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God in heaven, have mercy ...

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
May 28, 2024

One of my favorite expressions of exasperation is "Oh, dear!"So many times I say that as I read the headlines crossing my desk as I scour Anglican news for VirtueOnline.

When I really get exasperated I switch to German: "Mein Gott im Himmel" -- My God in heaven -- a prayer.

"Oh, dear ..." was my immediate response when I saw the recent Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release headline: Episcopal Church unveils new Pride shield in celebration of LGBTQ+ inclusion.

I quickly switched to German when I saw the "new" Episcopal Church shield. The familiar red, white and blue is replaced by pastel pink and baby blue; chocolate brown and jet black; and, of course, the rainbow Pride colors of purple, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.

It is absolutely shocking!

The redesigned the Episcopal Church shield signifies that the Episcopal Church has become a social change agency with a religious veneer.

Only the familiar Episcopal shield shape remains the same as does the cluster of nine white mini crosses configured into a St. Andrew's Cross against the blue field in the upper left quadrant. The cross, separating the four quarters of the redesigned Episcopal Church crest, is still in place although the blood red cross is now white.


There is much Anglican, religious and historic symbolism in the original Episcopal Church shield, which is basically a miniature stylized version of the Episcopal Church flag.

The Episcopal Church explains: "The white field represents the purity of the Christian religion. The red cross represents the sacrifice of Jesus and the blood of the martyrs. The red cross on a white field is the cross of Saint George, the patron saint of England, indicating our descent from the Church of England. The blue in the upper left-hand corner is the light blue of the sky, often used by artists for the clothing of the Blessed Virgin. It is called Madonna blue and represents the human nature of our Lord, which he received from his mother. The nine white crosslets on the blue field represent the nine original dioceses of the Episcopal Church in America in 1789: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and South Carolina. They are arranged in the form of a St. Andrew's Cross to commemorate the fact that Samuel Seabury, the first American bishop, was consecrated in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Nov. 14, 1784. The colors red, white, and blue represent the United States and stand for the American branch of the Anglican Communion."

Now that the Episcopal Church has redesigned its shield -- not the Episcopal Church flag -- the focus is taken off Christ and His Blood shed in the Cross. The focus has switched to self and intersectionality -- not Jesus Christ -- HIMSELF!

There is no mention of God, much less Jesus, in the press release explaining the new Pride Episcopal shield: "The design retains the upper-left blue corner of The Episcopal Church's shield logo and incorporates elements of the traditional Pride flag as well as the Progress Pride flag and Philadelphia Pride flag. In their use of black, brown, pink, and light-blue diagonal lines, the latter two flags represent intersectional progress in acknowledging people who are often overlooked by the mainstream LGBTQ+ movement: communities of color; the transgender community; and the many thousands harmed by anti-LGBTQ+ policy--from those who lost their lives in the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and '90s, to those still disproportionately impacted today."

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's desire to prevent hurting the feelings of the LGBTQ and the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People-Of-Color) crowd is helping to fuel the creation of the redesigned Episcopal Church Pride shield. He is, himself, the first BIPOC person to be elected as Presiding Bishop.

"I believe deep in my soul that God is always seeking to create a world and a society where all are loved, where justice is done, and where the God-given equality of us all is honored in our relationships, in our social arrangements, and in law," Presiding Bishop Curry said last year at the close of the 2023 June Pride month celebration. "This is a difficult time. I am mindful of another difficult time, in the 19th century, during the struggle--once again for human dignity and equality--during the struggle to bring chattel slavery in America to an end; in the midst of a century where this nation entered into a civil war; in the midst of a time when the Mexican American war was tearing much of the country apart."

Remember, six years ago -- May 2018 -- the Presiding Bishop brought mention of American slavery, Martin Luther King, and Negro spirituals into his sermon at Prince Harry's wedding to American divorcee Meghan Markle, herself a person-of-color.

What does slavery, MLK, and spirituals have to do with a Church of England Royal wedding solemnized before the Queen of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

The Presiding Bishop's wedding sermon may not have been a hit with the shell-shocked Royal Family, but he was a hit with the British press, and the Internet. Social media had a field day with Michael Curry's preaching style and his BIPOC points of reference.


The Episcopal Church has a long history of embracing gays and lesbians then finally adding transgenderism to the mix.

It all started in 1974 with Louise Crew when he founded Integrity-USA, which pushed for the full inclusion of the LGBTQ person into the fullness of the Episcopal Church, not only from sitting in the pews but to standing behind the altar and finally grasping the crozier.

