Thursday, July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010 Special Day

This is a very special day. 

Today, we celebrate Mary, Martha and Lazarus-Mary, for her willingness to listen; Martha for her ability to act and for the faith of both that allowed them to believe that Jesus was indeed the Resurrection and the Life and that all who believe will live forever. Upon that faith, Lazarus was returned to them. They are all symbols of faith, friendship and hospitality.

Today is also the birthday of our youngest grandson, Kason and our niece, Tori.

But today we also celebrate an event that happened thirty-six years ago. On July 29, 1974, I was three years out of high school and living what I thought was an independent life. Although my parents had already begun attending the Episcopal Church of the Holy Mount in Ruidoso, New Mexico, I was totally alienated from any type of religious institutions. It was a part of that time where I successfully drowned the niggling voice that came to me at odd moments. I was almost 21 and entertained no desire for any religious life.

My myopic view of life left no room for religion and very little concern for the political upheavals of the day. Therefore, I had absolutely no awareness of the 11 women “irregularly” ordained into the Sacred Order of Priests in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There was no anger, no awe, no shock. Just total ignorance.

For the past 15 years, it has mattered greatly to me. So today, I lift up these women and the men who supported them in thanksgiving and in prayer.

Merrill Bittner
Alison Cheek
Alla Bozarth (Campell)
Emily C Hewitt
Carter Heyward
Suzanne R. Hiatt (deceased 2002)
Marie Moorefield
Jeanette Piccard (deceased 1981)
Betty Bone Schiess
Katrina Welles Swanson (deceased 2006)
Nancy Hatch Witting

Ordaining Bishops:
Daniel Corrigan
Robert L DeWitt
Edward R Welles
Assisting: Antonio Ramos

It is upon the shoulders of all these women and these men that I stand today. Thank you.