Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bp. Robinson Comes To Call

V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, came to Big Old Seminary today to speak at a student forum. It is interesting to note that he was invited by students, not by the seminary as an institution.

I don't know if that makes me sad for the seminary or proud of my fellow students, or both.

It was a marvelous forum. He made clear at the beginning that his talk was not going to be focused on the issue of homosexuality in the church, and his being a lightning rod for all that discussion. He ended up talking about it a bit in Q&A, but talked a great deal more about Scripture and vocation and keeping our focus on Jesus and the work we all need to do on issues of justice (not just "love justice" but - as Micah says - "do justice").

He was honest about his own struggles with alcoholism, talking about the powerful theology he has often heard articulated at AA meetings, suggesting that perhaps our services should begin with people standing up and saying, "Hi, I'm Mibi, and I'm in need of Jesus in my life."

The tone was more reformed/evangelical than I expected, but somehow it all rang true.

Remarkably, despite all he has been through in recent years, he is a joyful, joy-filled person.

May I have some of that good grace, and may he be blessed in his work.


David said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm regret missing the Forum. My father+ is in NH, came to Convocation, and shared some stories about the Bishop during his visit; he aided my father after my mother's death. I'd hoped to thank him personally. Good on the students for extending the invite; keep challenging VTS in their thinking & feeling. Peace & Cheers.

Sophia said...

Your experience was very similar to what I remember when he came to GTS. His private forum with the students was incredible, and I remember thinking "this man is absolutely called to be a bishop!" He also did a public forum with the community (we are in Chelsea, historically a gay neighborhood) and he encouraged the attendees to come back to religion and claim God as theirs too. He also told them some details about what he had been through and the security for his consecration and other events. I will never forget hearing him tell how they had an intricate plan to make sure he was consecrated even if there was a bomb or shooting as long as he was physically alive. This story, and the fact that it was a necessary part of the planning for his consecration, shook me to the core.

I am glad he was invited to VTS.