Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Another example of the secular media getting it wrong

Today's column by Deb Price in the Detroit News (7/26) is another example of getting it wrong. Although we are thankful that in her time of need she turned to our Lord and Scripture, somehow she was only able to see the 'warm and fuzzy' sayings, and completely missed out on the reality that we must "repent" and "go and sin no more". Also interesting to note...why is it that it has to digress into name calling? "Neaderthals?" Please!
Below is the second half of the column. If you want to see it all go to
Healing. I was looking for it. Forgiveness. I was looking for it. A way out of bitterness, remorse, resentment. I was looking for it.
And there was Jesus, busy in the Gospels, healing lepers and the paralyzed, chasing demons out of the emotionally troubled and offering a lifeline.
"I assure you," Jesus says, "even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."
For a person feeling immobilized by what felt like mistakes as gigantic as the Panamanian mountains in the misty distance, Jesus' no-strings promise was emotionally liberating. Back home, I began a daily trek to a noontime service at an Episcopal church near my newsroom.
Church regained a central spot in my daily life. My dark mood was slowly replaced by an ever-deepening commitment to trust spiritual tools to fix life's problems. That the Episcopal Church had already elevated to bishop a gay man in a committed relationship made me feel especially blessed to have been born into the denomination.
But that joy in finding a safe, healing place -- a true sanctuary -- was shattered last Wednesday when the Episcopal Church's national convention abandoned its moral high ground and urged that no bishop be confirmed "whose manner of life poses a challenge to the church" -- church-speak for "no self-respecting gays allowed."
Shamefully caving in to Neanderthals threatening to tear apart the Anglican church community, the outgoing and incoming presiding officers -- traditionally gay allies -- spearheaded the vicious resolution. They plunged my denomination backward at the very time when courageous church leaders are desperately needed to stand firm against those cloaking bigotry in religion.
Many gay Episcopalians will stay, feeling called to help enlighten the church. Others, fiercely torn, will ultimately decide that to sit in an Episcopal pew or put another dollar bill in an Episcopal collection plate would feel like a slap at the diversity-loving God who chose to make us gay.
Heartsick, I am walking away. I must find a new spiritual shelter. Yet my faith is unshaken: The Episcopal Church will one day listen to its better angels and call me home.