Friday, August 7, 2009

An open Letter to the Episcopal Diocese of Albany

I come to this with an agenda. I am a Vice President of Integrity USA. Our stated purpose is the claim "all the sacraments for all the baptized."

So, full disclosure.

Having said that I have a very honest question. What is it that separates my diocese (Rochester) from your diocese? OK.... 200 miles... but I was asking theologically or rather broader than that.

I am a member of a rather small, semi-rural congregation where 12-15 people will show up at the Gay Pride parade. I know that as soon as the state allows same-sex marriages and the diocese comes to terms with this, they will dance at my wedding. Our Diocesan Convention passed a resolution last year supporting marriage equality.

It is my understanding that in your diocese there were resolutions passed forbid blessings of same-sex couples and the use of diocesan property for such. I understand that your clergy is forbidden to participate in these events.

So again, what separates us? There is not a monolithic point of view on the part of the parishioners in our diocese. I suspect that neither is their agreement with all the people in your diocese.

I expect that we all take the Bible seriously but like most Episcopalians few of us read it daily. I expect that beyond being a place of worship our churches are place where our family of choice gathers. We run capital campaigns, do community outreach and do our best as human beings to love God and each other as ourselves.

Chances are that there are as many LGBT people in Albany (by percentage) as in Rochester. I would guess that, based on your public positions, there may be fewer in your pews...

But beyond that what makes our Dioceses so different?

Just asking a question that might feed the dialogue in which we all say we want to engage.

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