Polity & Structure
House of Deputies
House of Bishops
Provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion
Data & Analysis
Reports & Events
Tools & Services
News flashes, Announcements
software for writers
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018
Phone: 973-395-1068 h
Married February 2, 1974
Don't repeat the mistake on page 847 of The Prayer Book . Here is what God really requires from the chosen people:
A series of essays in the Episcopal Church
By John Poynter
15 MAY 2010
We left home in Palm Springs about 9:30, reached the Long Beach Arena and parking about 12:30, doors were already open, many already heading in to find their places, including clergy with vestments under their arms, many casually walking and talking, greeting acquaintances and friends, hugs and pecks on the cheeks everywhere. A couple of fundie pests were waving Bibles, shouting, screaming frantically so that one could only make out a couple of syllables now and then, clearly words that had '….sexu….' in them. As we approached the hall, a security barrier had been set up to check bags and parcels. Then into the hall where a friend, Rob Silvia, had been waiting to escort us to where he and another friend, a member of Integrity as well, Frank Updike, Paul Thompson and a woman named Jackie, were sitting in a balcony area overlooking the stage/altar area and where they had saved seats for us; a half dozen rows back Karen Uhler was sitting with one of her sons. Two rows of chairs had been set up on the right and left back of the altar area, each seating for about a dozen people. There were also a group of chairs on the right front of the stage, seating for about six. Back of the stage/altar against the back wall were seated the choir and the musicians, and there was a large, three-manual Rogers digital organ that served the whole hall quite excellently. The acoustic was not bad at all. Occasionally, I caught of glimpse of Susan+ Russell busying herself in the altar area.
The pre-service program was scheduled to start at 12:30, but did not get underway until about 12:45; this variety of offerings by ethnic musicians, singers, dancers, drummers, and pipers made us vividly realize the embrace of our Anglican tradition, from the get-go of the service, all were invited, all were included, there being no outcasts in this church. Representatives from the Tongva, Chumash, Tatviam and Acjachemem tribes, upon whose land the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is located today, welcomed us to the land upon which this ceremony was held; the Young People's Filipino Dance Group of Holy Trinity and St. Benedict's Church, Alhambra (Igorot), the Chinese-American Dance Group, Members of Shepherd's Flute from St. Thomas' Church in Hacienda Heights sang "the Sheep on His Pasture," (composed by Eddie Qing Xiang), and the Rev. Canon Deborah Dunn, Rector of St. Peter's Church in Santa Maria, sang "All My Trials, Lord" after she asked all who knew this piece to join in the refrain. To me, they all made beautiful contributions, eye- and ear-catching, colorful, celebrative, and deeply spiritual, including the most marvelous, and cutest actually, Chinese lion dance (see below). They were beautiful and darling. When the lions rolled over on the stage and we all laughed and aahhhed, we could have all been at the theater, which in the best since of the word describes this service. It was absolutely great theater. Each of the following groups led a contingent of participants into the hall: The "Nigerian Fanfare" (brass) and "Jesus, We Want to Meet"(Consecration Choir) led the Procession of Families and Guests of the Bishops-elect, the Han So Ree Korean Drummers Group led the Procession of Diocesan Officers, Staff, Lay Canons, and Guests, Representatives of Diocesan Schools, Institutions, and the Academic Community, the Childrens Choir of the Diocese of Los Angeles led the Procession of Civic Leaders, Community Representatives, and General Convention Officers, the Youth Dancers of the St. Mark's Church, Van Nuys, led the Procession of Ecumenical and Interfaith Guests, the University of California, Riverside, Pipe Band led the Procession of Diocesan and Other Episcopal Clergy, the Lion Dancers of the Chinese American Dance Group led the Procession of Visiting Bishops, and the Taiko Project Drummers led the Procession of the Bishops-elect, the Bishops of the Diocese, and the Presiding Bishop. In the program booklet, I noted that Rachel+ Nyback, Rector of Saint Cross Episcopal Church was listed among those presenting Diane+ Jardine Bruce, we were in her father's (Warren+ Nyback's) parish years ago in Pomona, CA. The interruptions of two more loonies yelling at the congregation went by quickly, we all were grateful when a woman loudly said "we will pray for you" as the second nut, a child actually, was being led away. The hecklers were noted in all the press, but in essence the interruption amounted to nothing.
Much of the beginning of the service was pro forma: the readings, the Certificates of Elections, Canonical Testimony, Evidences of Ordination, Consents of Standing Committees, and Consents of Bishops, and signings of the documents declaring the legitimacies of the Reverend Canon Diane Jardine Bruce and the Reverend Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool as bishops-elect were confirmed. These proceedings were quiet, accompanied by a solemnity in the hall. All realized that we were witnessing the history of our church in the making. Every moment was very moving. When +Barbara Harris confirmed the two women as the16th and 17th women bishops and the 1,044th and 1,045th bishops respectively in the American succession, people broke into applause, I was stirred to tears, remembering when I was sitting in a Sunday service at St. John's Church in Los Angeles (now the cathedral) when the then rector, Warner+ Traynham, made the announcement of Bishop Harris's election. I wept then too. And when one hears the strong rich and sonorous voice of ++Katherine Jefferts Shori, one knows why she was elected Presiding Bishop. Her voice carries authority.
The sermon by +Jon Bruno was magnificent. He framed this great event in the history of inclusion since the first women were seated as delegates at General Convention. He pointed at a great priest in our midst, Victoria+ Hatch, the first woman priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and a sister to Nancy+ Hatch Witting, one of the Philadelphia eleven. When Bishop Bruno's sermon becomes available, I will make sure that it is posted on-line. Personally, no one could have been more grateful to him or prouder of him than I was today. He has always been on the right side of justice issues, he expresses himself in plain language, all understand his good spirit. Bless this man, bless him.
.At the Peace, we were able to greet Elizabeth+ Davenport, and Anne+ Benvenuti, both dear friends of ours through our earlier connections with St. John's Church in Los Angeles, who had flown in from the windy city for this occasion.
The con-celebration of the eucharist by the two new bishops was a treat. The Great Thanksgiving was conducted in English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Chinese, Bishop Bruce being fluent in English and Chinese, Bishop Glasspool in English, and another clergywoman at the altar speaking Spanish. Communion ran quickly and smoothly without a glitch. Thousands received at the many stations throughout the hall.
I caught a fleeting glimpse of Warren+ Nyback as we were departing the hall, we connected briefly in hall after the service with Elizabeth+ and Anne+, who had Jerry+ Anderson in tow, picked up some leftover copies of the service booklets, walked to the parking lot where Elizabeth and Anne handed over some piano music that I had forgotten when we visited them in April in Chicago (she also included her own copy of a book of Mozart sonatas, which I had also played from and left on her piano with my stuff, and which I will return to her anon) then we got in our car, and luckily, we were able to follow Silvia and company to the Maya Hotel where Integrity was holding what might rightly be called a celebratory dinner. Integrity President David+ Norgard welcomed us, we sat with Rob Silvia, Frank Updike, Paul Thompson, and Jackie, and we reconnected with Kim Byham, Malcolm+ Boyd and partner, Mark Thompson, greeted +Gene Robinson and partner, Mark Andrew. I had hoped Susan+ Russell would appear so that we could also publicly thank her for her great leadership, but alas, she did not. Much of our progress in the last few years can be attributed to her articulate pen and laid at her busy feet.
Our dinner was served in the Miramar Room at the Maya Hotel; it is located on the second floor overlooking a patio below and both dining room and patio overlook the lovely bay. This weekend was Gay Pride in Long Beach (mirabile dictu), and below us on this patio was taking place an event called "Gay Bachelors' Party", attended by a large crowd of young men, here and there an occasional slender and shapely young woman. I saw no one older than say, thirty-five out there, most of them were in their twenties I would guess. A patio bar was serving beer and mixed drinks, a very festive mood was in the air. Opposite the bar two mini-stages had been set up where two buffed-up young men in the briefest most Speedo-like briefs (budgie smugglers in British English) were dancing to some pop numbers, seductively jiggling and thrusting their hips, their admirers running up and tucking folding money in the waistbands. Of course, all this attracted the amused attention of those of us looking down on the party-boys, attention surely laced with a tinge of jealousy; the contrast and juxtaposition of the two parties were obvious--- most of us were probably over fifty, many in their sixties and seventies, I am pushing eighty, Malcolm+ surely in his eighties. These youngsters were now enjoying the freedom that we on the second floor had longed for after the wonderful assertiveness in the gl communities beginning in the 1960's, continuing into 1970's and 1980's. In David's+ words, we still have a stretch ahead of us.
All together we were about forty. Not long after we sat down, about 7 or so, David+ welcomed us, told us how long he had been active in Integrity, and after a few brief remarks, invited those of us who wanted to, to say a few words. I said that it had occurred to me that Integrity had been instrumental in erasing the "sin" of homophobia from the American Church, that if one looked at the faces of folk in photographs when the church was struggling with this bigotry, they showed pain, suffering and anxiety. And now today, there was nothing in that hall but joyous faces, the burden of this iniquity has been washed away, faces were joyous, people were present in the historic moment of change. Bishop Robinson talked a bit before asking the grace, said something important, I think. He remarked that in 2003, when he was elected Bishop of New Hampshire, the church collectively seemed to weigh and wonder if it had made a mistake, if his election and consecration might have been an aberration. Then came 2006 when the church pressed the pause button, then CG in 2009, when it pressed the play button, December 2009 brought the election of Mary+ Glasspool, and then today, May 2010, with the consecration of +Mary Glasspool, the church is no longer pondering if it got it right, it was intentional. He stated that he felt it was a more important event than his own consecration on 2003, that from today on, it would seem routine. He related a story about two reports developed in the Theology Committee of HOB on glbt blessings. There was supposed to be one report, but it turned out there was a conservative report and a liberal report---both execrable in his mind, the conservative one full of errors about glbt folk, the liberal one simply weak. He held his peace until one bishop got up and suggested that it was impossible to bless a bisexual if he had on-going sex with men and women, how does one bless such a relationship (?). +Gene said he scolded his colleagues for their ignorance, they could "find out about bisexuality from Wikipedia for goodness' sake," a relationship worthy of blessing is bestowed on two persons who are committed to each other, without respect to gender. Sexual orientation has to do with one's essential constitution, god's gift in creation, not with sexual engagement and activity.
+Mary Glasspool visited the dinner with her partner, going around to each table, greeting people and posing for pictures taken with them. David+ Norgard presented her with a crozier from Integrity. She was very grateful for the gift, remarking she was glad that it was made of lighter material (it is wood) than the heavier one she had been given earlier in the day. She then recalled her long friendship with +Barbara Harris, and how today when she and +Barbara embraced at the Peace, +Barbara warmly congratulated +Mary saying at the same time "Please take your crozier off my foot." Malcom+ offered the parting blessing. We left around 9:30 p.m., rolled into bed at 11:44. What a day, what a day, never to be forgotten.
This site has been accessed times since February 14, 1996.
Statistics courtesy of WebCounter.