Monday, July 20, 2009

The Gospel Imperative to Reconcile

Pluralist gives us the low-down post-General Convention 2009:
The seeking of reconciliation is on a far larger canvas than some bureaucratic religious arrangement. It certainly is about people and about bringing the larger society and its prejudices to be reconciled and healed with a group of people who have, for so long, been outside the acceptable and the unwelcomed.

Like Resolution D025 The Episcopal Church has recovered in C056 what it sees as this Gospel imperative, and yet done so whilst admitting the disagreement over the matter and the discernment that is still to go on. C056 is even more careful than D025, in that it is really about the gathering of liturgical resources for presentation to the next General Covention in three years time. Such is a long time to wait for any approved liturgy for same sex couples.

It baffles me that you can have pet blessing services here and there without as much as a murmur, drawing on some of the margins (or at best the often ignored) of the Christian tradition, but you cannot have blessings of gay and lesbian couples without causing a huge fuss. If that isn't an ongoing need for sorting out priorities and reconciliation, then I am at a loss for understanding such an imperative. Thus individuals in places seeking blessings should surely receive them, whilst a Church gathers such efforts up and sees what could be possible, relevant rites for such blessings.

But, of course, some are obsessed with Church bureaucracies for the sake of them, even when they don't exist. Again, if there is such a Communion structure that does not want to involve a Church that looks to bless loving relationships in all its structures, then go ahead and be excluding (as an institutional symbol of exclusion, not reconciliation at all): and it may just be an opportunity for those more organic and friendly means of establishing relationships to reassert themselves over the ambitions of the bureaucratic empire builders.

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