Our work here has been buoyed by some wonderfulpreaching. Yesterday Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies, preached an inspiring sermon based on the readings for the feast day of the martyred Czeck Reformer John Huss (c. 1369 – 6 July 1415). You can watch the video and see the text here. Her theme was courage:
“Courage animates all our virtues-honesty, confidence, humility, compassion, integrity, valor. Without courage, all these virtues lie dormant. There is no prescription for teaching courage. You may have noticed that courage 101 is not taught in school, or even in college, or even in seminary.”
“I can vividly remember the first time I stood up for something. I bet you can too. That memory becomes the story of a defining moment that is incorporated into our spiritual selves and becomes a cornerstone of our morality or our moral courage. If we are to reflect on our life, each of us can probably name today, events and people who helped to shape our moral courage. Moral courage defines us at our core and prompts us to act in spite offear.”
I left the service strengthened for the day ahead. As we did yesterday, several of us readied ourselves to testify at a committee hearing. This time it was D022, a “Churchwide Response to Bullying.” I spoke in support of it in my capacity as an Episcopal Campus Minister. Before the day was out, the committee had reported it out tothe House of Bishops.
Then this morning Bishop Michael Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina, assigned the lection in celebration of the life of the novelist and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, preached a soul-stirring sermon on how being a prophetic Christian requires a certain kind of insanity. Watch and/or read it here. Citing the gospel passage from June 10th(Mark 3:20-35) in which Jesus’ family comes to find him and declares him “out of his mind,” Bishop Curry proclaimed,
“forgive me for saying it this way,but Jesus was, and is, crazy! And those who would follow him, those who would be his disciples, those who would live as and be the people of the Way, are called and summoned and challenged to be just as crazy as Jesus. So I want to speak on the subject, ‘We Need Some Crazy Christians.’”
I couldn’t help myself—I just had to tweet, to share, what I was hearing. Over the next several minutes my twitter account posted:
· #GC77 nervous re: voting on #Trans people in ordained & lay ministry? remember this morning's sermon: 'we need some*crazy* Christians.'
· #GC77 Rt Rev Curry preaches it in a.m.Eucharist: 'we are called to be *different*'. #TransEpiscopal
· Bp Michael Curry: 'We need some *crazy* Christians to change this world in the name of Jesus.'... 'Think different.'#GC77
· 'the ones crazy enough to think they can changethe world do.' May this Convention be transfigured by the Bps witness #GC77
And all of this crazy talk made me free associate:
· As Seal put it, 'cuz we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy' #GC77 #TransEpiscopal
I haven’t been able to get the Seal song out of my headsince (and now it’s in yours… sorry).
After the service I flipped over my name tag and wrote
As I left the worship space I found myself wondering, will the bishops make the connection between Bishop Curry’s inspiring message and the trans nondiscrimination resolutions? Are they willing to be “crazy” enough – as some may well deem them within this church and beyond– to embrace the ministries of its transgender members, lay and ordained? Are they willing to take that leap?
This morning TransEpiscopal members and supporters sat inthe HoB gallery. The bishops did not quite get to our resolutions, but we return to the gallery now with hope in our hearts.
- The Rev'd Dr. Cameron Partridge