Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Witnessing history

In just a week it will be forty years since the very first eleven women were ordained as priests in The Episcopal Church back in Philadelphia on the Feast of Mary and Martha of Bethany. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that we have only enjoyed this wonderful ministry of women for such a short time. Anyway, I was thinking about that this morning as I read accounts of an event yesterday at the White House at which this woman, The Reverend Susan Russell was in attendance.

That event yesterday (President Barack Obama signed an executive order protecting LGBT federal workers) was a pretty big deal. It was only a brief East Room ceremony with 300 or so in attendance, but it was likely the biggest thing for equality this entire month. Federal contractors and subcontractors employ some 14 million people, so this truly effects many. It's not the actions of the President though that I want to talk about. I want to say more about Susan Russell.

It was just last week that she was invited to fly across the country from her Southern California home to witness history and be one of those present at the signing. A parish priest with responsibilities within her church each week, how could she miss a Sunday? How could she be in Washington and still do her work at home? Talk about last minute!  It was fun watching her reaction (through social media and her blog) - she was like a kid in a candy store.

Now let me tell you that Susan Russell is one of the greatest leaders I know. She has worked tirelessly for equality for years. You may recall me writing about her in the past here in the past. Because of her powerful witness for justice for all and because of all that she has done for civil and religious liberties, I was so surprised that she had not previously been to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and I was even more surprised at her almost giddy response.

More than likely she will update us all on yesterday's experience - check http://inchatatime.blogspot.com/ for that, and check there often too. She's a much better blogger than I am! I did have to say something though.  I couldn't let this huge event at the White House pass without even a mention, just as I cannot let the anniversary on July 29th pass by without a mention.  Susan Russell has done so much to make these kind of events happen and yet it isn't about her.  She isn't the least bit puffed up or conceited about this.  She is just living her promise to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being." 

It was sure nice watching the live feed yesterday from that signing ceremony though and I am certain I heard her voice loudly and clearly proclaim Amen!

No comments:

Post a Comment