oday the House of Bishops voted to authorize the rites of blessing and witnessing lifelong covenants for provisional use. The vote was 111-41-3 abstentions. Bishop Andy Doyle voted no, as did Bishop Dena Harrison. Retired Bishop Wimberly voted no and Bishop High abstained. Bishop-elect Jeff Fisher had seat, but no vote, since he has not been ordained.
The lay and clergy deputies will vote tomorrow.
Instructions have been given to the deputies not to gloat in the face of the results. I understand this in the climate of winners and losers in which we live in the United States today. We offer each other so little grace.
After working for full inclusion for GLBT Christians in the life of our church and in society at large for the 24 years of my ordained ministry, I’ve got to say though; I feel joy! The stories and memories of so many faithful men and women come flooding into my heart on this day.
I know that there are many Episcopalians who feel sadness and consider this action wrong. In good conscience, they will not be able to offer these rites or attend them. I know that as we move forward at St. Stephen’s to offer these blessings, part of our ministry will be to clergy, family members, and others who cannot do so. Embodying grace and hospitality to all is our call as a congregation, including those with whom we disagree.
Today with rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.