Sunday, 3 March 2013

Women Bishops: The Church in all its Fullness

Women Bishops: The Church in all its Fullness is a day conference sponsored jointly by Yes2WomenBishops and by Fulcrum.

It is described as:

…a conference for all those in favour of women bishops

Christ Church, New Malden, Saturday 16th March 2013 10.00 am – 3.00 pm

Organised by Fulcrum and Yes2WomenBishops

Speakers – Jody Stowell, Stephen Kuhrt, Rachel Treweek

Price £15 (lunch provided)

Stephen Kuhrt writes about it for the CEN and Fulcrum: Women Bishops: Church in all its Fullness.

To sign up go here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 3 March 2013 at 3:00pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

I would hope that despite the laudable aims of this conference people will give it a wide birth.

Those organising this event use their support for women's ministry to mask their disdain for gay people and suggest they are reasonable. A careful study of the works on homosexuality published on their website will demonstrate their anti-gay credentials far better than any commentary I might offer here.

I would be pleased to see a campaign to boycott this event.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 3 March 2013 at 7:46pm GMT

Martin,

I'm afraid your comment is wide of the mark on several fronts.

1) The suggestion that the organisers are putting this conference on to 'mask' anything is plainly silly. The conference has been organised to present a positive and wholehearted response to the issue of women in the Episcopate. It is for "ALL those in favour of women Bishops".

2) No-one involved in the leadership of either Fulcrum or Yes2WomenBishops is 'anti-gay.' Surely we are beyond the stage where any contributions to the ongoing debate over sexuality which don't exactly mirror your position are simply labelled 'anti-gay' in such a knee-jerk way?

3) We are keen to see women as bishops. So, it seems, are you. Are these not sufficient grounds to support the conference? The issue of sexuality is not being debated or discussed at the conference. On this basis your call for a boycott seems bizarre at best.

Andy

Posted by: Andy Walton on Monday, 4 March 2013 at 11:11am GMT

I echo Fr Reynolds sentiments about this conference and FULCRUM in general. In personal conversations with Fr Kuhrt it is clear that it would require the heavens to open and God to speak directly to the Trustees of FULCRUM for there to be any acceptance of homosexual people having a call to intimate faithful loving relationships.
The admission of women to Holy Orders does not redefine them, it extends them. This radical position, espoused by FULCRUM, is no different from the admission of gay people to Holy Matrimony. It does NOT redefine, it extends. But FULCRUM is blind to this by the fact that it starts from a position that subscribes to the St Andrew's Day Statement. S.A.D. indeed!

Posted by: Commentator on Monday, 4 March 2013 at 11:26am GMT

On the one hand :'Women Bishops: The Church in all its Fullness'

On the other : 'The issue of sexuality is not being debated or discussed at the conference.'

Duh ? I don't get it.

Can one corral women's ministry in a box, safe from gender and sexuality ? Good luck with your attempts to keep things nice and safe and respectable !

Hardly 'Fullness' !

As for 'fullness of Church' some of us have had a stomach-full of 'Church' already....

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 4 March 2013 at 1:40pm GMT

Andy,
I am sure that any gay clergy who happen to be female might be interested in FULCRUM's position as 'anti-gay'. Or is it only homosexual men that the St Andrew's Day Statement addresses? It must be extremely insulting to lesbian clergy if it does not include them.
And as I have already said, being radical on the extension of Holy Order should lead you to think deeply & radically about other things.

Posted by: Commentator on Monday, 4 March 2013 at 1:41pm GMT

It is what it says on the tin - a conference to further support for the full partnership of women and men in the leadership of the church. What is the problem?
We don't have to sign up to anything else Fulcrum backs to be in favour of this do we? 'Anti-gay' here seems to mean 'they hold a position on this (gay relationships) I strongly disagree with'. Evidently so. But
a) this day is not about gay marriage. It is about women bishops. It does not honour women to sideline them in this way because we feel strongly about another subject.
b. this is a very intolerant attack on a website and forum marked by high degree of hospitable openness to wide debate and engagement. To call them 'anti-gay' is lazy as well as very inaccurate.

Posted by: David on Monday, 4 March 2013 at 7:02pm GMT

The difference between affirming the Ministry of Women and affirming LGBT people in the Church is not too great a divide - except perhaps, for FULCRUM.

As long as conference-goers are willing to accept that their hosts at this conference are self-confessed, intrinsically, anti-Gay, perhaps they will not come to any doctrinal harm.

I find that most people who want Women to be made clergy and bishops in the Church - without prejudicial treatment that would separate them our as a 'different Order' of priest and bishops - are normally non-judgemental about Gays in the Church.

It seems to me - tell me if I'm wrong about this - that Fulcrum is OK about Women Bishops, provided they are willing to give way to a male bishop for those in the Church who will NOT accept their ministry. This is not whole-hearted support.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 at 12:59am GMT

In response to David, I would like to say that the issues of exclusion and inclusion inherent in the admission of women to all three holy orders are, in my opinion, the same as those relating to homosexual men and women in the Church. The various comments on this thread do not sideline the issue of episcopal ordination for women, they merely wish to make sure that ALL women may be considered. FULCRUM's position clearly would exclude those priests who are lesbian. Should not the conference address this issue and not just give selective support to women who are priests? An opportunity is about to be missed and a serious problem left for the future if this is not done.

Posted by: Commentator on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 at 6:51am GMT

Ron - please point out to me where there is any semblance of "self-confessed, intrinsically, anti-Gay" opinion from the organisers.

Otherwise, I think it's a shame that you're attempting to smear those who are trying to advocate a position you agree with. It seems petty and ungenerous.

Andy

Posted by: Andy Walton on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 at 9:02am GMT

Pointing out anti-gay words and deeds, and withstanding people to their face, is not smearing, Andy Walton. It is speaking truth to (those with) power.

