In light of the #MeToo movement, a number of resolutions have been introduced creating a safe space for filing claims under Title IV and, for a limited period of time, having no statute of limitations for those offenses that are sexual in nature.
Truth telling is powerful. And there has been a lot of it here at General Convention. Truths never before spoken have been exposed to the light. While I’ve seen powerful examples of this across a range of significant topics – racial justice, gender identity, compensation parity for lay employees, and marriage equality – I’ve been most impacted by those testifying to their experiences of sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse within our Church.
There are many ways that a General Convention is like a fabulous ingathering. Certainly, there is serious work going on here, but it is nice to be surrounded by so many people who are in love with this Church. The question I’m left pondering is how many of these people are equally in love with Jesus?
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.
Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe spoke with me about the upcoming event. She reflects that, growing up in the Church, a culture of sexual harassment and abuse of women has been “as much a part of [her] experience as prayer, communion and worship.” She doesn’t want that to continue.