O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Dear Integrity members and friends:
By now you have read the Archbishop of Canterbury's Advent letter. In contrast to the well-known hymn quoted above, Rowan Williams' letter gives LGBT Anglicans scant hope of liberty from the bonds of ecclesiastical discrimination. He erroneously states that Lambeth Conference 1998 Resolution 1.10—which rejects "homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture"—is the clear consensus of the entire Anglican Communion. He decries General Convention 2003's approval of the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson and its affirmation of local rites for blessing same-gender relationships.
He expresses frustration at our House of Bishops' failure to implement clear moratia on additional LGBT bishops or blessing rites. He denigrates the Episcopal Church's polity—which includes all orders of ministry in decision making. He defends his decision not to invite Bishop Robinson to the 2008 Lambeth Conference. He expresses his intention to appoint yet another task force to talk about LGBT Anglicans rather to us—again ignoring the now 30-year old commitment to listen to our witness.
With prophetic leaders like Rowan Williams at the helm of the Anglican Communion, one could despair that LGBT Anglicans will continue to mourn in exile until Jesus comes again!
But, lo, we are promised that Emmanual will come to us. Despite the present oppressive reality, we are invited to rejoice in our future liberation. There are glimmers of hope. For example, a broad coalition of individuals and organizations around the world is emerging to ensure that the voices of fairness and inclusion are heard at the Lambeth Conference next summer. Groundwork is also being done to move beyond B033 and advance marriage equality at General Convention 2009.
You can help Integrity prepare for our witness at the Lambeth Conference and beyond by making a year-end donation for this important work. Secure, online gifts can be made by going to http://www.integrityusa.org/ and clicking the blue DONATE NOW button in the left margin. All contributions to Integrity are tax deductible.
Integrity remains committed to the full inclusion of all of the baptized into the Body of Christ. With your prayers, witness, and support we will continue to work within the Episcopal Church to accomplish that Gospel Agenda.
The Rev. Susan Russell, President