Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Fruits of Generous Listening: ABC's 2nd Address

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s second presidential address, delivered Tuesday, has been receiving a lot of press, much of it confused.

While LGBT people are appropriately wary of ++Rowan’s enthusiasm for “council and Covenant” and the entrenchment that seems to be developing around the Windsor moratoria, his address does seem to reflect that he has been listening to our concerns … in part.

Absent, importantly, is an adequate appreciation for the pastoral needs of gay and lesbian couples. He consequently underestimates the difficult position in which the Canadian Church now finds itself.

For the record, here is the response of the Inclusive Church Network, of which Integrity Canada is a part. Aside from a few commas, my contribution was the cheeky title. :)

Steve Schuh


Asking the bishops gathered at Lambeth Conference, “Where is Lambeth ’08 going to speak from?” the Archbishop of Canterbury answered his own question in his second presidential address delivered Tuesday, July 29 – advocating a discipline of mutual generosity and a call to speak “from the centre,” which he defined as “from the heart of our identity as Anglicans.”

We are much encouraged by this address by the Archbishop. The Inclusive Church Network applauds the recognition that those described as “the not so traditional believers” hold a theological position faithful to both our shared Anglican identity and our Christian witness. Despite extraordinary pressure to expel or expunge our witness from the Anglican Communion, today’s acknowledgment by the Archbishop of the validity and faithfulness of that witness is a source of deep encouragement.

We recognize that there are also faithful Anglicans who hold positions in opposition to our understandings of how we live out our lives of witness to the saving grace of God in Christ Jesus made present in our lives, our vocations, and our relationships. Our witness here at Lambeth Conference has been grounded in our deep desire to build relationships with our Anglican brothers and sisters across the differences that challenge us as we come together for mission and ministry.

We remain convinced that those differences need not inevitably lead to divisions and that the bonds of mutual affection that have knit the global Anglican Communion together are strong enough to include all God’s beloved at the banquet table.

We continue to pray for our bishops as they journey through these final days of the Lambeth Conference, that their witness to the world might be one of inclusion and compassion as we proclaim together God’s justice and live God’s love. § -The Inclusive Church Network

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