Monday, June 19, 2006

Episcopalians and Presbyterians Lurch Toward Schism; What Shall We Call the Trinity Next: "Rock, Paper, Scissors"???

Episcopalians and Presbyterians lurched toward schism in their meetings this past week.

Showing a strong preference for provocative symbolism, the ECUSA selected an oceanographer (Ph.D.) turned priest (M.Div.), Katharine Jefferts Schori, 52, bishop of Nevada, from a slate of seven nominees, on the fifth ballot June 18, as the 26th Presiding Bishop. Her term of office will run for the next nine years.

Jefferts Schori has not only shown strong support for a progressive agenda, but she was also one of those casting her vote in favor of the elevation of gay priest, Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Since her election, she has been quoted by the press as fuzzy on the idea of an afterlife and certain that God creates some of his children for opposite gender relationships and some for same-sex love.

Meanwhile Presbyterians showed a cautious willingness to embrace gender neutral formulations of the Trinity. In place of the traditional "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," delegates "received" a report suggesting "Mother, Child and Womb" and "Rock, Redeemer, Friend." In Presbyterian polity to "receive" a report falls just short of total endorsement. It allows church officials to propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity.

Among some of the other proposed phrases, include:
• "Lover, Beloved, Love"
• "Creator, Savior, Sanctifier"
• "King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love."

Gee, with such creativity and liberty in expression, can "Rock, Paper, Scissors" be far behind? Tomorrow the Presbyterians decide on a "local' option allowing for some measure of latitude in the ordination of gay clergy and lay officers in committed same sex relationships.

Both the Episcopalians and Presbyterians seemed certain to alienate significant portions of their constituencies with these recent moves. If not actual schism, one might expect a continuation of the downward trend of membership as these once venerable mainline bodies continue to hemorrhage members.

[His Barking Dog eschews the novelties of post-modernity. While the mainliners play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" with the Holy Trinity, I continue to speak out as an individual voice unconnected to any organization or denominational authority.]

1 comment:

ramarks said...

Interesting that "Mother" is considered more gender neutral than "Father."