A Statement from the President of Oasis/California
April 3, 2006
Recently, the bishops of Arizona and the Rio Grande have released comments regarding the meeting of the House of Bishops last month. The comments of these two bishops, which reflect nothing more than their opinion and are purely speculative in nature, have been widely circulated in the press as if they represent the “mind” of the House of Bishops. This is nothing more than “spin” designed to heighten anxiety and fear. We must reject the temptation to buy into it.
The House of Bishops did not vote on, or even discuss, a “mind of the House” resolution regarding consents to the election of bishops who are gay or lesbian. The Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion has not yet issued its report and recommendations regarding this matter. California has not yet elected its next bishop. The General Convention has not yet met, and it is the only body with the authority to enact binding decisions. What individual bishops think may be interesting, but it is hardly determinative. A lot can and will happen between now and General Convention.
Most importantly, between now and General Convention we will celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ at Easter. It is in light of his Resurrection, which banishes all fear, that the Diocese of California and the General Convention will make its decisions. Why eat the bread of anxiety, when we have been given the bread of life?
As we journey toward Jerusalem and the mystery of Christ’s death and Resurrection this Holy Week and Easter, let us renounce the powers of fear, division, and death that undermine our hope and our joy. Do not be afraid: God is in charge of the election of the bishop of California and of the General Convention. Casting aside fear, we will be open to electing the person God has chosen to be our bishop, and all will be well.
The Rev. John L. Kirkley, Rector
The Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist