I don't always have good news to report on the state of the church, but a number of events have transpired which make me hopeful. Charles Bennison, the Episcopal bishop of Pennsylvania has rejected efforts to have the two priests involved in a controversial goddess liturgy punished or removed. He pointed out that the IRD's goal has been "to intimidate people in our church who would exercise theological imaginations, who would think out of the box.. We want a church where people can fail and be forgiven rather than a church where no one takes risks." His affirmation of this ideal is important. And given the array of forces working against it, this ideal must be tended to and defended.
The session of a Presbyterian church in California passed a resolution which spoke out against the 11 state constitutional amendments which banned gay marriage. The statement identifies the central problem with such efforts. "Our nation becomes weaker whenever any of us promotes fear of the stranger as a way to increase our own power." When religion is used to cross divides, to enact neighbor love it does quite a different thing then what people saw this last election. The statement goes on to "affirm the power of God's unquenchable love to break down the walls of prejudice and transform human hearts, and we rededicate ourselves to continue the struggle to break down those walls and promote human transformation." An important task for all of us.
Recently a Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky had a hopeful event as Muslim and Jewish teenagers performed musically together, modeling what they hope will be a peaceful future in the Middle East. The article is worth a read as it details the discussions and common efforts over the last few years ing bringing different communities together to work for peace which culiminated in this recent interfaith musical event. If you want to make a difference in this The Cathedral Heritage Foundation is accepting donations to help defray the cost of bringing the musicians to Louisville. Donors should make out checks to the foundation but clearly marked for the effort. They can be mailed to: 429 West Muhammad Ali Blvd., Louisville, KY 40202