Inclusive Church UK writes to the Presiding Bishop

I received this message today from my good friend Giles Goddard, writing as Chair of Inclusive Church. This open letter is addressed to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles. It’s important for Americans to know that not all clergy in the Church of England are monolithic in their resistance to creating a church where all are welcome. Since it’s not yet on the IC website, I have included the entire text of the letter. I’m grateful for this voice from the UK. Please read it and pass it along!

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 on Human Sexuality 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 belief. In 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

Chair, Inclusive Church

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