Bishop Bob Ihloff: “The Detention Center was stark and foreboding. Before we got closer, it was as if it were deserted. Then there were hands and pieces of paper moving in the slot windows, and acknowledgement there were people within. They could see us and we them. It was both frustrating and moving: frustrating because they couldn’t hear us and moving that we had made contact across a deep and unjust divide.”
I was relieved to hear someone say yesterday, “We can’t hear the voices of the poor, because they are not here.” That silence can be deafening. Those living with poverty and oppression in this world have so much to share with us about where Jesus is made known in their midst. But, if we cannot hear those voices because our privilege is speaking too loudly, then it might be time to turn down the volume and listen.
As General Convention considers the question of Prayer Book revision, it is imperative that new and better Prayer Book translations be authorized and funded. Producing translations that are truly accessible to the people who will use them is not only a matter of justice for our siblings in the Episcopal Church, it is deeply consistent with the history of Anglican liturgy.
Bishop Susan Goff: “As the Episcopal Church, how will we respond in love when confronted yet again with the political decision about the ethical complexities of reproductive rights? How will we hear the voices of women and men who have been caught in the web of these complexities? How will we incarnate these conversations so that they are not merely abstract theological debates?”
We stood outside the Convention Center having just participated in the Liturgy of Listening hosted by the House of Bishops on the evening of July 4, trying to reflect on what had just happened inside. We got as far as “I feel heavy” and “I feel angry” and then, silence. An appropriate first response, I think.
We’re getting to know the thousands of Episcopalians here at #GC79, a handful at a time. Center Aisle returns to our world-famous series (read: Church-famous series), Humans of General Convention!
Shannon S. Johnston, Bishop of Virginia: “Sometimes, entire lives are changed by disappointment following a vote; people are even driven into despair. Yet, the larger community often loses touch with that pain, as if it doesn’t matter. I believe that we would do well to keep the kind of perspective that causes us to remember that there are such stories and engage them. We would all be much the richer if we did because there are faithful members of our Episcopal Church who have endured the hurt, the rawness, of losing a ‘milestone’ vote and have nonetheless stayed their course within our Church, even finding new strength.”