Alabama accord reached

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The Episcopal Diocese of Alabama is among the strongest dioceses in The Episcopal Church. With its wide breadth of expressions and strong diversity of churches and Episcopalians, the Diocese invites all people to the good news of Jesus Christ. While this diversity offers ample room in the Diocese for many expressions of Anglicanism, it can also cause tensions in our shared life.

The Church of the Advent, founded nearly 150 years ago, has been steadfast in its gospel ministry as a parish church with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a vital part of the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. Since 1981, the Advent has served as the Cathedral of the Diocese, thus holding a unique place in diocesan life and ministry.

The relationship of the Advent and the Diocese has at times been uneasy. In recent decades, The Episcopal Church has moved toward a more progressive theological understanding, while the Advent has purposefully retained a Protestant, evangelical expression. In these moments of tension, we are called into a purposeful, intentional relationship with each other.

To that end, the Diocese of Alabama, through Bishop Glenda Curry, and the Advent have entered into a Covenant that can be read here. The Covenant will serve as a path forward for the Diocese and the Advent, as they chart their course together in furtherance of effecting a generational peace. This agreement is the result of more than three years of prayer, discernment, and honest conversation.

The Covenant is a joint commitment to the relationship between the Advent and the Diocese, and will aid the ordering of our shared ministry while respecting the Advent’s individual expression and convictions. The Covenant allows both the Advent and the Diocese to flourish as they discern more effective ways to support one another.

The Covenant does not answer every question. Instead, the Covenant invites us into a deeper relationship with each other through Christ. It is our shared hope that this Covenant will shape fruitfully the relationship between the Advent and the Diocese, providing a path forward for future bishops, deans, and other leaders.

It is the humble prayer of all involved that the purposes of Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church might be furthered, that our Lord’s gospel would be proclaimed to the entire creation, and we would all go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation, by water and the word:
from heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

Samuel John Stone, 1866