Saturday, June 18, 2005

It's just like the Kevin Bacon game, but it's the church

I don't know why I was worried, ever, about starting over in a new diocese. Although I was very happy that the DH got his job and that we were going somewhere new and different, the prospect of starting over, AGAIN, sometimes felt a little disconcerting. In my previous diocese I felt very well connected--in fact, I remember looking around at my ordination and thinking, "I know most everyone in this cathedral." Not that they were all there for me, but it was a small diocese and I had gotten to know people very quickly simply by being a counselor at camp and a few other things.

I don't know why I worried. The essential nature of the Episcopal Church is that there are, at most, two degrees of separation from any one other Episcopalian. You just have to do the math, like the Kevin Bacon game.

This time of year is ordination season in the Church. Red stoles and processions abound from diocese to diocese. The D. of OK ordained two permanent deacons today and will ordained 5 transitional deacons next Saturday (who will soon be ordained priests). The other clergy were very friendly, and I wasn't there 5 minutes before I ran into the mother of one of my former parishioners, walked in the procession with the former Canon to the Ordinary in MO (who knew both husband and me) and then, to top the morning off, met Monastic Mumblings and Unregulated Female. It was good to meet them and good to discuss (briefly) blogging and "Blogging Episcopalians." Funny to talk about AKMA with someone who only knows him from the internet and not connected to SWTS.

There is a good and a bad side to the Internet. Gossip and rumors abound, and people's anxiety can be increased by what they read. Somehow information on the Internet, right or wrong, has an immediacy that is a little different from other media. But there is a good side, the building of community, helping people be connected to each other, and hopefully, maybe, to God--hmm, isn't that in the BCP somewhere, like the mission of the church?

Well, I've never met Kevin Bacon, but I like the sense of connection to each other we have in the Episcopal Church. I hate to see the strains that have crept in over the years, and which have come to light since General Convention (they were already there, you see, these tensions aren't new, they're just public now). I would hate to see the breakup of the Communion. It seems like something evil is assaulting us, when we can be more connected than ever thanks to technology, that we are being driven apart. I pray fervently for the unity of the church. I want to keep playing the Kevin Bacon game in the Episcopal Church for the rest of my life, only with more people,not fewer.


At 9:06 PM, Blogger Annie said...

I'm praying right along with you.

At 12:31 AM, Blogger Monk-in-Training said...

It was wonderful to connect with you today! What a great blessing it is to reach out in this new way, as Jesus reached out in new ways in His time.

I am looking forward to how your unique ministry impacts our local Diocese, and it is always great to connect.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Unregulated Female said...

I second what MIT said - How cool to be able to meet someone whose blog I have read for a bit.

Welcome to the diocese!

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Jason said...

As a friend of mine said, there are only eleven of us in the Episcopal Church, and all the rest is done with mirrors!

But I'm with you -- I like the prospect of being only two degrees separated from anyone else, in an ever-growing Body.


At 11:31 AM, Blogger frog said...

Jason, I think we have the same friend.

Or is that a mirror?


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