Archive for the ‘LGBTQ’ Category

‘Father Jake Stops the World’ Stops

July 3, 2008

As the FUM Triennial approaches I have been somewhat aware, through the pressure of my editing deadlines, of the continuing struggle in the Anglican Church. I also saw the news (but didn’t study it) that the assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. has voted to ordain non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy and will now go through a year-long process of having its individual congregations ratify the decision–or not.

Thinking to catch up on some of this news before I leave for the Triennial on July 8, I checked into ‘Father Jake’ after a long hiatus and found, in a post dated July 2, that Jake is closing down his blog. I’m sad about that, but Jake sounds clear and rightly led in his decision.

I encourage you to explore the site before Jake takes it down. There are many, many links on it to interesting and informative sites. And there are some thought-provoking essays.

These are the words from Father Jake that I want to take away with me:

Am I abandoning the struggle? Some might see it that way. But, as I’ve said before, even though there are most likely many more difficult years ahead of us, I am no longer as concerned about the end result as I once was. In the long run, there is simply no way that the extremist perspective will become the dominant one within Anglicanism or Christianity. Their exclusive view, which insists on separating humanity into groups of “us” and “them,” simply cannot survive in a world in which we are all becoming more and more connected each day. A global perspective will not tolerate their kind of elitist mentality. Nor will such a perspective tolerate the same kind of rhetoric here. So, I think it is time for me to do the responsible thing.

Yes, we must continue to speak out against those who will use the name of God to oppress and imprison the innocent. But, it seems to me, that cannot be our sole focus.

The Pews Forum survey still has me reflecting. 92% of Americans believe in God. That is astounding! We’ve got some great conversations just waiting to happen beyond the walls of the Church. For me, at least, I think it is time to end this focus on internal squabbles, and begin to look outward.

As I prepare to leave the FUM board on July 13 after representing New York Yearly Meeting for six years, I am wondering what looking outward will mean. I know that I am burned out. And I know that I am to take a sabbatical from New York Yearly Meeting.

Great conversations waiting to happen beyond the Church walls . . . .



What Quakers Would You Most Like to Be Rid Of?

October 25, 2007

Over on “Father Jake Stops the World,” I found this quote from the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church USA, Katharine Jefferts Schori:

One of my predecessors was fond of saying, “in this church there will be no outcasts.” I concur, and I challenge each one of us to consider who it is we would most like to be rid of. That person, my friends, is the image of Christ in our midst. There will be no outcasts in this church, whether because of sexual orientation or theological perspective. God has given us to each other, to love and to learn from each other. May God bless each and every part of this body.

What Quakers would you most like to be rid of?

Are they the image of Christ?

What does it mean if they are? 

And who am I the image of Christ to? Who are you?

The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and FUM

September 26, 2007

It’s featured news in the New York Times for September 26 that the Episcopal bishops in North America have disagreed with the worldwide Anglican Communion on LGBTQ issues and are coming closer and closer to schism.

Thanks to Father Jake I found a blog called Anglican Resistance. There a priest named Bill Carroll has posted “My Word to the Church.” It’s a message that feels like vocal ministry to me.

Yes. I do understand that this Anglican Communion is the one whose liturgical church services George Fox kept busting up. And yet. . . . And yet. . . . I keep hearing a cry for faithfulness, for humility, and for unity in God’s love from these hireling ministers that calls to me. 

What can I learn from these priests and bishops?

Can I come to see my own struggle with the diversity of worldwide Quakerism more clearly by walking beside them for a while?

Learning from an Episcopal Priest’s Blog

September 8, 2007

Every few months or so I check in with the blog of an Episcopal priest I stumbled upon called “Father Jake Stops the World.” Father Jake’s posts for the first week in September 2007 remind me that I need to read him more often.

 As you may know, the Anglican Communion is being challenged by its African members–to the point of schism–on LGBTQ issues. Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria is recruiting conservative American congregations to join him in a breakaway communion. He’s got five in the U.S. standing with him so far, and he’s actively working to get more. In a post for September 8, Father Jake calls for attendance at a demonstration against Akinola when he arrives in Chicago. And Father Jake’s posts about an outrageous statement made by another Nigerian bishop may interest those who’ve been following Friends United Meeting’s struggles in the wake of its February 2007 general board meeting in Kenya.

I was interested to read about the Listening Process that the Anglican bishops are engaged in. It reminds me not to get self-righteous about Quaker process and Gospel Order. It’s a humbling revelation to this proud Quaker that others who seek to follow the Gospels might also be capable of following Gospel Order.

Father Jake’s post on “Sexual Ethics and Scripture” was helpful to me and I’ve saved it. The remarks of William Countryman that he quotes on the authority of Scripture sound very Hicksite.

This week Father Jake is focused on the schismatic struggles rending the Anglican Communion he’s given his life to, but he ranges widely. I suspect few Quakers could resist a post titled “Pacifism for Violent SOBs.” Both these archived posts are listed under their respective categories on the Home page of his blog.

His entries are filled with links that make his blog an interesting portal for matters of faith, Scripture, and social justice. I commend Father Jake to your attention.