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[epdionwk] I am so very proud of Mark and Dennis, Cindy and Maureen; troubled by the National Council of Churches.....

Two Episcopal couples were among the seven couples who brought the suit that
led to the state's Supreme Court decision this week--Maureen Killian & Cindy
Meneghin (Redeemer, Morristown), The Rev. Mark Lewis (Our Savior, Secaucus)
and The Rev. Dennis Winslow (St. Peter's, Manhattan).  The partner of
another couple died.  Episcopalians were 31% of the witness!

The wheels of justice grind painfully slowly, and they exact an enormous
strain on those who vicariously witness for others.   I am enormously
grateful to all 13 of the litigants, and especially to our very own four.
Month after month,  year after year they have interrupted their lives to
speak at rallies all over the state, to speak with the press, to make court
appearances....  Any new lines on their faces are the lines of sainthood.

At the large rally in Montclair following the decision, ACLU, NOW, Lambda
legal, various other national Civil Rights organization and key legal
figures were there and made important statements.

All the clergy in the room were asked to stand, receive our applause, and
identify their affiliation.   Several of the clergy were Unitarian, plus 
one Lutheran, one UCC pastor, one MCC pastor, one Methodist (if I remember 
correctly) and a Presbyterian who asked us to pray for her church because 
it does not share her own support of us. Besides Mark and Dennis, no other 
Episcopal clergy were there. No one represented the Church Center, though 
many of them live in the Montclair area. I realize that many  of our 
clergy have worked hard on this issue in many other forums 
over the course of the litigation, and the meeting was called on fairly 
short notice.

More conspicuously absent was anyone from the  National Council of Churches
(NCC).  Bob Edgar, its director, frequently brags about the sacrifices that
NCC made in the Civil Rights Movement.   Hundreds of Southern members left
the NCC in the 1960s, but, Bob points out, NCC did what was right, even in
the face of financial retaliation.  

The canons have not closed on the Civil Rights Movement.  It continues full
force whenever citizens work to repair the breech in civil liberties to any
Americans.  Sadly, Bob Edgar and NCC have abandoned the Civil Rights
Movement to protect their revenues from the Orthodox and from Southerners
who hold NCC as captive at the Anglican Communion Network hopes to put a
choke-hold on  the Episcopal Church.  Edgar will tell anyone that he
privately supports lesbians and gays, but when he's garbed as NCC's
director, he passes by on the other side of the ditch of anyone whose need
may jeopardize his other affairs.   

Rejoice in the courage of the 13 litigants.  Pray for the day, coming soon,
when others recover their conscience and their courage.


Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12d, East Orange, NJ 07018.  973-395-1068

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