Friday, July 17, 2009

Interview with Gene Robinson

From the NY Times, an interview with Gene Robinson about the events at Convention. One thing I noticed in particular:
Robinson: Our diocese grew by 3 percent last year.

Q: And that makes how many church members?

Robinson: There are 15,000 people in the diocese of New Hampshire.

Q: Who are you pulling in?

Robinson: We have received so many Roman Catholics and young families, particularly families who are saying, “We don’t want to raise our daughters in a church that doesn’t value young people in our church.”
That would be our experience too: lots of unhappy RC making the swim. So all those dark prognosticators about the decline of the church need to remember that inclusion can be a great draw: inclusion and love are a much better message than exclusion and disdain.

Q: Which vote that you’ve taken here do you think will have more impact, the one on bishops, or the one on same-sex blessings?

Robinson: Blessings. There are a lot of gay and lesbian people out there who are looking for affirmation, who have no desire to be a bishop. I’ve been saying to them, give the Episcopal Church a try, give church another try, and this is the one I wanted to go home with. ..... It was amazing. We took the vote, there were closing prayers, and usually somebody says amen and we’re up and out of there. But last night not a person moved, for 10 minutes. There was absolute silence. I think we realized the momentousness of what we’d done. People just sat their quietly praying. It was amazing. It was almost as if we didn’t want to leave each other.


Wormwood's Doxy said...

Good interview---but what was with +Gene referring to Susan Russell as "strident"?!

Erp said...

Actually he said some people considered her strident (which is probably true).

More seriously he probably considers her better placed outside the House of Bishops to do what needs to be done. She can be more outspoken outside than inside and she'll have more time.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I know what he said, Erp. I was just surprised to see him applying such a negative word to Susan, in ANY context.

Maybe it's just that--as a feminist--I am used to people calling me "strident" any time I offer an opinion that differs from theirs and don't back down when they challenge me. I don't like to see someone I admire slapping that label on a woman who's "fault" is that she says what she thinks and doesn't equivocate.


IT said...

Given that Susan presided at Gene's commitment ceremony, I don't think he was dissing her. But some people do find her hard to take; and that's all he was saying. it's the fate of those who insist on speaking truth to power!

Prior Aelred said...

OK -- when I hear about people who have been so badly hurt & abused feeling drawn to TEC, I tear up -- sorry -- but it was great 2 B w/ other Jacobites @ Gen Con!

IT said...

PRior Aelred, it was a delight to meet you! BP is one of the RC refugees, and it really is a pleasure to see how she's opening up in the TEC.

JCF said...

Y'know how I've been so scarce around the Episcopal blogosphere of late? It's cuz I've been too busy in "Otalia-land" (Hey, Guiding Light---and Otalia---end September 18. {sigh} As the Governator would put it, "I'll be back!")

...and I can tell you, that even hanging out w/ these secular (overwhelmingly lesbian) folks, TEC is having an impact. Particularly that, via "Otalia", we're *witnessing* the struggles that a newly-lesbian Roman Catholic is having, whenever I mention TEC (on the main Otalia discussion board), I'm getting much positive feedback!

[Truthfully, you know what else has helped? As "Natalia", the Roman Catholic, is Latina, I've also heard about the positive evangelistic results of Father Alberto Cutie's conversion! :-0 Hey, whatever works! ;-D]

Erp said...


Susan just described herself as 'ranting' in a video in a recent post. After that 'strident' seems relatively mild.:-) Anyway anyone on the up knows that 'strident' is a word applied to uppity females (or gays) where the same behavior in straight men would be described as 'forceful'.

Factsmatter said...

Never mind that the official statistics show his Diocese shrinking... why bother with the facts?

Brad said...

You've always had a draw for ex-catholics (and ex-fundamentalists/baptists: anyone educated/too liberal now to go back to their old churches (or just too snobby to hang around those they've left behind).
Your trouble is keeping the children. Or even having children-your median age is 57 and it's not shrinking. More than 58% of the children you confirm have children that are not confirmed in your church. It's more like a movie audience than a family transcending generations.