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.