Thinking Anglicans

Windsor Report: ECUSA bishops meet

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church meets for two days next week, in Salt Lake City Utah, for the sole purpose of considering the Windsor Report. The arrangements for this meeting are described here: Frank Griswold Writes the Episcopal Church Bishops about the Upcoming House of Bishops Meeting in Utah in January. You can follow these links to find out more about the Public Conversations Project, consultants Laura Chasin and Robert Stains, and their previous related work.

The local newspaper, the Deseret Morning News has this advance report Episcopalians plan Salt Lake session to take on same-sex furor.

Associated Press has issued Episcopal Bishops to Discuss Gay Ordination Issue in Salt Lake (copy via the Casper Wyoming Star)

The local diocese has Wrestling With Windsor.

The Bishop of Central Florida has written this letter to his colleagues. (His earlier comments on the WR can be found here.) In reads in part:

…In all honesty, I confess that an unclear or ambiguous response would be a pastoral disaster for me and I believe, for many others in our beloved Church. Even worse would be for us to create the perception that we are dodging the Report altogether or trying to “buy time” by employing delaying tactics.

I write in charity to request your support when I rise to ask that the House consider addressing those specific portions of the Report that are directed to us as Bishops of ECUSA. The Windsor Report is lengthy and complex and I realize we cannot address those sections of the Report that require action of the entire Church. I believe we need to focus on, and begin to shape our response to, the recommendations of the Windsor Report that call upon us as Bishops to:

  • Express our regret (as defined by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his Advent Letter to the Primates) for having so damaged the Communion.
  • Demonstrate our desire to continue to “walk together” with the rest of the Communion.
  • Agree to a moratorium on same sex-blessings and the consecration of non-celibate homosexual persons until or unless a “new consensus” emerges in the Communion that such actions are seen as legitimate in the light of Scripture and Christian tradition.
  • Ask those among us who believe such actions are legitimate to “make their case” to the rest of the Communion.
  • And Ask those of us who participated in the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire to refrain from representing the Anglican Communion in international and ecumenical gatherings following the example of our Primate who resigned from leadership in the ARCIC work.

I know not all of us will be in agreement with all of the recommendations in the Report. But I am certain we need to focus on the recommendations themselves rather than debating how well sections C and D flow from sections A and B…

The weekly magazine The Living Church has just (issue dated 9 January) published this editorial: More Needed from Bishops.

…Business as usual for the bishops would involve issuing a pastoral letter following adjournment of the meeting which states that the bishops receive thankfully the Windsor Report and commend the theologians who worked so diligently on it. The letter would contain an announcement that says the bishops have met amid prayer and Bible study and have reflected upon the Windsor Report and that they are pleased to commend it to the 75th General Convention in 2006 for further study and response.

At this time, the Episcopal Church needs more than that from its bishops. The foundations of the Church are crumbling and the bishops need to provide what the Church needs most — leadership and direction. A recommendation by the House of Bishops could be the foundation upon which the next General Convention will build legislation. It would indicate to the Anglican primates, who gather in Northern Ireland next month, whether the American Church is likely to take the recommendations of the Windsor Report seriously. By now members of the House of Bishops have had a chance to digest the Windsor Report. Most of them have issued public statements about it. Many of them have participated in discussions about the report with other bishops at the provincial level. By now they ought to have formed concrete opinions. A clear communication to the Church is in order…

Addition
This column in Episcopal Life by Doug LeBlanc is also pertinent: Please forgive me
Rowan Williams’ Pastoral Letter to which Doug refers can be found here.

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P.G.A. ErikssonJ. C. FisherJ. RebstockDavid HuffPorter Barber Recent comment authors
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Karen B.
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Karen B.

Simon, I’m glad to see this compilation of links. Even if we may not agree on various points of theology, it is good to agree on the need for prayer for the US HOB. I’d gathered together quite a similar collection of links and posted them on the Lent & Beyond prayer blog:

“http://lent.classicalanglican.net/index.php”:http://lent.classicalanglican.net/index.php

specifically, this post: “http://lent.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=423”:http://lent.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=423

I’ve also posted some prayers for Bishops from the 1928 Book of Common prayer
“http://lent.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=430”:http://lent.classicalanglican.net/index.php?p=430

and expect to be posting more prayers and resources in the days ahead.

