GENERAL CONVENTION 2003


PAINFULLY FAITHFUL

In the aftermath of the consent to Canon Gene Robinsonís consecration, much is being made of how this consent will affect me as a priest. There are those on the conservative side who proclaim I will not be able to be faithful to my vows because Canon Robinson is gay and living in a committed relationship with his partner.

There are those on the liberal side who proclaim that I will be more able to be faithful to my vows, for the exact same reason.
Why anyone would think that Canon Robinsonís consecration would impact my faithfulness to my ordination vows is beyond me.

I am not faithful (either as an ordained person or as a baptized Christian) because of who or what another person is. I am faithful because I have a personal relationship with God that calls me into right relationship and asks me to respect the desires, not of my will, but of Godís will.

There also are those who are in tremendous pain over Canon Robinsonís impending consecration and are praying, mostly faithfully, over whether to schism. As a schismatic myself (for I am an apostate heretic according to the Roman Catholic Church of my birth and heritage) I know deeply and personally the pain these faithful people are going through. It took me 12 years from the time I decided to leave Rome to the time I first entered, in great fear and trembling, an Episcopal church.

I, too, am in pain today, because many of my brothers and sisters in this Church are in pain. I donít want to cause others pain, and I donít want others to suffer. But I refuse to make decisions on how to live faithfully into my baptismal and ordination vows based on other peopleís proclamations, whatever side they take on the issue of sexuality.

I base my faithfulness on those lovely lines from the General Confession, that we may delight in Godís will and walk in Godís ways to the glory of Godís name.

The Rev. Lauren Stanley, DIOCESE OF VIRGINIA from CenterAisle.org

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5/7/04 -j