The 1976 General Convention adopted resolutions stating that "homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church." That year Convention passed two resolutions which affirmed gays and lesbians within the church setting and wider social circles. Resolution A069 declared that homosexual persons are "children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church;" and Resolution A071 stated that gays and lesbians were "entitled to equal protection of the laws with all other citizens."

Then in 1994, General Convention amended church canons to prohibit exclusions and discrimination based on sexual orientation, thus providing equal access to all the sacraments, rites and worship of The Episcopal Church, including ordination.

This opened the door which allowed Vicky Gene Robinson (IX New Hampshire) to slip through becoming the first openly gay priest to be elected an openly gay bishop. This pushed open the floodgates to the LGBTQ revolution invading the Episcopal Church.

General Convention's acceptance of same-sex couples came in 2009. Bishop Robinson was already in a "committed" civil same-sex relationship with Mark Andrew in 2008. The bishop boasted that "I have always wanted to be a June bride." Their live-in relationship became same-sex marriage in 2010 when New Hampshire made SSM legal within the state. But wedded bliss did not last. The bishop and his "husband" announced their impending same-sex divorce 10 years ago in May 2014.

Currently Bishop Robinson is Bishop-in-Residence at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. St. Thomas has long been an LGBTQ welcoming parish. However, Mark Andrew has fallen off the radar screen.

Now, in addition to Bishop Robinson, the Episcopal House of Bishops has several living and partnered gay and lesbian bishops among its membership including: Bonnie Perry (XI Michigan); Mary Glasspool (New York-assisting); Thomas Brown (X Maine); and Deon Johnson (XI Missouri).

For TransEpiscopal discrimination against sexual orientation was not enough. The transgendered advocacy group pushed for the full inclusion of trans and nonbinary Episcopalians into the fullness of churchlife. It was intent on seeing the ordination of transgendered clergy.

In 2012, TransEpiscopal was able to get the canons of The Episcopal Church changed to erase discrimination based not only on sexual orientation and gender identity but also gender expression. This ushered in transgender clergy ordination.

Now the Episcopal Church has a growing number of transgendered clergy persons.

"Gwenneth" Fry came out in 2015 as a transgender "female" in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. "She" became president of Integrity in 2018 and ran it into the ground. "She" is now listed as the priest-in-charge at St. Mark's in Waterville, Maine.

"Cameron" Partridge, a transgendered "male" priest, is now the rector at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church in San Francisco, California. "He" gained notoriety for being the first transgendered priest to preach at the National Cathedral during Pride Month, June 2014.

There is also a nonbinary priest with a unisex name -- Lauren Kay -- who is canonically resident in the Diocese of Maine. "They" do not have a pulpit but will be in Maine's clerical delegation to June's General Convention.

However, this nonbinary priest is available for spiritual direction, as well as "queer and queer-friendly" liturgical services including funerals and weddings.


The upcoming Episcopal 81st General Convention, slated for June 23-28 in Louisville, Kentucky, continues to push the LGBTQ agenda.

Proposed Resolution A017 calls for the Creation of a Staff Position for Director of LGBTQI and Women's Ministries which comes with a $300,000 price tag.

Proposed Resolution A044 calls for the church to Develop Sustainable Congregational Revitalization Ministries designed to prioritize the "under-represented groups, including youth and young adults, disabled persons, members of LGBTQIA communities, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People-of-Color) communities, poor and working-class people, people with a high-school diploma or less, and/or people with little or no church background or involvement" at a cost of a half a million dollars.

A044 is closely tied with proposed Resolution A045 which calls for the church to Celebrate and Support the Planting of New Episcopal Worshiping Communities which is also designed to prioritize the "under-represented groups, including youth and young adults, disabled persons, members of LGBTQIA communities, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other People-of-Color) communities, poor and working-class people, people with a high-school diploma or less, and/or people with little or no church background or involvement" and will throw $1.7 million toward the effort.

Proposed Resolution A145 urges Pastoral Compassion and Discretion for Clergy and Laity Who Disclose Diverse Family and Household Structures. The General Convention urges Bishops, Standing Committees, and disciplinary authorities to exercise pastoral compassion and discretion with those clergy and laity who disclose the diverse ways in which they are forming family and household structures that seek to be holy, faithful and lifegiving family units regardless of marital status or family make up.

Recently two homosexual Episcopal priests -- Father Kevin Morris and Father Keith Voets both serving churches on Long Island, NY -- turned to surrogacy to produce a son for their same-sex family. They are living into the diverse family structure championed by General Convention.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline.

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