This past Sunday was a momentous one for us at St. Stephen’s. We heard of the courageous Council speech by our bishop as he begins the work of including openly GLBT partnered clergy into the life of the Diocese of Texas. For the first time in decades we celebrated Scouting Sunday. And we displayed a selection from the Shower of Stoles.
“The Shower of Stoles is a collection of over a thousand liturgical stoles and other sacred items representing the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of faith. Each stole contains the story of a GLBT person who is active in the life and leadership of their faith community in some way: minister, elder, deacon, teacher, missionary, musician, administrator, or active layperson
“The Shower of Stoles celebrates the gifts of GLBT persons who serve God in countless ways, while also lifting up those who have been excluded from service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The collection bears witness to the huge loss of leadership that the church has brought upon itself because of its own unjust policies.” welcoming resources.org
Integrity/Houston, an advocacy organization of GLBT Episcopalians and their friends, brought the Shower of Stoles display to exhibit at the Diocesan Council. Integrity/Houston shared the exhibit with St. Stephen’s in the Gathering Area during hospitality.
Standing in front of the display of stoles, Paul Courry, a communicant of St. Stephen’s and an Integrity Board Member, was explaining to two young boy scouts what the display was about.
One of the young scouts said, “You mean that all of these people lost their jobs because of who they loved?”
“That’s right,” responded Paul.
“Wow, that’s messed up,” exclaimed the scout.
Christian witness and formation takes myriad forms. That day both laid claim to the power of love to change hearts and minds.