It is not news that many chief bishops in the global Anglican Communion harbor great offense at the Episcopal Church’s prayerful journey to full inclusion of LGBTQ persons in all the church’s sacraments, especially marriage. What is news is that those bishops have taken that offense to a new institutional level by voting at their meeting this week to “sanction” the Episcopal Church by excluding its members from serving in a number of governance positions for the next three years.
For those who have historically been marginalized, oppressed and excluded by the institutional church these actions are both hurtful and harmful. They quite literally wound the Body of Christ by wounding its LGBTQ members and I believe they grieve the heart of God.
Those of us who have worked and prayed for the realization of the vision of an Episcopal Church where there would be “no outcasts” will continue with increased commitment and energy thanking God for the graces coming from marriages of same-gender couples.
Even though Episcopalians now are not allowed to be official voting representatives in the Anglican institution, we will persevere in expressing the heart of the Anglican witness of not having theological litmus tests and uniformity, preferring instead to have many ways of thinking and practice, united in One Heart in prayer.
We trust that in time, the institution will join God’s Movement of Love – Love which is Difference interconnected in Wholeness. That’s what “the Mind of Christ” means. We give thanks for the powerful and prophetic witness of our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry as he incarnates that love in both his words and actions.
At All Saints Church we will continue in our decades long commitment to welcome all, bless all, and challenge all to live up to the high calling of being beacons of God’s love, justice and compassion in the world. And we will continue to stand with those on the margins of the institutional church as we stand firmly in the center of God’s Movement of Love.
Ed Bacon is the Rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena CA