Friday, May 11, 2018

The Time Between

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
The Lord is Risen indeed, Alleluia! (The time between.)

We are in the “time between.”

The Church’s liturgical year has celebrated the Feast of the Ascension. Jesus has returned to oneness with God. But the Church has not yet received the Holy Spirit, that which creates the Triune God we worship. We are in that time between.

It strikes me that The Episcopal Church is, perhaps is actually stuck, in a time between. The same is true for Integrity USA. What is our “time between?”

The Church was to be anointed with great power in the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. At this particular point in the timeline, however, the Church was waiting and probably wondering what was next, what else were they to expect. Jesus had told them in one account to go into all the world and bring people into community with them, baptizing accordingly. NOTE WELL:  Jesus told them to GO, get out the word, go into the world. He didn’t say to build a structure and wait for people to come join them.

We, both The Episcopal Church and Integrity USA, have accomplished much toward making our branch of Christendom a welcoming and affirming community for all of God’s children. Perhaps I should provide the caveat that we have done so at the church wide level, at the administrative level of canons, constitution and policy. We talk Jesus movement language, but do we use the soles of our feet to actually achieve any movement beyond the talk?

What puts us in the time between is what remains to be done at the provincial, diocesan, and parish level. The grass at our roots needs care and tending to take us forward, to move us out of that time between where we seem to have rested on our laurels for far too long.

The work of inclusion, the work of affirmation and welcome, the work of what truly makes us the Body of Christ remains unfinished. The Episcopal Church Welcomes You is still not a reality for all places and all people.

Our next General Convention is on the horizon. This is our opportunity to help get us out of our between time and moving more to that beloved community we are called to be. Resolutions may be just words on a paper or an electronic device to some. They are more. They are the way that we continue to give more than lip service to Jesus command for us to go out and do the work we have been given to do.

Let your Deputies and your Bishop(s) know your opinion. Write, call, email, text those who will be making decisions. If you have a personal story of the impact of any proposed legislation, share that with them. Put a face on the issues that matter to you. A face is more difficult to dismiss.

Your Deputies in particular need to hear from you. Deputies go to General Convention as independent representatives of their dioceses. They do not go already directed to do anything or vote a particular way. They go - or should go - with open minds and hearts to hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest what is put before them. The go to make decisions with all the information they have brought with them and what they will gather while at Convention.

Integrity continues working to insure that all God’s children receive the respect for their dignity required by our Baptismal Covenant. How we do that will change. New leaders we will soon elect are vital to  us moving forward. If you feel called to be part of the next group of leaders whether on the board of directors or as a Provincial Coordinator, please put your name forward to the nominating committee at this email address: .

Yes, Christ is risen. The Lord is risen, indeed, alleluia! Risen for all...regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, gender expression/identity, or any other characteristic of the children of God. And let us be faithful to the work before us to insure that all may know the love of Jesus! Let us work to move us past the time between and into where we need to be for all, but particularly the least among us.

Bruce Garner
President Integrity USA ... The Episcopal Rainbow

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