Friday, July 25, 2008

Complex Relationships

Recently the Church of the Sudan issued a strong statement about its understandings of homosexuality and Christian faith. In that statement, it suggested that the Bishop of New Hampshire should resign for the benefit of the whole Anglican Communion. At the same time, the Sudanese are being very clear they want their companion relationships with several dioceses of the Episcopal Church to continue. Some folks have wondered how these two realities can be held together.

It's important to say here that nothing new has been said about the issue of homosexuality either by the Church of the Sudan or by the Lambeth Conference. The position of the Church of the Sudan is one it has stated before. And the Lambeth Conference has yet to issue any statements on any matters.

It's also the case that the Lambeth Conference has asked us to engage one another honestly about the issues and to do so frankly and directly. In its statement, the Church of the Sudan has been clear about its position.

The Lambeth Conference has further asked us to consider the ways we can disagree and remain in relationship. The Church of the Sudan is clear that it wants to remain in relationship with the Episcopal Church and wants to find ways for us to work together. Today a number of bishops from the Episcopal Church and the Church of the Sudan met together to affirm their companion relationships. And tomorrow the Episcopal Church will host a reception for Sudan and the Congo to foster further relationships.

We in the Episcopal Church remain fully committed to our decision-making processes and to the ministries of our all gay and lesbian members. We, too, are looking for ways to connect with others around the world. This past Wednesday some of the bishops of Province I hosted a reception where bishops and spouses could learn about Episcopal Church polity and meet the Bishop of New Hampshire. The reception was well attended and well received, and we have heard how helpful it was for those who attended.

So our relationships with other Anglican churches are complex. The important thing is to be ourselves with integrity and to keep talking. The conversations continue with the Church of the Sudan and with many other churches around the Communion.



K. Gordon White said...

It is wonderful for us back in Maine to capture the excitement of our bishops about the MDGs. As a retired priest, living in this diocese since 2005 and worshipping every Sunday, I have not heard these Goals discussed in any format. I would think this is a subject needing to be brought front and center in every congregation by whatever means.

The Rev. K. Gordon White

paigeblair said...

Gordon+! Let's talk MDG's... We do MDG's like mad at St. George's...

Paige+ (in York, ME)

BJ said...

Archbishop Bul of Sudan said “The Authority of the Bible is always the same. You cannot pull a line out or add a line to it. That brings you a curse. We are saying no. You are wrong."

He called the American Church wrong.

Consecrating Gene Robinson was a mistake. Gene should resign.

People in Sudan are being killed because the church is [now] associated with the American church, which celebrates homosexuals.

etc, etc. Read more here.

It's hard to believe that more conversation will change the diverging paths.

American Anglicans who support homosexual behaviours are wrong and should repent of their non-biblical perspective. It's no wonder that they have moved away from evangelism to support an essentailly secular agenda of antipoverty and good health.

God says that wise people win souls.