About a year ago, I began a new ministry in a nearby neighborhood. Not wanting to muscle in on anyone else's turf and hoping to perhaps network with others in the area, I researched what else was going on around me.
In this situation as in so many others, gay people are serving as poster children -- if not scapegoats -- for other anxieties. In this case it's the status of biblical scholarship and cultural criticism.
As the leaders of the global Anglican Communion converge in Canterbury this week for a week-long meeting, the number one concern for 80 million Anglicans worldwide is whether the church will have a major schism over same-sex unions.
While its viewership won't come close to that other famous British drama Downton Abbey, we are about to begin a new season of the real life soap opera we've come to think of As the Anglican World Turns.
In this new digital context, denominations should be fostering unity without conformity, supporting theological identity, nurturing and facilitating networks without absorbing them, training whip smart and innovative leaders, providing inspiration, helping us serve our neighbors at scale.
In churches like mine, we are usually wary of the word reconciliation (ironic, see 2 Corinthians 5). We are wary because it has often been used by those in power to quiet dissent, thinking that reconciliation equals civility.
It is time for those who see little or no theological validity in the blessing of same-gender partnerships to stop pitting the presence of God's grace in committed LGBT relationships against the "weak" consciences of Christians "over there" who supposedly cannot handle it.
There was give-and-take conversation instead of either a lecture or a sermon. Rowan Williams listened and spoke, spoke and listened. It was all about different people coming together and "getting to know you."