Thursday, July 23, 2009

After Anaheim 5 St. Barbara Harris

Link to the whole text of the blessed Bishop Barbara Harris' sermon at Integrity's Eucharist in Anaheim at Walking with Integrity. For the fledgling Episcopalians among you, Barbara was the first woman consecrated a bishop in the Episcopal Church (seen here with the first openly gay man to be consecrated a bishop in the Episcopal Church).

Here are some highlights:

Unfortunately, many of the people who need to be reminded of these truths are not here, (Laughter) nor are they any longer a part of this Episcopal fellowship. And indeed, such truths may not resonate with many who are here. One such truth is Peter’s assertion and his understanding that indeed God has no favorites, but that anybody who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God, or in more traditional language, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” So that neither the self-proclaimed orthodox, the selective traditionalist, the evangelicals, nor the progressives and the reformers have any special claim on God’s favor or God’s approval. If indeed God, who doeth all things well, is the creator of all things, how can some things be more acceptable to the Creator than others? (Applause) It follows, for me at least, that if God is the Creator of all persons, then how can some people be more acceptable to God than others?


More importantly, if indeed the church honestly believes gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender folk should not be bishops, then the church should not ordain them to the sacred order of deacons. For certainly, if one is deemed fit to be ordained a transitional deacon, then one should be deemed eligible to move into the sacred order of priests and to be elected and consecrated to the episcopate. If you don’t want GLBT folks as bishops, don’t ordain them as deacons. Better yet, be honest and say, “We don’t want you, you don’t belong here,” and don’t bestow upon them the sacrament of Baptism to begin with. (Applause)

How can you initiate someone and then treat them like they’re half-assed baptized? (Cheers and applause)

And, and let me ask, (Laughter) that since we don’t have any say in who gets see-lected as bishops in some other provinces of the Communion, why should those in other provinces be able to dictate who can or cannot be ee-lected by (Applause) – Oh, let me finish the sentence – who cannot be elected by the laity and clergy who they will lead in this branch of Christ’s holy and catholic church.

Again, read it all here.

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