The End of Us vs. Them

Yesterday the press was eager to report on developments in our church, not in a way to fuel the culture wars, but to hear how we as Episcopalians are facing a change in our understanding and practice regarding ministry with gay and lesbian couples.  They were interested in how we are moving forward.

It is especially important to me that LBGT folks, young people, and those who have become weary of hearing Christians fighting in public see us as a Church acting in a welcoming, mature way, which embraces ambiguity and comprehensiveness.

Our Episcopal way of allowing differences of conscience while simultaneously providing for common prayer is an important witness to this polarized culture of which we are a part.  The Bishop’s plan is not an either/or way forward.  It allows for diversity of conscience while focusing on the unity of our mission.  We are called to embody Christ’s grace and to be vehicles for offering it to the world.

As a congregation, St. Stephen’s will now be free to begin asking new questions and creating new dimensions  in our common life.  We do so within the broader context of the Episcopal Church.  The point of it all is to share the gracious hospitality of God.

To recap, I wrote a blog piece Wednesday, in which I expressed my initial feelings:

http://ststephenshouston.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/same-sex-blessings/

The Houston Chronicle Faith Blog wrote a piece about it,

http://blog.chron.com/believeitornot/2012/04/episcopalians-in-houston-prepare-for-possible-same-sex-ceremonies/

which got expanded into a feature piece,

http://www.chron.com/news/article/Montrose-Episcopal-church-will-offer-same-sex-3514007.php

and then most of the other local news networks picked up the story.  As of this morning, the AP picked up the story and it’s been run in over 20 news outlets:

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8637969.

I look forward to your comments and questions!

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3 thoughts on “The End of Us vs. Them

  1. I am so happy that St. Stephen’s will be at the forefront of this important step in our church. It is this kind of open-mindedness and embracing of all kinds of identities that most draws me to the Episcopal Church and the congregation of St. Stephen’s. If there is one thing I feel certain of when if comes to faith, its that Jesus would be with us on this!

  2. I was saddened to hear of your non Biblical beliefs and your promotion of homosexuals/sodomites.

    It is an unnatural lifestyle and their/your agenda to brainwash children and weak adults. Do you really think it’s natural for a man to use his penis as a suppository on another man? Homosexuals/sodomites continue to spread AIDS which has cost many lives and millions of dollars. When you support their unnatural acts, you are promoting and supporting the spread of AIDS.

    The Bible is the priceless word of God for His children. You can’t replace what God says with what you think. You are handling it askew. Your are ignoring His word and doing your own thing. The Bible was written for believers not skeptics. You need to get truth out of scriptures – read it – read what’s written.

    You are leading many astray instead of bringing them to the truth in God’s word. The Church is not to embrace immorality. Just what do you think sexual immorality is? Does it include everything except homosexuality/sodomy? I think not! There are many sins and God will forgive us of any and all sins, if we repent and ask Him. Homosexuality IS one of the many sins we can be forgiven for. If you embrace homosexuality, then why not embrace all sins?

    If you don’t believe God’s word, then you are an unbeliever. Maybe that’s why you don’t understand it because the Bible is for believers not skeptics.

    Sincerely,

    A believer in God’s word (not man’s word)

  3. I am very pleased of the stand that Reverand Lisa Hunt has taken in regard to president Obama and his change of heart on the issue of gay marriage.St.Stephen’s has always been a congregation that has been open to all.I was raised catholic and drifted from faith,and god for over a decade!On the third week of september in 2003 I decided to go to St.Stephens.i felt so welcomed by this congregation,that I went to study groups at Helen Havens home.I am proud to be an Episcopalian today!The clergy,and congregation of this church helped me when I fought cancer twice.This is a congregation that walks the walk,instead of talking the talk.I hope I can be at St.Stephen’s when Reverand Lisa makes history with the celebration of the first civil union in Houston in an Episcopal church.I would also like to thank Bishop Doyle.I think politicians can learn a thing or two about compromise!We all may agree,and disagree ,but one thing is for certain,We are all of God’s children!

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