We can resist the urge to fight solely for our own individual perspective and consider first-and-foremost the Body of Christ. We can pray and patiently exercise deep listening across the divide. Try on what the Very Rev. Sam Candler referred to in a presentation to the House of Deputies as the Via Comprehensiva: the wider way where contraries do not always contradict.
My brothers and sisters, how long? Will you use the next three years to ensure that resolutions turn into actions both at the Church and local level? Will you begin planning, now, to ensure that your brothers and sisters of color, of diverse cultures, have a firsthand invitation to the table that doesn’t feel like an afterthought?
This moment of public witness comes in the midst of General Convention, a time when I am also hearing rallying cries of people “back in the pews” at home: listen to us, see us. Although I am on the sidelines watching from the media section, I am also here to bear witness and tell you: We see you. We hear you on social media, and we talk about the concerns of old and young, conservative and progressive, Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical, black and white.
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.”
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.