anthills–Episcopalians & the Anglican Communion

June 26, 2006


Filed under: Episcopal Church, General Convention — anthill @ 8:31 am

I know I’m sounding cranky after the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. And now I may sound petty, but I don’t think this is a petty thing.

A video of the “Jesus our Mother” sermon by the Presiding Bishop Elect (go to the 7:17 minute mark) zooms out to show the platform area of the worship space in the Columbus Convention Center decorated with huge photos of white flowers on hangings. The gigantic altar-table, painted robin’s-egg-blue dwarfed the clergy at it. Large candles were scaled for the space. A blank panel hanging front and center above the altar-table begged for a cross. There is a cross in the video. Write me if you find it (hint: It is not prominent).

Other photos show another cross—very small for the space, set back on the platform, and in shadows. It seemed not even to be centered on the platform.

This downsizing, down-staging, and down-lighting of the cross may have been an oversight, but I doubt it. It could be argued that the minimizing of the cross adds up with the discharge of the resolution on Jesus as Savior (see earlier post) to come to the conclusion proposed by McLuhan: “The medium is the message.”



  1. I found that strange, also! While looking at Schori’s first sermon the camera panned back to take the area in around the pulpit, and what you explain is true! Ample space for our Christian center piece, yet completely barren. They had the ability to get something up there, evidenced by the two huge wall hangings.

    Maybe they were trying to center on the altar, but that was such a fashion failure because it threw everything off towards the bottom.

    Comment by Milton Finch — June 26, 2006 @ 9:30 am

  2. Milton–Do you have a link for that visual? I saw it, but can’t find it now.

    Comment by anthill — June 26, 2006 @ 10:35 am


    Go to about the 7minute 45 second area of the video. It is there that you will find that of which you speak.

    Comment by Milton Finch — June 26, 2006 @ 11:49 am

  4. Dear Anthill-Cranky? Petty? No. not at all…..I was there also. At a distance from
    which I sat during the Presiding Bishop’s masss, I really never saw the cross.

    Should you have to search for a symbol so central to the Christain faith at an
    event on the scale of GC?

    Sad, sad…

    Comment by Kelly Lipscomb — June 26, 2006 @ 11:15 pm

  5. The sermon represents a sanitizing of Christian truth, a washing-away of offence; believe is no longer a requisite for salvation; repentance is nowhere in sight. Ms. Schori speaks of the absence of fear, and yet, the apostle Paul said, “knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”. What happened to fear of God’s wrath, fear of God’s holiness in the light of our rags; fear of going to hell, if not for the saving work of Christ?

    In this wicked and apostate age, we need more fear, not less.

    As for her vision of ministry, what about saving the lost? Reaching as many as possible with the saving message of Christ?

    All gone.

    This is a gospel with a hollowed-out core. Smooth and soothing, but not saving. Light, and lulling, but not life-giving. Affirming, but without foundation.

    Comment by Richard Ball — June 26, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

  6. Thanks Kelly for the first-hand confirmation from the worship space. So, you truly didn’t see the cross in the shadows? What was the meaning of the flower banners for you?

    Richard–Thanks for the meditation on the right use of fear.

    Comment by anthill — June 27, 2006 @ 9:34 am

  7. Flowers are symbols of life and death. However, the flowers were NOT lillies which would suggest EASTER, the resurrection or new beginnings in Christ. I recall they were white bell shaped flowers.
    I can see them now. I will search for the botanical name.

    Comment by kllylipscomb — June 27, 2006 @ 11:40 am

  8. Pingback by Anonymous — June 27, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

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