Sunday, April 5, 2009

To My Clergy Friends

You know who you are. You have been ordained as clergy in the Episcopal Church. Some of you were ordained in the Diocese of San Joaquin. Some of you were ordained elsewhere in California. All of you were ordained in the US. You have decided in your own hearts that you can no longer support the vows you took at ordination, specifically as they relate to The Episcopal Church. For reasons that are important to you, you have chosen to abandon those vows. I understand that you don't see your actions as abandonment. In the eyes of most outside your own circle, you have abandoned the Episcopal Church.

I know you have felt, likely still feel, that the Episcopal Church has abandoned you. Maybe you are beginning to question your decision, but are still loyal to John-David Scofield. Perhaps you feel that it is too late to make a different choice.

I need you to know, especially as we enter Holy Week, that I still count you as friends. You are very special people in my life. We've shared good times, shared joys. You were there when Ray and I needed you. You brought him communion. You brought him music. You brought him peace. You brought him God's unconditional love. You were there when we said farewell.

As God loves us each unconditionally, so I am called to love unconditionally. Remember how Ray used to say, "It's not up to us to judge. That's God's job. He'll sort it all out in the end. Besides," Ray would add, "I hate to see God in the unemployment line."

I don't support the choice you have made. You know that. You know how I feel about exclusivity in church. But I support you. I support you as individuals, I support you as friends, and I support you as part of the Christian Family. I cannot support you enough to leave the Episcopal Church myself. If you chose to return to the Episcopal Church, and if I were in your community, I would be honored be part of your congregation, to serve with you, to take communion from you.

It is never too late to come home.

Look for the light. Give thanks for God's unconditional love. Pray without ceasing.

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