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Reader Response to the Lambeth Conference

[Episcopal News Service] Responses to ELO's coverage of the Lambeth Conference follow.


Lambeth Conference Daily Account: Bishop Suffragan Dena Harrison of Texas, Bishop Henry Parsley of Alabama

Thank you Bishops Parsley and Harrison. So good to get this kind of report back from Lambeth. God bless your next few days.

Lambeth Conference Daily Account: Bishop Suffragan Catherine S. Roskam of New York, Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona

To Bishop Katherine Roskam: Go, girl! And don’t for one second back down from radical welcome! Don’t trade selling out GLBT Episcopalians in order to gain a false “peace,” especially since cross border intervention has been totally violated!

Archbishop of Canterbury's second presidential address to the Lambeth Conference

Although the Archbishop's call to us to move to the Centre, meaning from Christ, is a noble and a worthy endeavor, I wish I could be more optimistic about it.  Sadly, his own comparisons of the homosexual condition to changing the way we baptize is evidence that he does not quite grasp the entirety of today's challenge.  Yesterday, the challenge was whether or not women could be leaders in the church.  Today, the challenge is whether or not homosexuals can be leaders in the church. Both cases address an unchangeable human condition created by God.  No one chooses their gender or sexual preference, yet churches make choices every day about how they will baptize their members.  You can never turn an apple into an orange, nor can we force apples to grow on orange trees. Like in the case with women leaders in the church, we will have to make a decision one way or the other.  There is no middle ground.  I wish there were--it would be easier that way.

Archbishop of Canterbury's second presidential address to the Lambeth Conference

If you know anything about sculpturing, once you chip off a piece of marble, it can not be restored. Truth is much like marble, once it is changed, it cannot be repaired. Its integrity is destroyed and the final result is not truth. Christ calls us to truth, not consensus.

Windsor Continuation Group proposals on homosexuality issues, interventions, get mixed reception

We dumped the tea in the harbor a long time ago because we didn’t like the British telling us what to do.  What has changed? I am very disheartened over what is happening to our American church.  And now the whole of Pittsburg wants to go to the southern cone of wherever? Fine, in the home of the Free and the Brave, you have freedom of religion.

I personally do not feel it would be as dramatic as it is without the interference from Britain... sounds familiar...but ALL property belongs to the American church--that includes George Washington’s pew! And as for Bishop Robinson, it’s kind of like the presidential primaries ... down south we do not care what they think in New Hampshire ... and there are bigger fish to fry ... It’s time to throw the tea in the bay again!!!!

Lambeth Conference Daily Account: Bishop Suffragan Dena Harrison of Texas, Bishop Henry Parsley of Alabama

"This was followed by time for visiting and fellowship with a number of bishops from African provinces to discuss partnerships in ministry"

Truth is not a commodity put for sale. Money thrown around some bishops from African provinces cannot bury biblical truth that homosexuality is a sin.

The American bishops should learn from the principled stand of the Sudanese Archbishop (a beneficiary of the so-called "partnerships") that doling out cash to needy African dioceses should not be considered as undermining their capacity to speak out against homosexuality

Windsor Continuation Group proposals on homosexuality issues, interventions, get mixed reception

1.  A group, formed merely by invitation, seeks in part to establish mechanisms of authority over autonomous churches.  Our bishop was not sent to Lambeth with instructions from those he serves. Bishops serving in The Episcopal Church have no authority of their own to bind either their dioceses or the TEC at the invitation-only party known as Lambeth. Since TEC is governed by the General Convention, what our bishops do or say at Lambeth is at most consultative.

2.  As an ecumenical matter the Anglican Communion is an assemblage of autonomous churches who generally recognize each other's sacraments and clergy.  Unfortunately, rather than leave it at that we now have somechurches attempting to control what other churches believe and practice.

This is a move beyond Anglicanism.  It is the purpose of the proposed covenant to create one church governed by a theology having the most static inertia.

There is no need to participate in this movement to create one structure and one authority. In this life it appears that we will not all agree. To try to force that agreement is foolhardy. What we can do is to continue to recognize the imperfection of all the churches, the good faith of each church, and the grace of God to bridge the differences. Let us remain truly Anglican.

Archbishop of Canterbury's second presidential address to the Lambeth Conference

How wonderfully spoken the Archbishop’s words are.  I am a cradle Episcopalian and love the church, the liturgy, the ability and freedom to question and digest scripture. I have been dismayed about the actions of many fellow Episcopalians/Anglicans around me. I had this conversation in a seminary course I was taking. I don't necessarily agree with the actions of one diocese and General Convention, but I also don't appreciate being demonized because of my desire to remain in the Episcopal Church. In that discussion I felt as though my feelings and thoughts were truly heard and the pain that many of us feel understood by those anxious to leave or have left TEC.  It is my prayer that many heard this address and have allowed it into their hearts and minds.

Sudanese primate wants Robinson's resignation

It appears that Robinson won't resign, so what about advising him to retire? He is probably old enough and probably has 30 years paid into the Pension Fund. He can retire on full pension and get his $20,000 resettlement allowance, and he would be free to travel and speak wherever he is invited and orthodox clergy like me would no longer worry about his inappropriate leadership of the Diocese of N.H.

Windsor Continuation Group proposals on homosexuality issues, interventions, get mixed reception

The proposals of the WCG are an attempt to “manage” the conflict in the Anglican Communion -- but the conflict cannot be "managed." Starting with the Windsor Report, there have been various attempts to manage the conflict by statement, threat, covenant drafts, etc. None have worked. The conflict cannot be managed -- especially not in any of the institutional ways that have been proposed.

This does not mean that reconciliation and the continuation of the Communion are impossible. So much of what I've read about Lambeth by participants has to do with the transforming power of bishops and others from around the Communion getting to know each other and each other's contexts for ministry.  It is through this building of relationships that the Communion can endure.

Attempts to "manage" are pointless. Positions held in good conscience will not be changed, as Lambeth Steward Allie Graham makes plain in her blog (see below). But relationship is still possible

"Most all bishops are desperate for unity and to preserve the Anglican Communion, but no one is willing to change their position. I do believe that with that set of conditions the Anglican Communion can remain, as do most of the other stewards. The hope seems to be that at Lambeth the bishops will eat together, pray together and talk together ... and then they can go home and do their jobs.  We shall see" (Tales from a Lambeth Steward).

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