Skip to comments.Susan Russell belies her own method of reconciliation
Posted on 03/14/2006 12:30:34 PM PST by sionnsar
In her blog on March 11, Susan Russell, Senior Associate at All Saints Church, Pasadena, and President of Integrity, blasted conservative critics while promoting Holy Communion as the solution to the debates in the church. You can understand what torqued her. Some commenters on titusonenine were taking apart the liturgy of her same-sex wedding (her word).
Russells pointer of Queen Elizabeth I getting opponents to the same Communion rail will be registered in the anthill as a main argument by those seeking to get through the current crisis with no bad results. After all, in Elizabeths day they were arguing over transubstantiation and whether they were Roman Catholic or Protestantreally big questions. People had been burned at the stake for the controversies (Ridley, Latimer, Cranmer).
Russell says that if we can keep worshiping together and serving in the world together, things will be all right. This sounds lovely until you read on in Russells article.
First, She asserts that common worship (especially Communion) precludes having to wait for an agreement on disputed matters. Of course this is true in many situations.
The problem here is precisely that Russells same-sex wedding was an occasion of worship with Holy Communion using a very incarnational (my most irenic description, again, using her word) rite, arguably loaded toward its same-sex setting. It was not common prayer that could have been shared on an average Sunday morning by traditional Episcopalians with convictions against same-sex blessings.
Second, it seems that people with strong reservations about same-sex blessings are not joyfully welcomed at the Table after all. Russell calls some of these revisionist neo-Puritan ideologues. Interesting twist of the label revisionist also!
These people of the conservative fringe are busy protecting their precious orthodoxy. I think Im being named because I could not have made it through her ceremony. These labels make me feel less than welcome at the reconciling Table at which Russell might preside.
There is something disturbingly inconsistent about her words in that heated name-calling.
Think through Russells method of holding together ECUSA. She is suggesting that those who have very strong convictions about the church not being free to bless same-sex unions, should adopt the solution of coming to the Communion rail without great concern for resolution. Meanwhile, weddings like Russells multiply, possibly with a Communion rite like hers that includes: From the beginning we did not trust you when you called us good. In our arrogance, we placed ourselves outside your garden of love. Separate from you, vulnerable and unprotected, we feared one another and our diversity.
This is very convenient for her position.
Leaders in our church who are unable to approve same-sex blessing ceremonies, may be neo-Puritan ideologues and the conservative fringe, but they arent stupid.
Arrrrggghhh, All Saints Pasadena. The worst, most prideful and heretical church for miles around.
'without great concern for resolution' -- that means, "Shut up. We are doing it. But we'll talk about it til YOU are blue in the face if it keeps you happy."
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