Last night I attended an extraordinary Eucharist. An estimated 1,200 people packed into Trinity Church near the Convention Center for a spirited celebration. The service was organized by Integrity, an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered Episcopalians, and their friends.
People who might imagine that the Integrity Eucharist would be polemical or ideology-based would be wrong. Testifying before the Special Committee on Wednesday evening, Bishop Gene Robinson said something like this: "If you want to know what the homosexual agenda is, it is Jesus Christ." That was evident in Trinity Church.
The singing was glorious. Really astonishingly glorious. The fire of the Holy Spirit was surely in the room. The presider was the Rev'd Susan Russell, president of Integrity USA. Bishop Gene Robinson preached. Robinson's sermon was poignant and passionate. He concluded by reminding attendees, especially LGBT people, that they already have God's love, even when they may not be treated well by others. All God asks, said Robinson, is that "we" (Robinson was especially addressing LGBT listeners) love "them" (those who treat LGBT people badly).
The Rev'd Susan Russell presided.
Like most events at Convention, there was someone to provide sign language for those who are hearing impaired.
Some Rhode Islanders got front row (balcony) seats!
The Rev'd Al Barnaby, clergy alternate deputy, vested for the service. He is seated here on the right.
Bishop Robinson preaching.