â€œThe world will not survive religion based on tribal consciousness. It will destroy the world. But if those who arrive at what is truest from their own tradition, which transcends their own tradition, they recognize each other. And if they would speak up, religious people could be a source for world unity and world peace.â€ – Thomas Merton
Today as I stood in line with my friends from Center Aisle as we handed out our literature to the throngs of believers attending General Convention I was deeply moved by an opinion piece written by Bishop Suffragen Goff of Virginia.
I ask that folks that a moment to digest what Bishop Goff has shared with us here today with her opinion pieceÂ Womenâ€™s Bodies, Womenâ€™s Stories.Â Â
Please read the full piece and here is an excerpt for your contemplation…â€œAs the Episcopal Church, how will we respond in love when confronted yet again with the political decision about the ethical complexities of reproductive rights?Â How will we hear the voices of women and men who have been caught in the web of these complexities?Â How will we incarnate these conversations so that they are not merely abstract theological debates?
We had experience with these questions when we grappled with them 30 years ago.Â Our deep desire to speak about sexual harassment in our Church today arises, I believe, from the same heart that motivated our deep desire to speak about reproductive rights then.Â That motivation, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will continue to lead us to honor and bless womenâ€™s bodies and womenâ€™s stories in this era of changing Church, changing society.â€
I am ever appreciative and grateful to serve the Church through the ministry of Katrina’s Dream, founded as the request of my Â mother-in-law, the Rev. Katrina Martha Van Alstyne Welles Swanson, for she asked that I champion along with my most beloved late husband William Gaines Swanson.Â That ministry being the full inclusion of women in the church and in society and other social justice issues and focusing on the unfinished business of the Civil Rights Movement â€“ the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Love and Light and Shalom,