Sunday, August 03, 2008

Integrity Reflects on Lambeth

Susan Russell has written and posted Integrity's final statement from Lambeth, in a piece titled, "Not as bad as '98" does not the Kingdom make!" She begins:
In spite of extraordinary pressure to do otherwise, the Archbishop of Canterbury has managed to achieve his stated goal of a Lambeth Conference of reflection rather than resolutions. The long predicted coup d’état that was going to emerge from this Lambeth Conference and vote the Americans and Canadians out of the Anglican Communion failed to materialize. There is much to be grateful for in that.
In a truly memorable quote, she writes:
We challenge them [TEC's bishops] to partner with the House of Deputies to break the cycle of being bullied into bigotry and distracted from mission and ministry by those who would exclude us because of our commitment to the full inclusion of all the baptized in the Body of Christ. [Emphasis mine]
As I try to find a way forward with our companion diocese in Sudan, I appreciated this part of Integrity's statement:
We pray that our bishops will build on the relationships they have developed here in Canterbury with bishops from around the Communion to enable the witness of the Good News of God in Christ Jesus made present in the lives, relationships and vocations of LGBT Episcopalians to be shared more widely throughout our Anglican family of faith. We stand ready to resource and support that work going forward.
But, she continues in the next paragraph:
We remind our bishops that we cannot live up to our baptismal vows to respect the dignity of every human being if we tell some of them that they are good enough to arrange our flowers, play our organs, direct our choirs, teach our Sunday Schools and lead our worship – but not good enough to have their vocations affirmed and their relationships blessed. There is nothing “generous” about asking the LGBT faithful to bear the burden of unity of the Anglican Communion on their shoulders and there is no theological defense for sacrificing a minority of the baptized to the will of a majority.
But really, you must read the whole statement here. Go do it now.

Thank you, Susan and Integrity, for all you did at Lambeth. I pray you will now have time for rest and refreshment.


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