By Father Casey

Five years ago this January, something big happened at Transfiguration. Do you remember?

In the grandest, most exuberant service I have ever attended, we had the privilege of celebrating the marriages of 16 same-sex couples. It was the first time such a blessing ceremony ever happened in our diocese, which meant it joined that other proud “first” – the first ordination of a woman to the priesthood – in the annals of the Fig’s history. I don’t know what other awesome things our church will do while I’m rector, but that day, and that joy, will always be my pinnacle.

Time can be funny. In some ways, it feels like it was just a moment ago. I can still remember as clear as yesterday walking into the Parlor before the service, each of the 32 people looking fabulous and a buzz in the air. I remember Bishop Gene Robinson’s sermon, when he said that someone can preach about an angry and judgmental God and no one will complain, but preach about a God who fully and completely loves every person, and you get death threats. I remember how it felt, our collective happiness, and I want to hold onto the feeling forever.

In other ways, that day seems like a long time ago, too. Since then, we’ve been able to minister the way we always wanted. Everyone is welcome, all people are treated equally, and no marriages have an asterisk. We’ve conducted almost 20 same-sex weddings since that day, and the thing I remember most about them is how, well, ordinary they were. There was no difference between theirs and all other weddings, because, of course, there is no difference between their unions. They are equally sacramental, equally representative of the mystery of the union between Christ and the Church, equally capable of conveying to all of us the nature of God’s love.

We’ve embraced our new normal so completely that it can feel like it’s always been this way – which is why five years could pass so quickly, and this anniversary could almost slip by unnoticed. But before we go on with our lives, before we take for granted the marvelous normalcy of marriage equality, I hope we’ll pause for moment and say a prayer:

  • for the courageous people in our society, in the Episcopal Church, and in our own beloved Transfiguration who blazed this remarkable path for us;
  • for all the LGBT Christians who didn’t give up on the Church, in spite of how they were too often treated;
  • for those who still suffer in churches where they are told they are broken, sinful, and damned;
  • for our nation, that discrimination will never be acceptable in the name of “religious liberty.”

Most of all, let’s all pray for the Holy Spirit to keep doing what she has been doing since the very dawn of the Church: pulling open our doors, our minds, and our hearts wider and wider, to help us glimpse more fully the wideness of God’s embrace.

Father Casey +

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