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CWH: Is leadership a right?
On Thu, 18 Jun 1998, Ecunet mail gateway wrote:
> >I think Louie Crew posed the issue squarely. He believes that a person
> >cannot feel welcome unless they are considered eligible for any >position in
> >the church. Would you say that all the people you mention are >"welcome" in
> >that sense? Is that definition of "welcome" the correct definition?
> Dick Mathisen
> >>>>>>End included message
> Is leadership in the church a given right for every participant or is
> leadership a call from God placed on a few? Wouldn't Louie Crew's belief that
> a person cannot feel welcome unless eligible for any position be based on the
> idea that leadership is a given right of every participant?
> Chuck Compton
Leadership is not a given right of anyone. One has to earn that privilege.
No one, straight or gay, is "eligble for any position." All should elgible
only TO BE CONSIDERED. From that point on, one should be judged solely on
one's qualifications for the leadership role under consideration.
As a member of the Standing Committee of my diocese, you can be sure that
I do not approve of candidates for priesthood based on their sexual
orientation. Lesbigay folks have as big a share of people who shouldn't
be priests as do straights. We have many fine lesbigay priests, and we
have some .... Well, you know. Straights have those too.
As chair of the University Senate and member of the Board of Governors,
you can be sure that I do not determine the merits of proposals based on
the sexual orientation of the proposers. Lesbigay colleagues can come up
with as much foolishness as can straight colleagues.
Homosexuals already are leading in your congregations, even pastoring some
of them. Sometimes they are the ones most publicly hostile to lesbigays,
because they believe that providing such a cover for their own orientation
is the only way that you will accept their gifts. Hiding becomes for many
the only way that they can accept their own gifts. For some, sex is only
something that they do in the dark with strangers and repent of, again and
again and again.
Others hide their identity less self-destructively. Few of us want to be
at the center of our own ministry, yet many straight folks right now are
so obesessed with the 'otherness' of homosexuals that once they know we're
gay, that becomes the definitive thing about us for them. I grieve when I
see the occasional student so busy monitoring my pitch or my pinky that he
(and it usually is a 'he') cuts himself off from the gifts that I bring to
him as his teacher. (I can't imagine why students are interested in the
erotics of any 62-year-old, straight or gay. How boring!)
You don't have to approve of lesbigay persons and you don't have to bless
our unions to recognize that there is a vast difference between the
divided, duplicitous homosexual and the person who as faithfully as she
possibly can, is trying to live in a whole, responsible relationship
committed for life, quite beyond mere erotics. Yet, being divided and
duplicitous is the most tempting option for many homosexuals who face the
unwelcome currently the norm in most religious congregations.
This meeting is very important, and I am praying mightily for you. It
never makes much sense to me to pray for people to change their minds.
God has a much better track record in changing people's hearts. God is
obviously already at work on yours in getting you to ask a crucial
question, "How can I welcome?"
The Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice
"Come unto me ALL who are weary and heavy laden."