Monday, June 23, 2008

Integrity President Banned from GAFCON

I woke up this morning to an email from a friend which cryptically said:

Dear Susan, Congratulations - good company! love Jenny

Hmmm ... I wondered. What's THIS about?

Well, pretty soon the email inbox starting "pinging" and I found out.

It was "about" what Episcopal Cafe is labeling "The GAFCON Eight" ... a list of eight folks pictured on a "watch list" described by Ruth Gledhill as "The eight men and women pictured here are on the official list of those to be denied entry to Gafcon should they try to show up."

In case you can't make out the pictures, the list includes Colorado Bishop Robert O’Neill, Nigerian gay activist Davis MacIyalla, Louie Crew, Colin Coward, Scott Gunn and Deborah and Robert Edmunds.

Honored, I'm sure, to be in such august company! (And I'm going to email Ruth and see if there's any chance of getting a copy of this for my scrapbook!)

And, just for the record, Integrity never had any intention of "showing up" for GAFCON ... in fact, we haven't even bothered to send a member of our media team to this one. There are indeed times and places and gatherings about the Anglican Communion where Integrity has felt called to show up -- but this isn't one of them.

The gathering in Jerusalem which at one point painted itself as a alternative Lambeth Conference (which makes as much sense as the bishops of Fort Worth and Pittsburgh having a conference and calling it an alternative to General Convention!) is so busy back-pedaling it's hard to keep track of the spin du jour.

Jim Naughton does his usual excellent job of helping keep it all straight (so to speak:)

GAFCON’s high profile leaders don’t have the strength to force the schism they yearn for. Too few provinces are on board, and not all of those provinces are united in their desire to leave the Communion. Indeed, the people I have spoken to at the conference suggest a wide range of opinion on the issue of schism, even among those devoted enough to fly to Jerusalem to talk about it.

So the leaders of GAFCON are attempting to dress up strategic failure as the dawning of a new phase of their march toward victory, hoping that the media will bite. After five years of schismatic maneuvering, they have said, in effect, that they will associate closely with some Anglicans while trying to make life miserable for others--a state of affairs in no way different today
than it was last month, last year or last decade.

And that, my friends, is why the GAFCON security guards can rest easy tonight.

I actually have a full-time job and it isn't lurking around other people's conferences "without portfolio." Sorry to disappoint!

Of course we will be at Lambeth Conference next month -- a very different kettle of fish altogether. Our extraordinarily gifted media team will be providing daily updates. Our national leadership team will be collaborating with allies from around the Anglican Communion to offer the opportunity for an LGBT witness to the Good News of God in Christ Jesus manifest in our lives, our relationships and our vocations. And we will be working with our bishops to support their witness to their brother and sister bishops during their time together as they strive to strengthen the bonds of affection that bind us together as part of the this Great Big Fat Anglican Family.

If you haven't yet contributed to the Canterbury Campaign making this witness possible, it's not too late. Click here to donate online ... or visit the Canterbury Campaign website for more information.

As for me, it's hi-ho, hi-ho and back to work I go. Eucharist at noon, a counseling session at 2, a communication meeting at 3 and then a Memorial Service. (See also: the full time job that isn't lurking about other people's conferences)

Blessings, all! Onward and upward!


1 comment:

tonyw said...

Wow for some people to be talking about 'biblical' unity and scriptural authority I think they arnt reading the same bible I do. Wasn't Jesus acused of eating with prostitutes and sinners, guess they overlooked that verse too.. I could go on and on and get on my soapbox but enough said. congratulations to the 8. you must be doing something right :)