Just so we’re all in the clear, I’m a high church liberal Episcopalian.
What’s all this fuss about gay bishops? We’ve had them before, we’re just being more honest about it than the rest of the world. It’s a shame that some gay clergy felt they had to wait until retirement to declare their orientation.
And while we’re on the subject, the best vicar my parish ever had was a gay woman. And her partner was a stalwart choir member too, at least in attendance if not in voice. I miss them both, and our little mission parish seems to be on permantent interim status until the diocese figures out what to do with us and with our partner parish in the yoking arrangement.
I didn’t know any of the previous vicars personally, but by all accounts they were difficult, old fashioned control freaks who didn’t like the diocese they were in (not conservative enough about those troublesome wimmin preachers and the 1979 prayerbook) but couldn’t bring themselves to take the next step. One of them left a biretta behind in the office. It’s still there, gathering dust.
“Growth was negative” during their eras, more because the neighborhood skewed older and other, less traditional churches (okay yes, the local multimedia megachurch) vacuumed up younger families.
The diocese probably thought we’d gone over to Rome years ago and forgot to file the paperwork.
Imagine their surprise when we worked to get back in their good graces with the help of our previous interim (who is now our current interim, and a lovely man). And so the last time we went through this, they sent us the aforementioned gay female priest and said “take this one choice or close.”
Imagine their surprise when she was enthusiastically accepted by all but one family.
She converted the issue to a non-issue when she came to us. To any parish faced with this choice – meet the man. Meet the woman. Then see how you feel.
And now, we wait. And wait. And wait for something to happen so we can get the ball rolling on getting our next vicar. The diocese has been helpful to a point, but part of the problem is there aren’t that many priests available, and also as a yoked parish (an unevenly matched set, if you will) we have more of a process to work through.
At least the diocese knows they could send us a hermaphroditic married gay whale for a vicar, and we’d enthusiastically embrace hi/r as a fellow mammal and follow the Anglo-Cetacean high church rite.
I wonder if they make underwater incense?