The following is a letter written on September 24th by the Consultation, a coalition of justice organizations in the Episcopal Church, to the House of Bishops as they deliberated on their statement. Two of us from TransEpiscopal participated in the Newark meeting and, while the letter has been posted on several other blogs and websites for the last couple of days, we post it here as a sign of a process in which we were proud to take part. Even as we struggle in these difficult days in the Anglican Communion, this kind of collaboration gives us hope.
Episcopal Urban Caucus
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Episcopal Women's Caucus
Union of Black Episcopalians
Episcopal Ecological Network
National Episcopal AIDS Coalition
Province VIII Indigenous Ministries
Episcopal Church Publishing Company
Episcopal Network for Economic Justice
Episcopal Asiaamerica Ministry Advocates
Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission
September 24, 2007
A message from The Consultation to the House of Bishops as it deliberates its message to the Church.
The thirteen constituent members of The Consultation, representative of the independent justice organizations of The Episcopal Church, meeting September 23-24 in Newark, wish to remind the members of the House of Bishops that they represent one house of the General Convention, and one constituency of the baptized in The Episcopal Church.
Any message you make must be mindful of the fact that the Executive Council has made a very clear statement on the matter before you and that General Convention will not speak on this matter until its meeting in 2009.
We have in mind the language of the Baptismal Covenant which calls us to respect the dignity of every human being. It is not respectful of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers when we tell them that they are full participants in the church and then place restrictions on their participation at any level of the churchâ€™s life.
In the preamble of the 2006 platform of The Consultation we affirm that we see the image of God and the Christ in others and ourselves. We believe that all the baptized are called to share in the governance and mission of the Church at all levels. We see the increase of power claimed by the episcopate as imbalance in The Body.
We urge you to have these things in the forefront of your minds and hearts, as you craft this statement. The sacred vows of The Baptismal Covenant and the tradition and heritage of the participatory governance of The Episcopal Church must not be squandered for a single Lambeth conference.
We urge you as bishops not to walk apart from the rest of the priesthood of all believers in The Episcopal Church, and to embrace the unconditional love of God as made incarnate in the radical inclusion of Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit be with you to guide you in all strength and courage in these difficult days as ordained leaders in The Church.
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