Monday, June 12, 2006

Michael Hopkins: "We Will Not Be Silenced."

From Michael Hopkins' sermon, offered at the Integrity Volunteer Orientation and Eucharist Saturday night in Columbus:

...We need to be crystal clear: we desire to be part of this Communion. Most lgbt Episcopalians are Episcopalians because there is such a thing as the Anglican tradition and the Communion which continues it. We are willing to be in continued, hard conversation. We do not wish to impose our will on anyone. But we will not be silenced. And we promise that we will disobey any legislation that attempts to do so and encourage our allies to do so as well.

Some will hear that statement as a radical call to defiance of the rest of the Communion, or even the majority here at Convention. Perhaps it is. But what it is first and foremost saying is that any resolution that comes out of this Convention that does not include our voices is an illegitimate resolution. It is deeply, deeply troubling that there is not a single out lgbt person on the Special Committee that will consider Communion-related legislation. I pray the chairs understand that this reality puts everything they do into question unless they are experienced as being widely consultative in the next few days.

There are ways forward, but they are not ways that silence anyone—conservative or progressive or anything in between. If this Church has a death wish, it will seek in the next two weeks to silence someone, which means it will seek to silence the Holy Spirit. We will not participate in that silencing, pure and simple; we will resist it in the name of Jesus who taught us to speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen.

My sisters and brothers, you work this week in a long tradition of those who speak what they know and testify to what they have seen of the work of God, the companionship of Jesus, and the revelation of the Holy Spirit among lgbt Christians and Episcopalians and Anglicans. Speak the truth. Do not disdain those who will not hear it. Love this Church and testify to your presence in it that must be accounted for. I cannot tell you how it will all turn out. I do not know. But I do know this: come what may, on June 23 I will be speaking about what I know and testifying to what I see just as clearly and consistently as I am now. I trust you will be as well. No one can silence us, as no one can silence the wind that blows where it wills.

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