Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Something Totally Unexpected and Wonderful

Last night's U2charist ended up being an event that went way beyond my expectations. The ballroom was packed, with people of every age. The energy of the crowd crackled as if currents of electricity were flowing through the room. Bishop Curry of North Carolina preached a sermon that had us all shouting, clapping and leaping to our feet. Renee is planning on posting a transcript of Bp. Curry's sermon.

What was all the excitement about? Making poverty history. Being a witness to the healing power of God in the name of love. Saying to the world that it is no longer acceptable for a child to die because there's not enough food or vaccinations against disease.

Bishop Curry quoted a portion of Bp. Steven Charleston's message What Witness Will We Make?:

...In my life I have known many seasons in the Episcopal Church. This is the season for our witness. This is the time for us to do something totally unexpected and wonderful, to confound those who say we have lost our vision. This is our moment to show the world that we can practice what we preach and be who we say we are...
Last night it suddenly dawned on me that the Episcopal Church has moved on from a focus on human sexuality issues. We are doing an unexpected and wonderful new thing. We have a new vision emerging. We have seen the movement of God's Spirit, and are beginning to join that dance.

What are the specifics of this vision? Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation spells things out well for us, and offers practical suggestions of what we can do. The vision is focused around making the Millennium Development Goals a reality:

1. Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty.
2. Achieve universal primary education.
3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
4. Reduce child mortality.
5. Improve maternal health.
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
7. Ensure environmental sustainability.
8. Develop a global partnership for development.

We are not going to retreat from where the Holy Spirit has led us in the past. But we're not going to allow the debate of those decisions to dominate our current discussions. The wind of the Spirit has moved on, and so must we.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One come he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

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