Friday, May 18, 2018

Okay, Now What?

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! (Okay, now what?)

I have just returned home from the Spring meeting of the Board of Trustees of The General Seminary of The Episcopal Church. This meeting also included the 196th Commencement of the seminary and services related to that event including the Commencement Eucharist.

The preacher for that Eucharist was Spencer Cantrell who received his Master of Divinity degree later in the day. He is a young gay man who will be ordained a priest in our church at some point during the coming months. His sermon included aspects of his own spiritual journey in seeking a church that welcomed queer folks.

In noting various accomplishments he concluded each by asking “Okay, now what?” That is a very valid question to ask as milestones are achieved in both our personal spiritual journeys as well as the journey our church continues to take, especially when it involves the quest for us queer folks to be fully included in the life of the church in all places and not subjected to the whims of bishops (and priests) who have adopted the attitude that the non-discrimination canons do not apply to them and who have refused to allow same sex marriages to take place in their dioceses.

As we approach our General Convention in July in Austin, Texas, we should also be asking “okay, now what” about a variety of issues. We already know that full equality is not available for LGBTQ folks in 8 of our dioceses. That is very visible. Only slightly less visible is the work we still have to do about race, parity in deployment and compensation for women clergy, inclusion of non-English speaking people in every aspect of our church life, etc. So our question really does have to be “okay, now what” on so many issues that face our church.

Integrity USA is also asking “okay, now what?”  What IS next for us now that we have seemingly achieved our goals for inclusion at the church wide level?

One thing we must always be is vigilant... vigilant in making sure that what we have accomplished isn’t taken away. Vigilant in paying attention to what goes on at the diocesan and parish levels that demonstrates whether or not we as a church are being true to our statement of welcome. Vigilant in working with others who the church or parts of the church would continue to marginalize.  None of us is free until all of us are free.

What’s next for Integrity USA also includes the election of a new class of leaders for our organization. If you or someone you know would be interested in serving Integrity USA in a leadership role, please contact:

As always, I urge you to contact those who will represent your interests at General Convention. Let them know your personal story, your personal interest in helping insure the full inclusion of queer folks in the life of our church, including marriage. Let your voice be heard.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! (Okay, now what?)

Bruce Garner, President Integrity USA ... The Episcopal Rainbow

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