Presiding Bishop’s message to the church on General Convention

August 3rd, 2012 Posted in TEC |

From ENS

The General Convention which took place in Indianapolis in July offered new and creative responses to the call of the gospel in our day. We saw gracious and pastoral responses to polarizing issues, as well as a new honesty about the need for change.

General Convention addressed a number of significant issues that will impact the life and witness of this Church for years into the future – and they include many more things beyond what you’ve heard about in the news. The way we worked together also represented a new reality, working to adapt more creatively to our diverse nature as a Church.

It is that way of creative engagement that ultimately will be most transformative for The Episcopal Church and the world beyond it. On issue after issue, the resolutions addressed by General Convention emerged in creative responses that considered, but did not end in, the polarized positions expected as we went into Convention. People listened to the movement of the spirit and discerned a way forward that was mutually upbuilding, rather than creating greater divisiveness or win-lose outcomes.

The hot-button issues of the last decade have not been eternally resolved, but we have as a body found creative and pastoral ways to live with the differences of opinion, rather than resorting to old patterns of conflict. There is a certain expansive grace in how these decisions are being made and in the responses to them, a grace that is reminiscent of the Elizabeth settlement. We’ve said as a Church that there is no bar to the participation of minorities of all sorts, and we are finding pastoral ways to ensure that potential offense at the behavior or position of another is minimized, with the hope that we may grow toward celebrating that diversity as a gift from God. If we are all sinners, then each of us may be wrong about where we stand. Human beings, made from humus, become Christlike when they know humility.

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