Inclusive Church statement on General Convention
My friends at Inclusive Church in the UK have issued a statement about the actions of the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. While the Chicago Consultation and Integrity have also issued statements, I was interested in this one because of its transoceanic perspective. It’s increasingly clear to me, and to many others, that one vocation of the Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion is clarity, gracious witness, and a teachable spirit.
In any case, here’s the Inclusive Church statement:
The Episcopal Church’s new resolutions
Inclusive Church welcomes the clarity of the new resolutions passed at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the USA (TEC). They accurately and honestly describe the current situation, affirming that homosexual orientation should not be a bar to ordination as priest or bishop, and recognising that same sex blessings are being performed in some parishes and dioceses.
It is our wish that such honesty prevail in all current dialogues within the Anglican Communion – for example, recognising that within the Church of England there are a great many gay and lesbian clergy, single or in committed relationships, and many churches offer blessings or thanksgivings for same-sex relationships.
We equally acknowledge the costly lengths to which TEC has gone over many years to encourage the unity of the Anglican Communion, and note that the moratoria previously agreed regarding human sexuality have not been overturned.
We urge members of the Communion to consider carefully what has actually been agreed at Anaheim. The Presiding Bishop has stated in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Primates ‘This General Convention has not repealed Resolution B033. It remains to be seen how Resolution B033 will be understood and interpreted in light of Resolution D025. Some within our Church may understand Resolution D025 to give Standing Committees (made up of elected clergy and laity) and Bishops with jurisdiction more latitude in consenting to Episcopal elections. Others, in light of Resolution B033, will not.’
Inclusive Church believes that excluding LGBT people from the sacramental life of the church is a sin similar to the historical discrimination against people of colour and women. We value Anglican diversity, and acknowledge that there is a breadth of views on questions of human sexuality. We salute the considerable efforts made to recognise and contain that breadth with TEC, and regret the attempts by others who have withdrawn to undermine the territorial integrity of local Anglican churches.
Above all we pray that the slow and often tortuous process in which the Communion is engaged over these issues will, in the end, enable all the member churches to speak more prophetically and more clearly of God’s inexhaustible love and justice for the whole world.
For further information visit www.inclusivechurch.net
Chair, Inclusive Church