Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Bishop of New York responds to the Canterbury primates communique

Our communion is intact.

Following this message you will find today’s communication from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, commenting on the decisions made yesterday by the Primates gathered in conference by the Archbishop of Canterbury to sanction the Episcopal Church.  Bishop Curry’s reflection is excellent, and puts our life in the Anglican Communion in the context of an organic, living, continually evolving network of relationships.  I find his words helpful in accepting the disappointment of a discouraging meeting and decision without interpreting that as a failure or ultimate breakdown of relationships which have inspired us, enriched us, enflamed our missional desires, and made us proud by our common witness to the gospel across the globe.

Our communion is intact.  In no way will this vote impair or diminish the commitment of the Diocese of New York to continue our own mission relationships and the work we are doing through our Global Mission Commission and through the many parishes of New York among the people and churches of Haiti, India, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and across the world.  We have countless friends in myriad places, and I am confident that the depth and richness of those relationships across world and communion will continue to make us glad and rekindle every day our love of the historic communion we are happy to still claim.

I particularly want to speak to those of our diocese in the LGBT community.  Please do not fear that the divisions in our communion expressed yesterday, or the consequences of those divisions for the Episcopal Church, will ever cause for this bishop or diocese a scrap of regret for the decisions made here to provide for all people, particularly for gay and lesbian people, the fullest possible inclusion in our common life and full access to the sacramental life of the church, notably the sacraments of marriage and ordination.  We have seen God bless the whole church as the church has sought to bless those who had long been marginalized.  We give thanks for the good learnings and gifts which have come to us as we have striven to love more expansively, to love as Christ loves.  We will continue firm in our convictions and in our continuing embrace of the full and diverse community of brothers and sisters which is our life in New York, even as we continue to reach out to our sister provinces across the communion in continued fellowship.  “I came among you,” Jesus said, “that all may be one.”

I am grateful for the leadership of Bishop Curry, and grateful that he sat for us in the Primates Meeting and remained brave and strong and faithful for the work and witness of that hour.  I continue to be proud and grateful for all of you in the local witness and mission you make in the churches and communities where God has placed you.  May God continue to shower his graces and blessings upon us, upon those who wish us well and upon those who do not.  And as always, I remain

The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York

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