"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

06 October 2008


Saturday has been described as a sad and glorious day. But perhaps, not so glorious. In reflection, it seems to me that what we have done, in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, is admitted that we are failures, we have admitted defeat. For thirty years (less for some of us, more for others) we have struggled to to reform the church, to call it to Christ, to return the bride to her Lord. We have failed. We are now dead to them, we can never undo our failure.

On Sunday my parish voted that they would remain in the Episcopal Church, USA. On a personal level, they have voted that I, too, am a failure. It is all lost. Sure the mission was impossible. Sure the time was short. Sure the tools were few. That does not negate the failure. Failure has no excuse to redeem it. It simply is.

There is wisdom in failure. When do we admit defeat, when do we choose to fight again. In Pittsburgh this weekend we admit defeat. This is a sad day, not at all glorious.

For ourselves, we are hopeful. For the Southern Cone we are thankful. I have no doubt in my mind that we did the right thing on Saturday. But in what we set out to do, we are failures.

The Gospel is that the Church is for failures. Every day we set our feet on the path to holiness. Every day we fail. Every new day we arise to fight again, for we cannot admit defeat when Christ has promised to make us victorious. But we must accept his terms, not doing so is the sin of the church we've failed. So Jesus save us, perfect us, for you have brought us very low indeed.

To my brothers and sisters who have not yet admitted defeat: May God bless you in the fight.

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