Archbishop Beach reports on the Vancouver bishops meeting on Women’s Orders

The deliberation was frank and, at times, poignant and painful.

I am writing to you from the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia following the meeting of our College of Bishops. We met this week, September 5-7, 2017, in order to discuss the report of the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders.  As we met, we were deeply aware that North America is reeling from devastating natural disasters: we heard first-hand accounts of hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, the smoke from widespread wildfires in the Western parts of Canada and the United States filled the air of Victoria where we met, and we followed the latest reports of hurricane Irma in Haiti, Cuba, and the Caribbean.  With that hurricane now threatening the southeastern United States, some bishops in the affected areas had to leave early to make preparations in their dioceses and in their own homes.  In the midst of these challenges, we gathered to do the important work of discernment that had been laid before us.
I write to thank you for your prayers for our meeting. Each bishop shared his personal position on the ordination of women, and the position of his diocese. We spent time listening to each other and to the Lord. The deliberation was frank and, at times, poignant and painful. We worshiped, prayed, read Scripture, and spent much time in silence, earnestly seeking to hear God’s voice and saying often throughout our time together, “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:20).
Words cannot convey all that the Lord did in our midst, but we leave more unified than ever, and I give thanks for your faithfulness to lift us up in prayer.  Below is the statement by the College of Bishops, unanimously adopted.

In Christ,

The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America

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