Showing posts with label God's love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's love. Show all posts

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, writes a moving tribute to Bishop Gene. He says what is in my heart much better than I ever could.  Kelvin invited the Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire to celebrate at St Mary's during Lambeth 2008, when Gene was locked out of the conference.  Kelvin says:
I’m grateful to him for his ministry here, one of the most electric Sunday mornings since I came here. I’m also grateful to him for keeping the faith, preaching the gospel and standing up to injustice. And yes, I’m proud of having known the first out gay man in a partnership (marriage now…) who became a bishop.  So, here’s to you, Bishop Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you can know. And I’m thankful for what you shared about that love whilst Bishop of New Hampshire.

It is abundantly clear today that it is not all about Gene Robinson any more. The compromise that has been announced in England in the last 24 hours only turns the clock back by about 18 months and I’m genuinely surprised by all the excitement in the media about it. Nothing has changed since yesterday. The key facts remain the same:

  •The Church of England behaves badly to gay people in leadership

  •The public discourse of the Church of England at major festivals is dominated by a prurient interest in Jeffrey John’s private life.

  •The media don’t understand it but like the fuss and use any excuse to put nutters on the television
Read Kelvin's lovely post in its entirety.

Bishop Gene's commentary on his exclusion from Lambeth.
The offer to be hosted at the Marketplace is a non-offer. That is already available to me. One workshop on one afternoon and being interviewed by the secular press was not anything I was seeking. I wasn't going to Lambeth to have another interview with the secular press. If interviewed at all, I want to talk with a theologian. I want to talk about the love of Christ. I want to talk about the God who saved me and redeemed me and continues to live in my life. I want to talk about the Jesus I know in my life.

But my mind boggles at the misperception that this is just about gay rights. It might be in another context, but in this context it is about God's love of all of God's children. It's a theological discussion, it's not a media show. I have been most disappointed in that my desire was to participate in Bible study and small groups, and that is not being offered. It makes me wonder: if we can't sit around a table and study the Bible together, what kind of communion do we have and what are we trying to save?

I am dismayed and sickhearted that we can't sit around a table, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and study scripture together.
Of all the voices that needed to be heard at Lambeth, Gene's was one of the most vital, but  Archbishop Rowan Williams chose rather to exclude him.  The church, for so long, persisted in talking about LGTB persons, rather than engaging with them and listening to them.  Change is taking place in churches and in secular society.  Sadly, the Church of England has not yet caught up.

I'm proud to be a member of the church that consecrated the first gay, partnered bishop in the Anglican Communion.  Gene and Mark are now married.  With his unwavering example in proclaiming the Gospel message of God's love and love for one another, by word and by deed, Gene changed many hearts.  Godspeed, Bishop Gene.
May the blessing of light be on you - light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I saw that God
never began to love us.

For just as we will be
in everlasting joy
(all God's creation is destined for this)

so also we have always been
in God's foreknowledge,
known and loved
from without beginning.

Julian of Norwich
I love the Book of Common Prayer. I love both Rites for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and all the Eucharistic prayers. I love the "Prayer of Humble Access", although a good many folks I know don't care for the prayer because of the emphasis on "We be not worthy...." There are people who have been so beaten down by "the changes and chances of this uncertain world" that they do not want nor do they need to hear that they are not worthy, and I fully understand. Still, I love the prayer for myself.
We do not presume to come to this thy Table (O merciful Lord) trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We be not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the Flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his Blood, in these holy Mysteries, that we may continually dwell in him, and he in us, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood. Amen.
Sometimes I say the prayer before communion, because the words express what is in my heart at the moment. I sing "Amazing Grace" without cringing at "a wretch like me". What I am, I am by the grace of God, who says to me, "You are my beloved." All is grace. All is love. That I am God's beloved trumps all.

I know what I was without God in my life, and I see what I am with God in my life. To express in words the difference between living in hope and living with little or no hope, between knowing the love of God surrounds me and is within me and knowing the emptiness when I believed God had not much to do with me is close to impossible.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you....
The knowledge that I am God's beloved is my salvation every day of my life. Therein lies my strength and my song. Yes, I have my moments (even hours and days!) of discouragement, but the secure knowledge of God's love and God's grace at work in me draws me back into the circle of hope.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
Thanks be to God!

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Mark Harris at Preludium preached a fine sermon for Lent II titled "God in the midst of death and destruction".

The Tweet summary:
Spirit filled and freed up, we Jesus people know that God loves the world fully and accept God’s love as the be all and end all of life.

Read the rest at Mark's blog. It's excellent.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


From San Diego Gay & Lesbian News:

SAN DIEGO – The Right Rev. Christopher Senyonjo could have retired in 1998 as Bishop of the Diocese of West Burganda, Uganda, with his pension and the satisfaction of serving the Anglican Church faithfully for many years.

But in 2001, he felt a calling to help the young people who came to his private counseling service for advice on how to deal with coming out in this east African nation of 33 million people where homosexuality is illegal and where gays and lesbians are routinely tormented and harassed.

So Bishop Christopher, as he is fondly known and who is often referred to as the Desmond Tutu of Uganda,, was compelled to help the confused and frightened young gays who had mustered up the courage to seek his counsel.

A scandalous tabloid in Uganda called Rolling Stone even put his image on the front cover of a recent edition that called for the hanging of LGBT people, putting his life in danger. Never mind that the bishop is straight, and is a husband, father and grandfather.

To his enemies, Bishop Christopher turns the other cheek. He believes he is doing God’s work – and so do many of his supporters across the globe.

The bishop is in San Diego this week to accept California Senate Resolution 51, which will be presented to him by state Sen. Christine Kehoe on Thursday, Dec. 2, during a reception at Eden in Hillcrest.

Senate Resolution 51 commends Bishop Christopher’s work and calls for government to be more stringent in monitoring abuses by churches that are supporting the false claims of so called “ex-gay ministries” and exporting homophobia to countries like Uganda. It also encourages faith-based organizations in the U.S. to support the creation of policies in other countries that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ever the humble man, Bishop Christopher says he feels honored by the resolution.

“Thank God there are people who appreciate what I am doing,” he says. “I didn’t think, in my lifetime, that I would be recognized for what I am doing. … It encourages me to go on serving to the end of my life.”

H/T to MadPriest, who called my attention to the article and the video of the courageous Bishop Christopher. MadPriest himself also speaks powerful and true words about God and God's love:

There is one credal statement of which no greater can be imagined. It is never provisional and it cannot be subject to any other statement. All other statements are subject to it and are untruthful if they do not fully agree with it or give rise to anything that is not of it. There are no exceptions. Scripture, the Church and God cannot add to, lessen or change it in any way. It is of itself as God is of Godself, because it is God. It is the greatest truth from which all reality flows.

God is love.

Read the rest of MadPriest's words at the link above.