The Rev’d Canon E. Mark Stevenson, my friend and mentor who is going to do me the honor of preaching at my ordination on Oct. 20th, was present during the deliberations in New Orleans this past week. He is Canon to the Ordinary for Bishop Jenkins and is a thoughtful and godly man whom I trust. He shares with us his reflections on the process and I share just a portion here. Please be sure to read the whole thing.
What I experienced included these things: I heard bishops on both sides speak from places of entrenchment and fear of loss, and yet I witnessed many others speak from a place of sacrifice and acknowledgment that it would require the power of God’s grace to move us forward. I saw bishops on both sides move further to the extreme, and yet I saw others move ever-so-cautiously from long-held places of comfort to a place of risk. I heard words of encouragement and I heard words of doom. I saw the Episcopal Church and/or the Anglican Communion proclaimed dead, and I saw both alive and vibrant.I was honored to be able to sit in a room at one point with several bishops, our bishop among them, and listen to men and women with extreme differences of opinion tug and pull at words to deliver to the floor of the House, words that would honor the Gospel and Christ’s mission for us as Episcopalians. Contrary to what is being reported on many of the internet blogs or in the media, the statement that was passed at the end of the meeting was not “prepared well in advance,” or crafted so as to “buy time” – – it was the result of prayer and consultation and hope and agreement in the face of disagreement, because it was informed and directed by the work of such groups as the one in which I sat. It was informed by bishops – left and right – who said (and I heard them say it) that this will be tough for them back home, but it is important because Christ’s Church is important.
(Via The Bishop’s Blog.)