The Believe Out Loud workshops are really keeping me going. In a church where there is so much politics (which to be sure has been our friend) and so much jockeying for power and control these experience are so thoroughly refreshing. For the most part people can lay aside the silly stuff and really celebrates what brings us together and Episcopalians who love this church and are celebrating its move into a future which is long overdue.
Allowing that the word's of Our Lord may have been edited for publication, I can only see him saying, "It's about damn time."
It seems that we are beginning to move beyond a time of much that has slowed our movement and frankly kept some of us a afraid of stepping on a mine. I could hardly be considered the paragon of political correctness. We certainly come to group with diverse tastes in liturgy, with varying sensitivities to and viewpoints on completely inclusive language and broadly different musical tastes. But when we mix it up and are authentic with one another, the nit-picking is recognized as nothing more than that. We focus on what the core of our mission is and how we can accomplish it together. Effective synergy requires an assumption of good intent. It requires an open-mindedness toward one another and only when that can be achieved can we be ready to gracefully engage those with which we disagree.
I think if we examine ourselves we will find that at as movement our lack of ability to work together has caused many lost opportunities.
This Workshop Series has thus far represented diversity within the Episcopal Church. Registration in Portland was about 50% female. In San Diego about 35% female. We have had a good mix of gay and non-gay. More people of color and a broader range of ages has been a problem... but it is a problem for the whole church, not just for our group of LGBT and supporters but for the larger church.
These workshops have been a model of how we can work together. Sounds simple... and it really is.