Tuesday, September 24, 2013

letter 89

                                                                                                            September 23, 2013
Dear Bishop Webb,

I have been struggling with the words to send expressing my concern over the Church’s position on the acceptability of the “other.” Having been the “other” as a person of color, in the church as well as in society at large, I have a deep sense of the injustice of the concept of who is incompatible and what criteria determines that incompatibility.

Last Sunday I heard a prophetic message preached by Pastor Sara Baron.  I no longer struggle with my words, but share with you the quote below, an excerpt from Pastor Baron’s sermon.

“Second Lament:

We used to be your people.
We led the way to morality.
We knew what justice looked like.

You spoke your word, and they shared it.

Now we fall behind.
Now justice comes from the state – and DOMA has fallen through the court,
yet the church brings to trial those who fulfill their regular pastoral duty when it happens to include people of the same sex.

We who once knew justice now know punitive disciplinary process.
We who were called by Love, are asked to refrain from celebrating it.

We've waited.
We've been patient.
We've played nicely.
We've trusted that your Spirit would move.


When can we move on from this?
When can we be freed?

We know you love all your children!
We know you celebrate mutual, affirming love wherever it can be found.
We know you are waiting for us to catch up to your vision of inclusion.

How can we participate in a church that has no vision?
How can we be a part of a body that doesn't seek justice?
How many people will commit suicide while the church holds firm to its outdated morality?
How many people will you call who the church will not receive?
How much love will be shared which the church will fail to bless and celebrate?
How far can we fall from grace?
How far?” Amen!

I am in daily prayer for you and those that you are shepherding. May you, through discernment with our Blessed Savior, come to a just solution in the matter of Pastor Heiss and his choice to “do justice” and “do no harm.”

May the peace of God be yours today and evermore.

Shirley Readdean

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