A couple months ago, we added a new weekly class to the list of choices. It was a simple Bible study class. Now it is true that we Episcopalians are famous for finding something to argue about when it would seem impossible to disagree, but you would think if there was ever a class that would cause zero controversy in a religious setting, it would be a bible study. But moments after I announced that the class was beginning, a series of groans and boos rivaling a Philadelphia Eagle football crowd were launched from these very pews. More than one sports commentator has suggested that Philadelphia fans would boo their own grandmother if she struck out with the bases loaded.
Coffee, Bagels, and B.S. The B.S., as I am sure all of you immediately realized, stands for Bible Stuff. But
the hostile reaction had nothing to do with BS at all. It came because the class
was…are you ready?…for men only. Imagine. How dare the Rector of a progressive,
inclusive, open-hearted congregation like Grace St. Paul’s allow a segregated group to
form? It was downright repulsive, contrary to our mission statement, maybe even heretical.