Friday, January 15, 2016

Statement by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Following Primates Meeting

[January 15, 2016] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry has issued a video statement concerning the actions of the Anglican Primates at the meeting in Canterbury, England.

The following is the text of the Presiding Bishop's statement:

Before I say a word about our gathering here at the Primates Meeting, I just want to say a word of thank you to you for all of your prayers: your prayers for this meeting, your prayers for me personally, both here and in my earlier sickness. We are well, and God is God, and I thank you.

Let me say a word about the meeting.

This is not the outcome we expected, and while we are disappointed, it's important to remember that the Anglican Communion is really not a matter of structure and organization. The Anglican Communion is a network of relationships that have been built on mission partnerships; relationships that are grounded in a common faith; relationships in companion diocese relationships; relationships with parish to parish across the world; relationships that are profoundly committed to serving and following the way of Jesus of Nazareth by helping the poorest of the poor, and helping this world to be a place where no child goes to bed hungry ever. That's what the Anglican Communion is, and that Communion continues and moves forward.

This has been a disappointing time for many, and there will be heartache and pain for many, but it's important to remember that we are still part of the Anglican Communion. We are the Episcopal Church, and we are part of the Jesus Movement, and that Movement goes on, and our work goes on. And the truth is, it may be part of our vocation to help the Communion and to help many others to grow in a direction where we can realize and live the love that God has for all of us, and we can one day be a Church and a Communion where all of God's children are fully welcomed, where this is truly a house of prayer for all people. And maybe it's a part of our vocation to help that to happen. And so we must claim that high calling; claim the high calling of love and faith; love even for those with whom we disagree, and then continue, and that we will do, and we will do it together.

We are part of the Jesus Movement, and the cause of God's love in this world can never stop and will never be defeated.

God love you. God bless you. And you keep the faith. And we move forward.

The Most Rev. Michael Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Love That Puts Hate To Death


Sermon preached at St. Mary's in Cypress Texas for 4th Advent Year B


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You are My Beloved


Sermon preached at churches in La Marque and Alvin Texas. 2 Sunday after the Epiphany Year B. Baptism of Our Lord.


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Statement From Presiding Bishop Curry

From Presiding Bishop Curry:

"Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being 'a house of prayer for all people,' as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome," Curry said in remarks he later made available to Episcopal News Service.

"Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ."

"For so many who are committed to following Jesus in the way of love and being a church that lives that love, this decision will bring real pain," he said. "For fellow disciples of Jesus in our church who are gay or lesbian, this will bring more pain. For many who have felt and been rejected by the church because of who they are, for many who have felt and been rejected by families and communities, our church opening itself in love was a sign of hope. And this will add pain on top of pain."

Curry told the primates that he was in no sense comparing his own pain to theirs, but "I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain.

"The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way. And like you, as we have said in this meeting, I am committed to 'walking together' with you as fellow primates in the Anglican family."

The Rt Rev C Andrew Doyle
Episcopal Diocese of Texas

Primates 2016 Statement

The Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Canterbury this week,released a statement today about the continuing relationship between The Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church. You can read the document  online.

I am profoundly grateful that the Primates want to continue to walk together as communion and participate in communion globally. Because of the strain that decisions made by The Episcopal Church regarding marriage have caused in some areas of the Communion (like Africa and the Global South), some Primates have requested that The Episcopal Church be prevented from certain work of the Communion for the next three years. Early reporting provides enough detail about the nature of this removal or any particular parameters Primates may have required unclear. The document released January 14 "requires" that The Episcopal Church "no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies" and "should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee."

The expectation seems to be that The Episcopal Church will continue to participate "in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion" without the ability to take part "in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity" for a period of three years. 

The Primates can require such things of their own body and so, this would mean that our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, would not be allowed to sit on the Primate's Standing Committee, or take part on any ecumenical or interfaith bodies with whom the Primates are working. Bishop Curry would also not be able to work with the Primates on any matters of doctrine and polity they may be considering currently. 

While the Primates may ask this for their own body, as one of the instruments of the Anglican Communion, it does not make the same automatically true for the Anglican Consultative Council, a second of the four instruments of the Anglican Communion. That Council will have to make its own decisions according to its bylaws and constitution.

I would speculate that that member churches will move to formalize a similar requirement at the upcoming Anglican Consultative Council meeting, which included both clergy and lay members of the Church.

Our unity in living out the Gospel and representing the best that we can be to the broader, and decidedly secular, world is a priority. Our ministry to seek justice and respect the dignity of every human being is also a priority. I await further clarity from the Primates and continue to pray for our Presiding Bishop, our Archbishop and the rest of the Primates as they gather. 


The Rt Rev C Andrew Doyle
Episcopal Diocese of Texas

Blog Archive

Quotes

  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball