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Responding to the Windsor Report

FYI.  Louie Crew, Newark Deputation, Member of Executive Council

> From: *****  ******
To: <lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu>
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2004 11:24 PM
Subject: Re: [HoB/D] +NH & Uganda's adn Jamaicas renewed persecute gays
      (Radio Netherlands)

> Louie:
> I have gotten rather confused as to what the WR is
> saying. Some seem to think that our people are banned
> from the Church.  Others say no that we are still just
> as welcomed as before.
> So could you please tell me in simply plain language
> how gay people currently stand with the Church post WR.
> We are still allowed same sex unions ( as in
> Massachusettes and Canada) in the Church?
> We may still seek same sex blessings where the Priest
> or Bishop will allow?
> Simple short answers  appreciated.
> Bill

Bill, I am still trying to digest the Windsor Report myself, and Executive
Council won't prepare our response, if any, until our February meeting.
It's a very long process.  It's intended to prompt the many points of view.
It's not a final document, nor does the Commission claim jurisdiction.
Probably even General Convention itself will receive the document for study
for several years.

The Report does not inhibit pastoral responses at the parish level (it even
encourage thesm), and asks only that dioceses not put an imprimatur on

The Report categorically disapproves of bishops' crossing other bishops'
territories; it is more provisional in its inhibitions for support of unions
and ordinations.

I expect to see Paulene Revere sooner than to see General Convention grant
jurisdiction to outside bodies.  I doubt General Convention will consent to
anything that amounts to even a hint of a curia.

We should read the Windsor Report carefully.  It has much fine work in it.
I especially like the call that we become much more biblically centered.
The bible is every Christian's birthright, and I find most Episcopalians
highly literate about much else except Scripture.

We should not be anxious.  It's God's church.  We need to stay focused 
on mission.  The people in the pews of Africa have far more to be 
worked up about than about +New Hampshire or our General Convention.

Some of the issues are about hegemony, about the new balance of power. 
Several are learning afresh some old lessons about power, especially 
that you best not push for more power or jurisdiction than you really 
have. You can persuade people better by loving them than by trying to 
shame them.

Homoexuality is only the presenting issue for the Windsor Report and for
the Anglican Communion.   Few would have chosen homosexuality to be the
center of attention, least of all those of us who are lesbian or gay.
Why are we not as worked up over hunger, poverty, disease, violence....?
In time homosexuality will seem as bizarre an issue to argue about as we
now see circumcision, which was the major conflict of the church in the
first century.

But homosexuality IS the presenting issue, and talk about it
we must.  As with circumcision, homosexuality forces the church
to struggle with whom God chooses to love, and God chooses to love
absolutely everybody.

This family feud also gives us an invitation, an opportunity to know
better our sister and brother disciples in other parts of the Communion.
For far too long we have exchanged gifts but not met face to face as
brother and sister disciples.  We now have the opportunity to do so.
Whenever we do so with open hearts, we will find far more that unites
us than divides us.  We in the Episcopal Church have so very much to
learn about the faith from those in other parts of the world, not
just from their bishops.

For all its importance, the Windsor Report is not the cutting edge issue for
the church in the 21st Century, nor is the lesbigay issue.   The cutting
edge issue is the same one Christians have always been given:  will we love
God, and will we love our neighbors (all of them!) as we love 

That is a challenge with eternal consequences, for all of us.


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