“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

About two weeks ago, I thought about giving up Facebook. My feed was filled with images of anger and hatred; victims of brutality, especially children. I was reading stories that disturbed me and tormented my soul. It was getting to me.

And yet today, my feed is filled with joy and thanksgiving. Friends of all kinds, expressing their gratitude and emotions. Many of these friends I’ve known almost my whole life, people who have expressed their anguish and trouble in recent years, including one who lost her job as a teacher because of her sexual orientation. Today, all of that pain is lifted, not forever, but for a moment of joy. A sense of joy the likes of which I haven’t seen in a really long time.

Yesterday, our brothers and sisters in Christ gathered in Salt Lake City to help determine the church’s course in the opening Eucharist of our General Convention. I am deeply thankful that our church is currently doing our work, preparing resolutions, some of which will certainly deal with the church’s response to how the court now understands marriage. May we pray as one that this work is holy and full of the Spirit, sending us out into the world to do the work she has given us to do.

In conclusion, let me share with you the gracious statement of the Presiding Bishop:

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.  [1Corinthians 13:4-8]

I rejoice that the Supreme Court has opened the way for the love of two people to be recognized by all the states of this Union, and that the Court has recognized that it is this enduring, humble love that extends beyond the grave that is to be treasured by society wherever it exists.  Our society will be enriched by the public recognition of such enduring faithful love in families headed by two men or two women as well as by a woman and a man.  The children of this land will be stronger when they grow up in families that cannot be unmade by prejudice or discrimination.  May love endure and flourish wherever it is to be found.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

To this, I simply say Amen.

Peace be with you and all whom you love,

The Rev. Andrew Downs 
Rector
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church