William Porcher DuBose
Dear People of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina,
Patient waiting is one of the hardest things to do. It has a bit of the feel of Advent. Now that we have received a decision from the State Supreme Court of South Carolina, we find ourselves once again in an in-between time with many unknowns and decisions yet to be made. The temptation is to speculate and fill in the gaps to help alleviate a sense of anxiety, especially as rumors swirl about us and we hear misrepresentations of our positions and decisions.
Our call, however, is not merely to wait patiently, but faithfully. What that means to me is to remember our call as disciples of Jesus, to be bearers of his Good News, and to live a life in active mission to bring God’s vision to reality in our life and in the lives of the people around us. It is the work of loving God and your neighbor as yourself, on which Jesus clearly stated depends all the law and the prophets.
The horrific events in Charlottesville clearly indicate that our Gospel work is far from finished. The best thing we can do now in order to be about faithful waiting is to be a people of reconciliation and peace. Not only do we need to definitively and unequivocally condemn the actions of white supremacists, we must find ways in our own life to stand up peacefully to hatred, name racism and bigotry as evil, and all with the hope of the reconciling love of Christ sustaining us along the way.
I write this to you on the feast day of William Porcher DuBose, a giant in The Episcopal Church, a South Carolinian, who is seen as one of the greatest theologians ever produced by The Episcopal Church. Interestingly, he is a graduate of the University of Virginia. He ministered in a time of uncertainty just as we do. Of the many things he said I point you to these words: “The one great lesson that must…make ready the Christian unity of the future is this: that contraries do not necessarily contradict, nor need opposites always oppose. What we want is not to surrender or abolish our differences, but to unite them.”
Our desire and path remains one of reconciliation, one of love, for that is the way of Jesus.
In Christ our hope,