Rick Warren giving the invocation at the Inauguration has caused quite a stir, but I thought this story deserved a little attention too.
The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, who became the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop in 2003 and last year entered into a civil union with his gay partner, will deliver the invocation for Sunday’s kickoff inaugural event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, with President-elect Obama in attendance. The event is free and open to the public. An Obama source: "Robinson was in the plans before the complaints about Rick Warren. Many skeptics will read this as a direct reaction to the Warren criticism – but it’s just not so." Robinson has been referred to as "the most controversial Christian in the world." http://www.politico.com/...
More information on Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson
The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson (born May 29, 1947) is the ninth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Robinson was elected bishop in 2003 and entered office on March 7, 2004. Prior to becoming bishop, he served as assistant to the retiring New Hampshire bishop.
Robinson is best-known for being the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination believing in the historic episcopate. His homosexual feelings were privately acknowledged in the 1970s, when he studied in seminary, was ordained, married, and started a family. He went public with his sexual identity and divorced in the 1980s. When delegates to the Episcopal convention were voting on the ratification of his election, he was a controversial figure. His election was ratified 62 to 45. After his election, theologically conservative parishes have aligned themselves with bishops outside the Episcopal Church in the U.S., a process called the Anglican realignment. His story has appeared in print and film
V. Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire on June 7, 2003, having served as Canon to the Ordinary (Assistant to the Bishop) for nearly 18 years. He was consecrated a Bishop on All Saints Sunday, November 2, 2003, and was invested as the Ninth Bishop of New Hampshire on March 7, 2004.
A 1969 graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, he has a B.A. in American Studies/History. In 1973, he completed the M.Div. degree at the General Theological Seminary in New York, was ordained deacon, and then priest, serving as Curate at Christ Church, Ridgewood, New Jersey. Upon moving to New Hampshire in 1975, Gene co-owned and directed an ACA accredited horseback riding summer camp for girls. As Founding Director of Sign of the Dove Retreat Center, in Temple, New Hampshire, he led retreat programs for vestries, diocesan committees, intergenerational groups, and all kinds of parish groups.
From 1978 to 1985, Gene was Youth Ministries Coordinator for the seven dioceses of New England, serving two years on the National Youth Ministries Development Team, where he helped originate the national Episcopal Youth Event. From 1983 until his election as bishop, Gene also served as Executive Secretary of Province I, coordinating all cooperative programs between the seven dioceses of New England.
Clergy wellness has long been a focus of Gene's ministry, and in the nineties he developed the A Being Well in Christ conference model for The Cornerstone Project, and led clergy conferences in over 20 dioceses in the U.S. and Canada. He initiated A Fresh Start, a two-year mentoring program for all clergy in new positions in New Hampshire, and co-authored the Fresh Start curriculum, now in use in nearly half of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Much of his ministry has focused on helping congregations and clergy, especially in times of conflict, utilizing his skills in congregational dynamics, conflict resolution and mediation.
Co-author of three AIDS education curricula for youth and adults, Gene has done AIDS work in the United States and in Africa (Uganda and South Africa). He has been an advocate for anti-racism training in the diocese and wider Church. He helped build the Diocese of New Hampshire's close working partnership with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, advocated for debt relief for the world's most impoverished nations, and lobbied for socially-responsible investment within and beyond the Church. He is a past member of the Board of the New Hampshire Endowment for Health, which works for access to health care for the uninsured. Bishop Robinson currently serves as a Trustee of the Church Pension Fund and a board member of the NH Children’s Alliance. He holds two honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards from national civil rights organizations. His story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So....
I think this is good. What do you think?