I was born and raised with 60 miles of Fort Worth, Texas. My family lineage shows that at least two different lines of it came to Texas in the early 1800s. I am a sixth generation Texan. While I detest much of the politics of the past few decades of Texas government and what has passed as the Episcopal Church, I am proud to be a Texan and love the wild nature and natural diversity of the State.
I came into the Episcopal Church via the Diocese of Fort Worth in 1986. As I came to realize how I did not fit into that narrow idea of church, I found an opportunity to become a part of Integrity. Because of that, I attended General Convention '06. It was there that I found the real Episcopal Church.
I live now in Saint Louis, Missouri, in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. While Saint Louis has many problems, it is a beautiful place. Although it is a bit cold far too long for this thin Texas blood, it has been exciting to see four seasons and the absolute beauty of flowers in late summer. Who knew that grass could be green in August?
I came to Saint Louis for one reason – in this diocese, there would be no discernment restrictions placed upon me due to the fact that I am a woman and lesbian in a long term relationship. This does not mean that I would be automatically accepted in a discernment process; rather, it meant only that I would not be automatically denied simply because of these two things. One of the few problems that I have with this diocese is that so many of the people in the church have no idea what it means to live in a despotic diocese – even though Springfield borders this diocese. But then, how could know?
I have worked and worshipped at Christ Church Cathedral Saint Louis for a bit over one year. Fully involved in the community, my discernment committee has been called, we have had a first meeting and I now have this help I need to walk with me on this part of the journey as together we attempt to understand how God is calling me.
As a part of my discernment, I made the decision not to attend General Convention in Anaheim this year. I had been scheduled to work with Integrity during the entire two weeks. While I know this was the right decision for me to make, there is the reality that I will miss it more and more as its time nears.
So, over the next few weeks, I hope to dedicate this blog to an awareness of the problems that still exist in far too many places. Gays, lesbians and women are basically "safe" here in the Diocese of Missouri (at least from a church aspect) but that cannot be said in other places. It is time to change. That cannot be done by sitting still and quiet.
Since there is no need whatsoever in re-creating the wheel, I suggest that those interested go to my sister Elizabeth's blog where she is currently reliving "herstory".
I cried. And then I cried more when I next read this part. Most especially when I read this particular quote: "My ordination will not be complete until everyone who is called to stand where I am privileged to stand is allowed to pursue their vocation - no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic class or sexual orientation."
I know where Elizabeth Kaeton stands. And I am thankful to have her standing beside me.