Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Inclusive Church letter on Los Angeles

Open letter to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and the Bishop of Los Angeles

Dear Bishop Katharine and Bishop Jon,

We congratulate you and the people of the Episcopal Church on the electoral process which has led to the election of the Revd Canon Diane Jardine Bruce and the Revd Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool as Suffragan Bishops of the Diocese of Los Angeles. We are aware that the process was carried out with great care and prayer, as will the decisions of Bishops and Standing Committees who consider whether to confirm the elections. We wish the elected candidates all joy in their ministries and assure them of our prayers.

The Anglican and Episcopalian tradition is, at its best, one which celebrates the breadth of human experience and welcomes the many ways in which we, as Christians, try to live out our vocations under God. We are therefore deeply sorry that the reaction from the Church of England to the election of Mary Glasspool has been at best grudging and at worst actively negative.

While it gives us no pleasure to dissociate ourselves from the sentiments expressed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose wisdom in so many areas we deeply respect, we greatly regret the tone and content of his response, particularly in the context of his failure to make any comment on the seriously oppressive legislation being proposed in Uganda.

We wish you to know that there are a great many within the Church of England who like us are unequivocally supportive of TEC in being open to the election of bishops without regard to gender, race and sexuality. We pray that the Communion at large will grow in confidence and maturity, so that it can learn to celebrate both those things which hold us together and those things over which we disagree. In that context we greatly welcome the Theological Round Table recently announced by the Churches in India.

We urge you and your fellow Bishops and diocesan Standing Committees therefore not to be persuaded by responses from outside your province in considering the request to confirm these elections, and urge those who disagree to approach the Episcopal Church with a renewed and reinvigorated sense of trust in the actions of the Holy Spirit. As a Communion we are called to be an example to other Christians and those who have no beliefIn a diverse and global world threatened by much, it is time now to move on from these questions which divide us and focus on responding to the huge challenges we face together.

Yours sincerely

Giles Goddard
Inclusive Church

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Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 9 December 2009 at 9:39pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England | ECUSA

Thanks so much to Giles Goddard and Inclusive Church. The radically conservative bishops in TEC (and there are still a number of them) will certainly not be swayed by IC's statement and will surely use the ABC's statement to exert pressure to prevent the confirmation of Mary Glasspool's election. But those moderate bishops easily cowed by the bellicose and bigoted responses from the far right will, I hope, take comfort from and refuge in IC's open letter of support. Please keep all of us in TEC in your prayers during this difficult time.

Posted by: Mtr Ann on Wednesday, 9 December 2009 at 10:14pm GMT

Thank you Giles for sending the letter in Inclusive Church's name. This is a time when those of us who support LGBT people as our brothers and sisters in Christ MUST stand up and be counted. You give us hope. I have gone into exile from the Church I love because I cannot act as a priest while this sort of persecution is perpetuated without a single word being said to the many people who are also violating the mandatory pause through intrusions into Provinces they have no place in. Una

Posted by: Una Kroll on Thursday, 10 December 2009 at 6:12am GMT

A lovely response, Giles, to the Presiding Bishop and others in TEC involved in the selection of the two new bishops-elect in Los Angeles. TEC has been looking for some signs of support from the Church of England for it's inclusive mission of ministry by and to the LGBT population in the USA and elswhere, and your letter of support is one such indication.

Gospel solidarity with TEC at this time of conflict in the Communion is quite precious, not only to our friends in Amercia and Canadam but also to those of us outside of those Provinces who are loyal Anglicans, and who believe in the emancipation of women and LGBT person who are part and parcel of our churches.

The prophetic stance of Bishop Katharine and her colleagues in TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, is very necessary for the health of our world-wide Communion, so that any support we may be able to offer to them at this time must surely be very welcome. God's Blessings upon us all!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 10 December 2009 at 10:27am GMT

In the letter from Inclusive Church, Giles Goddard writes, "We wish you to know that there are a great many within the Church of England who like us are unequivocally supportive of TEC in being open to the election of bishops without regard to gender, race and sexuality." There are also many in other provinces who would wholeheartedly endorse this, and everything else he says in his letter.I speak as a priest of the Church in Wales serving in the St David's Diocese.

Posted by: Hugh James on Thursday, 10 December 2009 at 11:29am GMT

Thank you Giles, you speak for so many of us. We pray that this may be the Light to lighten the gentiles, and be a positive ground swell forward in out beloved Anglican Communion

Fr John (Scotland)

Posted by: Fr John E. Harris-White on Thursday, 10 December 2009 at 3:34pm GMT
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