Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Word to the Church

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.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Here I would hope that Jesus' observation that a tree is known by the fruit it bears would be taken seriously..."

Given the free fall of the TEC attendence numbers I think he would have been wise to have left this sentence out. It will lead people tothink of the productivity of the Third World bishops, which would be highly unfortunate, not to mention the growth of the Southern Baptists, the Pentecostals ...

Beyond Reconciliation said...

I'm appalled....maybe that's not strong enough....horrified... that PB Griswold says NOTHING to his gay brothers and sisters who he sold out for a tea party at Lambeth. Not one -------- word! A total disregard of a segment of this church. Does he have no conscience? I hope his legacy will be nothing but the dishonor he has brought upon himself and this church.

Renee in Ohio said...

Just wanted to mention that I've gathered the links to the Jefferts Schori transcripts and the Claiming the Blessing transcripts into one post so that they can be found easily. (Click)

John Gibson said...

A modest proposal: If people don't have the guts to post under a name, don't let them post.

RudigerVT said...

John, yes: agreed. Also, in full-disclosure mode, anybody who is employed by the ECUSA should aknowledge that fact. The stealth priests sorta creep me out.

Pfalz prophet said...

I was pleased to see Bp Griswold balance the strains we caused the AC with the strains ABp Akinola is causing by his "unwelcome and uncanonical" incursions into our dioceses. Now if we could only get the ABC to articulate the same balance...

revsusan said...

reminder on comments:

" ... posts on anal sex, the articles posted in the comment section you wish I'd posted for comment instead of the ones I did and the personal attacks ... on ANYBODY ... including fellow commenters ... will be deleted. Trash canned. Deep Sixed. Period."

John Gibson said...

You know, Susan, if you wanted to block people who are too cowardly to use their own names and post here simply to be offensive, no one would blame you.

revsusan said...

john ... and if I could figure out how to do that I would! :)

John Gibson said...

Let me see what I can find out and I'll get back to you.

Gobo said...

Although I am on the other side of the debate on the direction of ECUSA, I will fully agree that given that this is a progressive blog, then we need to respect that. Disagreement is one thing, attacking people on a personal level is another.

I would like to disagree with "beyond reconciliation" as I don't believe your side has been sold out at all. GC2006 not only reaffirmed GC2003, but has set the course of ECUSA clearly on the progressive path. Seems to me like a clear win for the progressive side.

If anyone has been sold out it would be the conservative side. Sold out not only by GC2003, but now GC2006 and their leadership groups who can't seem to leave but would rather "stay and fight".

Somehow I don't remember Jesus telling us to fight among ourselves.

RMF said...

See the poor child in the picture accompanying my post?

I suppose she may be too conservative, liberal, orthodox, heterodox, inclusive, exclusive, constituent or associative, for us who have been blessed by the Lord to help her.

If this is what we decide then we should keep in mind that the Lord instructed us, "whatever you did to the least of these, you did to Me."

Jeff Martinhauk said...

RMF -

I don't get your point.

We've all agreed that the Millenium Goals and eliminating world poverty is extremely important.

In fact, I believe that on the progressive side several of us have been saying that if we would return to THAT business of the church instead of talking about the GLBT "thing" we'd all be a lot better off. If the church would just accept us we could all just move on to working on poverty, hunger, etc., and get off this topic.

j

revsusan said...

Jeff .. precisely. And anybody who missed hearing me say it can go to

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=364pUhbAZIo&mode=user&search=

and listen to me rant about it (on a VERY bad hair day, I might add!)