This just in: Text of a greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, given to the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America meeting in Colombus Ohio. The message was read by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.
"Greetings to you all in Christ's name as you meet to pray and deliberate about the life and witness of your church and the demands of God's Kingdom. May God grant you discernment as you meet and listen to each other in patience and love.
As all those involved will be acutely aware, this General Convention takes place in a climate of intense and perhaps rather oppressive attention worldwide. At the meeting last week of the Bishops of the Church of England, we recognised the pressure under which you meet, and committed ourselves to praying more deeply and more constantly for allof you during these days. Please be assured of our loving concern for the Episcopal Church and our hopes that we in the Anglican Communion may learn again to walk with each other more trustfully.
The recommendations of the Windsor Report will be much in your minds and your deliberations, and I appreciate the work your Commissions and Committees have done in responding to the Windsor Process. I hope that the theological vision there set out in the Report of the ground and character of our communion in Christ will be clearly before you. We cannot survive as a Communion of churches without some common convictions about what it is to live and to make decisions as the Body of Christ; Windsor is not the end of the story, but it sets out a positive picture of what that might imply as together we strive to serve the mission of God.
We thank God for all that the Episcopal Church has contributed over the years to our fellowship and commend you to the One "who is able to establish you according to...the proclamation of Jesus Christ” (Rom.16.25).
Grace be with you all.