Grace in the press

If you follow this blog, you know that Grace got some negative press in February over conditions in the shelter that is housed in the basement of our education wing. A couple of weeks ago, there was an article in the Capital Times that mentioned there is no air conditioning in the shelter. I am more than willing to accept criticism when it’s valid and appropriate. Conditions in the shelter are not ideal, and it’s true there’s no A/C in it, but then there’s no A/C in our sanctuary either. What I don’t appreciate is criticism, even implicit, that focuses on Grace.

So in tomorrow’s Isthmus, the cover article concerns the Roman Catholic Bishop of Madison, and growing criticism from progressive Catholics about his leadership. For some reason, the Isthmus thought it appropriate to include in the cover photo Grace’s steeple. The image is here. Now, I suppose one might argue that the steeple of Grace Church is an iconic image of Madison, indeed of Christianity in Madison. But so far as I know, Bishop Molino has never crossed the threshold of Grace, although he’s welcome any time he would like to visit.

More importantly, Grace is not a Catholic church. Far from it. We are Episcopal and we represent much of what Bishop Molino and traditional Catholics oppose. We ordain women. We welcome any baptized Christian to our services and to receive communion, including those who have been divorced and those who might have remarried. We welcome gays and lesbians. We welcome all who seek a closer relationship to God through Jesus Christ.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not criticizing Bishop Molino. He and I may have very different views, but we are both seeking to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and to share that faith with others. My criticism is with the Isthmus.

I suppose I wouldn’t be so annoyed by Grace’s steeple appearing on the front cover of the Isthmus if we hadn’t bought an ad, welcoming people to Madison area Episcopal churches, that includes in it the image of Grace’s steeple.

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