A message from our Bishop
Today I arrive in Canterbury to participate in the Lambeth Conference. “Lambeth“ hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, happens once every ten years, and is a gathering of Anglican Bishops from around the world. During our time together we’ll be praying, talking, getting to know one another and we will be discussing a number of important issues, including:
- the climate crisis
- extreme poverty
- the status of refugees world wide
In addition to these incredibly important issues we will also be discussing sexuality and human dignity. The entire Lambeth Study guide sent to participating bishops can be found here: Lambeth Calls – Guidance and Study Documents.
Some of you may have read about, the “Lambeth Call” on Human Dignity asking participating Bishops in the Lambeth Conference to reaffirm resolution 1:10 from the 1998 Lambeth conference. This resolution states that, “The legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions cannot be advised. It is the mind of the Communion to uphold “faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union” (I.10, 1998), (Lambeth Study Guide, p 32).
There are several things I’d like for you all to know about this statement.
First, this statement is not the mind of the Anglican Communion. There are a number of provinces in the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, that do have both same sex marriage and same sex blessings.
Secondly, the Lambeth Conference, regardless of what is decided in these next two weeks, does not have legislative power over The Episcopal Church. We are in communion together, but our canons are decided at our General Convention and not by the wider Anglican Communion.
Thirdly, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is steadfast in his support of full participation of LGBTQIA people in all facets of our life together. This will not change. In a letter addressed to the House of Bishops yesterday, Presiding Bishop Curry said,
“For now, I offer this message of love to all my LGBTQ+ siblings: We have worked hard to become a church where, as the old African slaves used to sing, “There is plenty good room, plenty good room,” for all of God’s children. We are all The Episcopal Church, and we will not compromise who we are, our connections, or our love. We head to this conference with you in our hearts and Jesus’ Way of Love as our guide.”
In these next two weeks I ask that you keep me and all of the bishops who gather in Canterbury at the Lambeth Conference in your prayers, specifically asking God’s Holy Spirit to fill us all with wisdom, compassion and courage.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
11th Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan