Becky Says...

August 2003

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August 9

In addition to Peter James Lee, of whom I made mention in May, I have at least a casual acquaintance with several other Episcopal Bishops. The vast majority of the ones with whom I'm acquainted voted "yes" on the question of consecrating Bishop-elect Robinson. That majority includes Peter, which does not surprise me at all.

But. There was one "no" vote from a Bishop I met long before he was such. I do not know on what basis he voted, and really don't plan to address his motives in this matter. But I will tell you of an odd encounter I had with him; one that left me with probably the exact opposite impression I think he was trying to make.

I don't want anyone searching on his name to wind up here, but to identify him, he is in a diocese in Pennsylvania that goes by the name of a city, and that city is often associated with steel and three rivers.

I knew him when he was one of the priests associate at Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill. In my work at Non-Profit Agency #1, our paths crossed occasionally. Plus, although I am Lutheran, I have attended many a service at Chapel of the Cross.

And it was in the context of attending one such service that I had the encounter with this man; an encounter that I hadn't thought of in a long time, until I saw his name on the list of "no" voters. For the record, the reason I had attended that particular service was that a friend and I both wanted to hear the musical work the choir was presenting that day.

As is the usual custom following a church service, the clergy were greeting the congregation at the church doors. This priest happened to be at the door toward which my friend and I were headed. When we got there, the priest took my hand in both of his, and said, "I'm so glad you're here!"

I'm not sure exactly what my response was. I probably thanked him and then moved along. I suppose it was possible that he was confusing me with someone else. In any case, the effusive greeting was lost on me. It made me vaguely uncomfortable, and I decided the best course of action was to exit the nave by another door if I happened to be at another service where he was a participant. Based on that decision, there wasn't a repeat performance.

But I really wish I had had a chance to ask him why he was so glad I was there that day. Come to think of it, I'd like to ask a similar question regarding his vote on the Bishop-elect.

Text © copyright 2000-2003 Becky