Sounds slightly silly to stress about what +++Rowan thinks of us, really, when people need to have their basements pumped out, when people who struggle for identity in the midst of oppression to live peaceful lives.
Time to get on with being Gospel people.