FULCRUM must take responsibilbility for their position or be called on it.

I am not very impressed with comfortable Evangelicals from backgrounds of privelege, laying down their law to the rest of us. Many LGBT are vulnerable to their strictures.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 at 5:31pm GMT

I suggest that those concerned at the remarks about FULCRUM and its position in relation to gay people, both Christian and non-Christian, use the FULCRUM site search facility to read Dr Goddard's article which presents FULCRUM's response to the Civil Partnership Act. It may be 'nuanced' to some readers but to others it is clearly opposed to the CPA. We might now have to endure the House of Bishops rewriting of history in its account of the CPA and the bishops in the Lords - but please let us not miss the opportunity to remind ourselves what was (and is) the FULCRUM position.

Posted by: commentator on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 at 6:30pm GMT

"Ron - please point out to me where there is any semblance of "self-confessed, intrinsically, anti-Gay" opinion from the organisers. Otherwise, I think it's a shame that you're attempting to smear those who are trying to advocate a position you agree with. It seems petty and ungenerous."

- Andy -

Well, Andy, if you are unaware of the disdain professed by Dr. Andreww Goddard on the Fulcrum web-site - as mentioned by others here - then you need to be brought up to date with that.

I cannot disassociate the issues of Women in the Church from that of Gays in the Church. They are both important issues of Gospel Justice - which needs to be addressed by ALL in the Church.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 5 March 2013 at 11:56pm GMT

Fr Ron and others

I am not aware of any 'disdain' expressed by Andrew Goddard on Fulcrum or anywhere else. I must have missed it. Could we quote me the passage you have in mind - or anywhere on Fulcrum come to that? I challenge you.
There are good reasons why Andrew Goddard is so widely respected around the country when public debate has required someone trustworthy, courteous and theologically articulate to present the conservative viewpoint on issues of sexuality. I do not agree with him but he commands my respect, challenges me to define my own views more carefully, and deserves something better on this thread.

The bizarre thing is that if you want to find examples of evangelicals who are clearly 'anti-gay', prejudiced and outspokenly so there are plenty of examples (sadly). But in picking on Fulcrum and Andrew Goddard you are choosing an individual and organisation that, from a more conservative theological tradition, is at pains to model hospitable welcome and openness to those who may strongly disagree; seeks courteous debate and respects differences. Qualities that have gone missing here for the moment I feel.

Posted by: David on Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 3:13pm GMT

David - from my perspective Dr Goddard and Fr Kuhrt are rather like the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. But I would so wish one day to be proved wrong.
Dr Goddard has, in the past, sat in on meetings to make sure that his evangelical brethren do not weaken in their opposition to the preferment of homosexual clergy. If I recall reading CHANGING ATTITUDE correctly he appeared at a session when the Bishop Designate of Reading was talking to the clergy of that episcopal area. He is not of that area.

Posted by: commentator on Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 7:37pm GMT

"Fulcrum and Andrew Goddard you are choosing an individual and organisation that, from a more conservative theological tradition, is at pains to model hospitable welcome and openness to those who may strongly disagree; seeks courteous debate and respects differences. Qualities that have gone missing here for the moment I feel.

Posted by: David

David, if you can prove to me that Dr.Goddard and Frank Kuhrt are actively 'open' to those who strongly disagree with them on matters of LGBT provenance, and encouraging of open debate on Same-Sex Marriage, you may be able to convert me to your thesis here. In fact, I would welcome a comment from them to that effect on this thread.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 11:49pm GMT

Well, Andrew Goddard may have changed his mind about open debates, I don't follow what he says much.
But he did engage in a very polite and very public exchange of letters with Giles Goddard from Inclusive Church a couple of years ago.

It was a frustrating debate, because while the exchange was polite, it was also rather closed and there seemed to be no real engagement with Giles' points, nor any understanding of the emotional aspects of being a gay person in society and in the church.

And so I can see why David believes him to be the gentle face of those opposing homosexuality, while to most of us here, he is just as rigid and inflexible and unable to see the reality of the people he talks about as the more vociferous and belligerent opponents.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 7 March 2013 at 1:39pm GMT

Fr Ron Why should I be required to prove anything for you? You and others have made these claims not me. Back them up or withdraw them. I have asked you to give evidence for these and so you haven't so far. Come on - actual quotes.They have written at length on this. Shouldn't be hard to find.
And if you wish to know their views why not write to them?

Posted by: David on Thursday, 7 March 2013 at 2:24pm GMT

"Fr Ron Why should I be required to prove anything for you? You and others have made these claims not me. Back them up or withdraw them. I have asked you to give evidence for these and so you haven't so far. Come on - actual quotes." - David -

David, in response to you, I just found this article in the magazine 'Covenant' that quotes Dr. Goddard on 'Gay Marriage' What do YOU think he is saying about Gay relationships? :

'Andrew Goddard: Gay marriage would undermine a sacred institution

'To give same-sex relationships the status of sacrament is to declare holy what Christians have traditionally viewed as sin.'

Friday, May 01, 2009 at 9:48 am

'Marriage between a man and a woman is seen by many Christians as a sacrament – a special sign and means of God's grace. To make such a claim for same-sex sexual relationships – which both Old and New Testament consistently portray as against God's will – is therefore to declare holy what Christians have traditionally viewed as sin.'

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 8 March 2013 at 11:02am GMT

This was originally a thread about a conference on women bishops. Perhaps we could return to that?

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 8 March 2013 at 12:56pm GMT

To return as suggested - May I ask those supporting this conference if it will about the inclusion of women in ALL their fullness? Or will it be selective of those who are neither divorced or civilly partnered?

Posted by: Commentator on Monday, 11 March 2013 at 11:56am GMT
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