Message to the House of Bishop asThey Do Their Hard Work

The following message was sent to bishops in New Orleans yesterday afternoon (Monday September 24th) by the meeting of the Consultation.

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 consistency 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 church’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.

The Consultation member groups are:

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


  1. In this statement, the best of the church to which I have given my life, in order to follow Christ, has spoken for me and mine. On behalf of those I love, I give thanks to God this day. Even if nothing comes of it, this statement, this challenge will stand.
    Lois Keen

  2. I'm sort of at a loss as to how this latest addition to the currently simmering pot helps. The "reminders" seem almost in the "don't do something naughty" area and are realities that the House of Bishops is no doubt aware. Again, the House of Bishops CAN refuse to approve a Rite of Same-Sex Blessing and CAN refuse to consent to the election of a gay or lesbian bishop-elect without recourse to General Convention. The issue at hand is should, and will, they do so.

    I simply don't think yet one more statement or reminder has much positive impact.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.