May the Lord guide and strengthen our Bishops and may He be glorified in His church.

J. C. Fisher
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“Agree to a moratorium on same sex-blessings and the consecration of non-celibate homosexual persons until or unless a “new consensus” emerges in the Communion that such actions are seen as legitimate in the light of Scripture and Christian tradition.” May I have a last cigarette and a blindfold to go along w/ that? How am I supposed to reconcile the above “request” with the preamble “I write in charity”? What the Bishop of Central Florida is essentially _demanding_, is nothing less than the Episcopal Church’s declaration that God’s gay children are NOT made “in the Image of God.” Their baptisms… Read more »

M. Crowdes
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M. Crowdes

I understood from the Bishop’s phrasing that he was simply outlining the particular content of the report that he thought the HOB needs to address. Not advocating, at least in this letter, a particular response.

T. Sramek
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I think that the question that the bishops must deal with is whether or not this is the time to place ECUSA’s stand on blessing of same-sex unions and consecration of homosexual persons as bishops above the unity of the Anglican Communion and/or ECUSA’s participation in it. I do not think, as J.C. writes, that saying “wait” on these items is a declairation that “God’s gay children are NOT made ‘in the Image of God.’” Clearly ALL human beings are made in God’s image. The question for the House of Bishops, and for General Convention 2006, is “Are we willing… Read more »

Porter Barber
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Porter Barber

Is J.C. Fischer saying that anyone who opposes same-sex relations is blaspheming and worshipping a false god? That’s rather judgmental for you non-judmental liberal types.
As for the “Faith once delivered to the saints”, it should be clear from a close reading of the New Testament that, rightly or wrongly, the faith delivered to the saints at that time did not countenance such behavior(same sex relations), but considered it to be ungodly.

May God be with you all- Porter

David Huff
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David Huff

Porter wrote: “As for the “Faith once delivered to the saints”, it should be clear from a close reading of the New Testament that, rightly or wrongly, the faith delivered to the saints at that time did not countenance such behavior(same sex relations), but considered it to be ungodly.” I’m afraid I take issue with the “faith delivered to the saints at that time” part. I am certain that the majority of Middle Easterners in the 1st cent. C.E. would find such behavior “ungodly,” incl. those who authored the works we would come in time to call the New Testament.… Read more »

J. Rebstock
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J. Rebstock

T. Sramek poses the following either-or question: “Are we willing to wait for more of a consensus before proceeding further or is this important enough to risk isolation and expulsion from the Anglican Communion?” I don’t think the choices are that limited. First of all, I’m not convinced that proceeding with gay and lesbian inclusion would certainly lead to ECUSA’s isolation and expulsion; there are many possible outcomes, the more likely among them being a North-South split in the Communion, or simply more grumbling and griping (from all sides) within a tenuous Communion. But there are also other options, such… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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“Is J.C. Fischer saying that anyone who opposes same-sex relations is blaspheming and worshipping a false god?”

No, only those opposing *Godly same-sex relations*: of the sort faithfully committed to, w/ Christ’s help, by LGBT Anglicans.

“That’s rather judgmental for you non-judmental liberal types.”

One of several things, Porter, (I suspect) you fail to understand about me, a “liberal type.” Judgment? Few *hate sin* as much as LGBTs: after all, we’re sinned against by homophobes _All.The.Time!_

(Now, if only I were as good at hating my *own* sins: many they be {sigh})

_Christ have mercy._

P.G.A. Eriksson
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P.G.A. Eriksson

How sad….
….to once again have had to encounter a far too shallow and narcisistic idea of man as “self” in the words of J.C.Fisher..!! The “problem” with homosexuality is not wether gay people are redeemed in (and by) Christ or not but what kind of ecclesiology that we, as god´s children, can make our own. A post-modern and revisionist view of the Church and her teaching will, whatever Mr/Ms Fisher thinks, undermine any real possibility to promote the living Gospel and be much more devasating to any lay and ordained followers of that message then he might believe!