We like to use the language of reconciliation when we are talking about racial justice, racial relationships. But, I want to say that to reconcile essentially means that we were together, we broke apart, and now are coming back together. When we look at the history of this country and many countries around the world, there is not a time where we can look back to as a frame of reference, like, “man we really had our stuff together then. Let’s use that as our guiding star into the future.”
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.”
In 2017, more than 65,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. Millions more suffer from opioid addiction in every corner of our Church. GC79 will consider only one resolution concerning the opioid epidemic. Of course, the number of resolutions considered on any given issue is not the standard for how deeply we care, but Jan Brown, deacon of Bruton Parish in Williamsburg, Va., issues an urgent call for us to do more as a Church.
As Episcopalians, let us ask ourselves this question: How, in modern times, is evil organized? In the systematic denial of the dignity of every human being, in the way we want to detach ourselves from our history, from our deep and God-given sense of Ubuntu. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.
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?”