“Weeping and gnashing of teeth….?”

Who are we and where are we going?  The Rt. Rev. Dr. Mariann Edgar Budde was consecrated the first female Bishop of the Diocese of Washington this past Saturday.

In her first sermon she talked the difficult passage from Mark’s Gospel that we read this past Sunday…  “weeping and gnashing of teeth…”

She went on to talk about the value of the Episcopal Church and our Anglican Ethos, who we are and the space that we hold open for debate and dialog about things that really matter, that are timely and important, about life in this world lived as people of God.

“We of the Episcopal Church have been entrusted with a particular expression of Christ’s gospel that is priceless. Think of what it means to you to have a spiritual home with such an appreciation of mystery and all that is beyond our knowing and curiosity about the world as we can know it through the rigorous inquiry of science. Think of what it means to you to have a spiritual home that lives the Via Media, the middle way among all expressions of Christianity, affirming the wholeness of faith that can only be fully experienced in the creative tension of polarities — heart and mind, Catholic and Protestant, word and sacrament, mysticism and service, contemplation and social engagement. Think of what it means to you to be part of a Church that does not ask its members to agree on matters of politics or theology or biblical interpretation, but rather to allow the grace of God to unite us at the altar of Christ in full appreciation of our differences and the God-given right of everyone to be welcome at God’s table.”

She goes on to say:

“I’m here today because of the women and men willing to push ahead, to believe that what we now take for granted — what was unthinkable 50 years ago — was, in fact, born of God. And so, back in 2003, when a Lutheran pastor whom I deeply admired wondered aloud why the Episcopal Church insisted on taking so controversial a position on the full inclusion of gays and lesbians at the very time we needed to grow our congregations, I said to him, ‘You don’t understand. The full inclusion of gays and lesbians wasn’t something we thought up on our own. God led us to this place. And someday you will thank us, because we’re making it easier for you to do the same.'”

Who are we and where are we going?  I urge you to read Bishop Budde’s whole sermon by clicking here:

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Mariann Edgar Budde’s first sermon as Bishop of Washington

and join in the conversation.

“This is our treasure. Yes, we also have our challenges, real challenges, real struggles that we must we face together. But they are our challenges. We needn’t be embarrassed by our difficulties, only by our failure to grow something beautiful from them.”

“This is our life. This is our Church. We are a unique expression of God’s creative genius.  Never doubt the importance of what you are doing, and what we are doing on earth.”

Rev. Dr. Mariann Edgar Budde is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

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