The link to the article from which the following has been extracted was sent in by Wade who is "proud to have been on the discernment group for this young man."
Posted at WALKING WITH INTEGRITY:
By Ben Garren (Integrity Intern)
My uncle wanted to make chicken and dumplings. A simple enough task. As I watched him slowly write out the grocery list in his precise architect’s script, however, I knew completing that task would take much of the day’s energy. Recovering from spinal meningitis decades into his fight with HIV/Aids simple tasks were no longer easy. I sadly mulled this over as I drove to the store with his list. At which point, as always, my uncle made me smile. His meticulous list was arranged to the specific floor plan of the store. Pity ain’t gonna stick to that.
A few years ago my uncle became a confirmed Episcopalian. My memory is of him explaining that it was not a sudden decision, but one he had known for a long time. He talked about Integrity, not in any great way but by the simple fact that Integrity existed. That it had actual purchase in our church’s polity and this meant that the Episcopal Church was a place where he could worship God with his full self. Decades of the Episcopal Church being in the background had made it the place he knew he would go when he was ready once again to enter into a churched relationship with God.
His parish, though, is amazing. There (are) two Episcopal parishes in town. One is actually a continuing Anglican parish that split off when the new prayer book was made. My uncle was at the other Episcopal Church, the hidden Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church built by Episcopal slaves so they could worship out of sight and mind of their Episcopal owners. It was there that my uncle found welcome, affirmation, and a space where he could worship God in Truth. The first white individual known to be a lay member of that parish.
Our church, our church has its problems, but if the results of one of our most darkest deeds, our party to the enslavement of our brothers and sisters in Christ, is that a former slave parish in the deep south is now a place a gay white man can finally worship God in truth, then there is overwhelming hope amidst our current problems.