There is a difference between generations. This has been brought home to me this week as St. Stephen’s prepares for our first blessing service for a same sex couple.
Those in our community who were young people when Stonewall happened are pinching themselves at the reality that an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Texas is actually going to bless a gay couple in a Sunday morning service. Underneath the awareness is a fear that crazy folks will show up with guns and wreck the day. Texas Christians can be a mean bunch, in their personal experience.
Others of us who came of age during the heyday of Will and Grace, assume that LGBT folks are a given in our lives. Of course, our best friend is a gay lawyer. Yes, my sister and her partner are coming for Thanksgiving together. It is a great thing to be able to have the Church come along and do the right thing by blessing our friends.
For those of us who are younger still, the designations of sexual orientation are seen, not as novel, but as an enhancement of identity, a rich opportunity to expand our common humanity. Why would the church need to have a new rite when we are all equal before the Lord? These folks assume it is a matter of days or months before the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act and other such silliness. Marriage is marriage.
There is a world of difference between Stonewall and the striking down of Proposition 8. As a community of faith, we incorporate folks who embody these experiences and then some. A common value is that we will trust God and not be afraid. No change can separate us from the love of God in Christ. Practically all of the feedback we have received has been positive, affirming our ministry of reconciliation and love. May we take heart and bear witness with boldness and generosity of spirit to the power of God’s love among us.