The youth minister at our parish honored my eldest daughter by submitting her name as the youth delegate to the 214th Annual Diocesan Council. She had a full voice and vote at Council which met last weekend. There was much controversy at Council this year. The controversy that has been raging in the Episcopal church since 2003 revolves around openly gay ordained ministers.
To recap: The Diocese of New Hampshire elected Gene Robinson as bishop in 2003. Robinson is a divorced man currently living with his life partner. The shock waves are causing court cases around the country as parishes align themselves with the Diocese of Nigeria rather than their geographical diocese if their bishop is sympathetic to Bishop Robinson. Some are aligning with the Diocese of Uganda. Now remember, the Dioceses of Nigeria and Uganda support the criminalization of homosexuality and the imprisonment of gays.
The first vote my daughter cast as a delegate was on the issue of whether to remain in the Worldwide Anglican Communion. Her reasoning on voting in favor of it? We're a big family; we may not like how the other members of the family conduct themselves; but sitting around the dining room table, we can at least have the appearance of tolerating each other. Pretty level-headed thoughts for a high school student.
From there the votes ventured into the realm of accepting open gays and lesbians into the church, allowing open gays and lesbians to serve as clergy, allowing priests to bless unions, allowing priests to bless same-sex marriages, and allowing priest to perform same-sex marriages. With the more conservative parishes not participating in the Diocese currently, the votes tended toward the more progressive side. Not every resolution carried. In fact, only the first two carried.
My teenage daughter, who has several gay and lesbian friends, voted her conscience. She wasn't a rubber stamp for my views, or her father's, or our rector's, or even the youth minister who nominated her. She knows that youth can have a say in the way things are and the way things will become. And, to her, the way things ought to be.
2 days ago