Reflecting on General Convention 2006, Presiding Bishop Griswold has offered "A Word to the Church" which starts: I am writing to you in the light of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio and the reactions to its decisions. A full report on the actions of General Convention is available online at the Episcopal Church's website. However, I want here to offer some reflections of my own.
Read those reflections here, or ...
Listen to them here ...
And HERE are a couple of my favorite bits:
On the Presiding Bishop-elect: I believe the election of Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada, to be the 26th Presiding Bishop was the work of the Holy Spirit. Her considerable gifts will serve the church well in the years ahead. Her election also means that a woman's voice will be heard among the voices of the 38 primates of the Anglican Communion. The Communion, through its Consultative Council, is committed to gender equity in all Communion decision-making bodies. Bishop Jefferts Schori's election is a further step toward the realization of that goal.
On the "listening process:" Our decisions also created space in order that a "listening process" across the Communion can be as fruitful as possible, and draw us together across differences. Voices from other parts of the Communion and our own church must be heard and honored. One of the primary resources in this listening process will be the voices and experience of gay and lesbian members of Christ's body. Here I would hope that Jesus' observation that a tree is known by the fruit it bears would be taken seriously as a biblical criterion alongside other texts.
On the "two-tier communion concept:" I note here that a two-tier solution to our present strains raises serious questions about how we understand ourselves as being the church. I am put in mind of Paul's understanding of the church as the body of Christ of which we are all indispensable members in virtue of our baptism. I think as well of Jesus' declaration in the Gospel of John that he is the vine and we are the branches and that apart from him we can do nothing. Such a two-tiered view of our common life suggests to me amputated limbs and severed branches without any life-giving relationship to the One who is the source of all life. A pragmatic solution in this regard is at the expense of the deeper truth that the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you.