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Re: Rector Search in These Turbulent Times



> 2. How can the large number of members who are constantly cheering me on when
> I speak up be encouraged to speak up themselves? The conservatives don't seem
> to have as much fear, and will come across as more dominant than they are.

Many potential allies fear to speak up because they fear that they will
have to talk about sex.  They wouldn't want to talk about sex of any
kind, not just gay sex.  They don't want to be embarrassed.

When they learn that they don't have to talk about sex, they are often
much more vocal.  Equal rites are no more about sex than are equal
rights.   Sexuality is integral to who a human being is, but not
definitive, for lbgts or for straights.

It is also very important to have gay and lesbian people willing to
speak up.  That keeps the conversation WITH us, not just ABOUT us.

What has your parish done to engage regarding other issues in the
past?  Have you ever sponsored forums or debates?  Is an adult class
ever used to address contemporary issues?  Those make very good ways
to help educate us all; and it is very important the conservatives be
as involved in the planning of them as are lesbians and gays.  We need
to hear their stories as much as they need to hear ours, especially if
their stories are stories about themselves, not about us, and if our
stories are about us, not about them.  I find it best if each tells
who Jesus is in her or his life.

All of the attention given to +Gene and the actions of GC 2003 support
any appeals that we 'reason together' about them, especially as a
parish searches for a new leader.

> 3. Are there likely to be any progressive clergy willing to take on this big
> a challenge?

Absolutely.  Our seminaries are graduating many students this spring
who have no placements.  Seasoned priests have few chances to move in
the tight deployment throughout the church right now.  You will have
more than enough from whom to choose, though weigh their claims
carefully.

Farther along in your parish's process, you might on your own tell
the finalists, individually, that it would help you assess their
candidacy if they would be so gracious as to provide a gay or lesbian
reference, preferably a current or past parishioner, but if not,
perhaps a friend, who would not even have to be a Christian. A
candidate who cannot, or will not, provide such a reference will, if
hired, likely not provide the pastoral sensitivity gays and lesbians
need.

Every candidate is under pressure to say what progressives want to
hear AND what conservatives want to hear.  That's one reason that many
parishes give specific 'litmus test' question regarding items of
concern to them.  That is often not a satisfactory way at getting at
the information.  You want a good priest on all fronts, not just on
this one, or any other ONE or two issues.  There are some priests who
would be marvelous to lesbians and gays and fall short as pastors,
preachers, administrators.......

Be vigilant:  Our 'enemies' do not grow snouts; our 'friends' do not
grow halos.

L.





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