The consecrations of the Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool and the Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce as suffragan bishops in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles are scheduled to take place on May 15, 2010. In many ways, the paths these two women have taken to episcopal consecration have been routine. That is not to deny their talent, commitment, or hard work, but priests elected bishop in The Episcopal Church usually have impressive résumés.
Of course, many Anglicans, in the U.S. and elsewhere, see the upcoming consecration of Canon Glasspool as extraordinary and tragic. I have been struck, however, by how unremarkable her election and the subsequent consent process have been. To be sure, Canon Bruce received the necessary consents from standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction before Canon Glasspool, but it quickly became obvious that both elections would be endorsed by the church and that Glasspool’s quest for consents would lack the drama of, say, Mark Lawrence’s first try at becoming Bishop of South Carolina.
Canon Glasspool will become the second Episcopal Church bishop with a same-sex partner, proving that the Gene Robinson phenomenon was not a fluke. The May 15 consecration will send the message that our church is committed to a gospel of inclusion and an openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, rather than tied to the spirit-numbing bibliolatry and reaction of so-called Anglican “orthodoxy.”
It is my hope that May 15 will be a kind of Independence Day for The Episcopal Church—the day that we challenge other Anglican churches to follow or be left behind, the day that we say we are never going backward, and the day that it becomes clear that adopting the proposed Anglican covenant would be to betray our understanding of the gospel and to sign a death warrant for our church.
In light of the importance of the service that begins at 1:30 PDT on the afternoon of May 15, 2010, this blog will count down the days to that event. Let this countdown be a reminder to pray for Canons Glasspool and Bruce, for the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, for The Episcopal Church, and for the Anglican Communion.
Note: The graphic above does not change. For the life of the countdown, the number of days until the consecration will be shown at the right, below the No Anglican Covenant logo. If you want to link to this graphic, use the URL http://deimel.org/commentary/b_images/glasspoolcount.png.