There we were--a room full of women clergy--priests and deacons in the Diocese of the Rio Grande. Speaking to us was the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, the first woman to be ordained a bishop in the Episcopal Church and in the world-wide Anglican communion.
As I listened to Bishop Harris, I was reminded of another woman priest--the Rev. Florence Li-Tim Oi. Florence Li-Tim Oi was ordained to the priesthood in 1944 in the midst of World War II. When the war ended, the Archbishop of Canterbury got wind of her ordination and wanted her to renounce her Holy Orders. She refused. But was allowed to serve as priest again until 1984 when she moved to Canada.
Gathered together in the Bosque Center dining room were women clergy of the Diocese of the Rio Grande. As I listened to my colleagues share a little of their journeys to that room, I thought about the shoulders on which we all stand--the shoulders of those who have gone before us in the living of our faith. That line of shoulders goes way back--back to our beginnings. That line of shoulders begins with the men and women who served Jesus and who served with him as well. It's a line that doesn't end. You and I are shoulders to those who follow us. Our work is to live into God's call to us--as individuals and as the community of Live at Five. When we live into God's call, we become the shoulders others stand upon in their living out God's call to them.
In gratitude for the shoulders on which we stand,
Lead Priest, Live at Five