I defy anyone not to be moved by the Assembly’s response to a man who heckled Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson as he attempted to deliver the sermon at a London church recently. Bishop Robinson is in London as the outsider-looking-in, having been uninvited form the decennial Lambeth Conference which, as the conference’s Web site states, is an occasion, “when all bishops can meet for worship, study and conversation. Archbishops, diocesan, assistant and suffragan bishops are invited.” Stopping his sermon as an unruly man stands and shouts at him, calling him a “heretic,” the gathered assembly of the faithful come to the Bishop’s aid by joining their voices in song to drown out the disruptive heckler.
As for Bishop Robinson, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan William’s has added insult to injury. Not only has Williams invited every other Anglican Communion bishop (along with their spouses!), but so too has he invited “bishops from other churches ‘in communion’ with the Anglican Communion, bishops from United Churches and a number of ecumenical guests.”
For Bishop Robinsson and the people of New Hampshire, this must be like discovering that that your neighbors are having a block party — and yours is the only family on the street not welcome. And not only that, people from other parts of town have been invited as well. For you and your family, however … well, there just wasn’t a place at the table!