Beloved friends,

Our gathering in Minneapolis has been my fifth consecutive General Convention as a reporter—the merest blink of an eye to convention veterans, but enough time to offer some perspective on where we have been and where we are going.

Professor Timothy Sedgwick observed in the early 1990s that many Episcopalians were experiencing cognitive dissonance about sexual morality—a feeling of disconnection between the church's teachings and its practices. He said this conflict must, in time, be resolved for the good of the church. To his everlasting credit, Sedgwick called on liberal Episcopalians, even then, to be gracious in the victory he expected would eventually be theirs.

Just as the 1976 convention in Minneapolis was the decisive moment in our church's discussion of ordaining women as priests, this convention marks the turning point in our discussion about blessing same-sex couples.

I give thanks for many of you on the left. You have shared meals, your homes, and soul-to-soul conversations with me. One of the richest gifts we can give each other is to risk discovering the person behind the activist's confrontational posture. To the many Episcopalians who embody liberalism's generosity at its best: thank you.

I hope that my offering some final thoughts on this General Convention and our subsequent life together will not be too severe a test of your generosity.

I ask five favors of you:

Give us time. I do not honestly know what this General Convention means for our future together. I know most of us want to remain faithful Anglicans. Nineteen of our shepherds have asked sympathetic primates to provide their godly guidance. We want their guidance to be marked more by wisdom than by speed, but we expect to hear from them. ...

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