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COLUMBUS, OH: Bishop Katherine celebrates transgender Jesus

COLUMBUS, OH: Bishop Katharine celebrates transgender Jesus

By Hans Zeiger
VirtueOnline Correspondent

COLUMBUS, OHIO (6/21/06)-While addressing a morning Eucharist at the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori declared, "Our mother Jesus gives birth to a new creation. And you and I are His children."

With Jefferts Schori as the leader-to-be of the Episcopal Chuch, it seems that the church will move beyond gender-inclusive language to transgender-inclusive language.

Yesterday however, the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops refused to even consider a resolution that would affirm the exclusive Lordship of Jesus Christ as "the only name by which any person may be saved." The Rev. Canon Eugene McDowell of the Diocese of North Carolina explained, "This type of language was used in 1920s and 1930s to alienate the type of people who were executed. It was called the Holocaust."

Perhaps Episcopalians would be more receptive of a resolution affirming the supreme transexuality of Jesus.


Presiding Bishop-ELECT.
June 21, 2006

Last Sunday morning, I woke very early but it was still dark. I must have been thinking about something. I wanted to go for a run, but had to wait for enough light to see. Ran by back of Hyatt. The men working by the dumpster were startled.

I saw a man from convention center and we said a quiet good morning. Then I found a quiet green park in the middle of this city. There was a man standing there, in an orange reflective vest standing by orange cones. I said good morning; he responded in kind. Then there was the bleary-eyed fellow with several bags. Said good morning to him, too but when past him on street, not the sidewalk.

A rabbit was hopping along the sidewalk. It looked at me and we shared a moment of greeting. A woman delivering Sunday papers, getting out of the car and delivering the paper to doorsteps. She didn’t get out of the car until I was well past her.

On the other side of the freeway, I found two guys, just going to work. They, too, looked weary.

There was some degree of weariness in all of them. Trying to greet each other, but the sense of relationship, whether out of fear, or caution, meant that we had a long way to go.

Can we dream of a world where all creatures, human and not, can greet each other without fear? Christ said his kingdom was “not of this world.” His willingness to go to the cross is so radical that fear has no import. The love that he invites us to imitate has no possibility of reactive or violent response. His followers didn’t fight back.

He calls us friends not agents of fear.

If we are going to grow to full statute of Christ, our growing will need to be rooted in a soil of internal peace, confidant and planted in the overwhelming love of God. Given so abundant, so profligate, that we are caught in similar abandonment. The full measure of God, cast down and overflowing, drives out our , self-interest. That is what fear is. A reaction; an unconscious response. As if we are saying, “that’s mine and I can’t go on living without it.”

Whether its my bank account or my sense of control. Unless we can make sense of the blood of the cross, we will live in fear. That bloody cross brings new life into the world. That sweaty, bloody, tear-stained cross bears life. Our mother Jesus gives new birth to a new creation and we are his children.

We have to give up fear. What did the godly messengers say when they turned up to the shepherds: fear not. You are God’s beloved and he is well pleased with you. When we know ourselves beloved of God, we can respond in less fearful ways. When we realize this, we can response to the homeless man; seek and reach beyond the defenses of others.

Our job as we go out from this convention is to go out without fear and lay down our sword and shield; fill the hungry and set the prisoners free. Lay down our self-control and serve God’s image of the beloved in the weakest, poorest and least included. Not to squabble over our heritage.

But to share that name of the beloved with the whole world. AMEN

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