Patrick Keyser on the take-home lessons on Prayer Book revision: comprehensive BCP revision later, better BCP translations soon, trial-use inclusive BCP language now. “With General Convention wrapped up, some may be asking what was actually decided, especially on the topic of Prayer Book revision. Headlines like ‘Bishops Kill Comprehensive Prayer Book Revision’ (The Living Church) left many with an incomplete picture of what transpired at the 79th General Convention.”
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?
In 1966, the House of Bishops expelled the Diocese of Cuba from the Episcopal Church in, as some describe it, an action outside of our constitutional responsibilities. Under an oppressive regime, the Episcopal Church in Cuba survived in the living rooms of the grandmothers who maintained the practices and relationships. They continued to minister to one another in Christ’s name.
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.
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.
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.
Print edition: Issue Eight, July 1, 2015 In this issue: “From Liverpool: Linked to You as ‘Jesus People’” By the Rt. Rev. Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool “Encountering Dios: My Bilingual Worship Experience” By Aisha Huertas Michel, Communications Director, the Diocese of Virginia Traducción al Español: “Mi Experiencia de […]