Expansive language presses against the limits of the worst habits of our theological imaginations, especially, for instance, assuming we know what a word like “father” means.
Have I engaged this topic in a way that leads to the flourishing that you very beautifully call forth from male leaders? One day God will make this clear. But isn’t the point of dialogue to enter into the fray and to refine each other through enhanced mutual understanding?
The work of preparing to receive Holy Eucharist is not meant to scare us off. Nor is it meant to erect barriers. On the contrary, our preparation is meant to instill within us reverence and respect for the incredible gift of the Eucharist.
Hospitality does not mean inviting people into the most sacramentally intimate spaces of the Christian life, it means being honest about intentions, healthy boundaries, the shape and form such commitments will take, and yes, eventually, the intimate sharing of one body with another. If consent is important in our debates about sexual boundaries, how is it also not important for sacramental boundaries?
These speakers represent a range of theological positions and disciplinary backgrounds. But what they share is a deep commitment to the life and prayer of the Episcopal Church. Don’t you want to be a part of this conversation? Don’t we need to have this conversation as a church? Prayer book revision is coming. Will you be part of the dialogue, or will you leave it to others?
The irony for the officiant is that the only way to promote harmony among the various voices at prayer is to focus on their own. The role of the officiant is to pray through the chaos so the chaos can eventually find order through the prayers. The officiant must be attentive to all who are praying, but not at the expense of their own prayers.