Dean of Dallas reflects on 41 years in the Episcopal Church
Posted on June 30, 2012
Filed under Opinion
As he retires from his position as Dean of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral in Dallas, Texas, Kevin Martin bemoans the direction in which TEC is heading –
“Things have changed and I think not for the better. For example, as a seminarian I attended the General Convention held in Houston. I remember the hearing held on the proposed new Baptismal Rite. It started with a 20 minute presentation by a leading theologian and seminary professor on the need for changes. This was followed by a 10 minute ‘response’ by another theologian from a different perspective. This theologian began by affirming a number of points made in the initial address, and only then did he respectfully present a differing opinion. This was followed by a panel discussion among a group of outstanding leaders and thinkers. Only then was the discussion open to deputies in the audience who could ask questions.
Compare all this to a discussion at the General Convention in 2000 over the issue of ordination of gay and lesbian persons in same-sex relationships. The initial resolution that would be taken to the floor of convention was read by the Chair of the Committee and then members of the audience were invited to give testimony limited to two minutes. Participants went to a set of microphones labeled either pro or con.
I saw a seminary dean given only two minutes to speak to the Church’s theology of marriage. This was followed by a two minute personal sharing by a woman who was married to a transvestite on how accepting their local parish had been. I sat watching as a once thoughtful and intelligent community that valued substantive engagement with issues reduced itself to a community of passionate partisanship who reduced discussion to a superficial series of slogans and clichés.”