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[HoB/D] Archbishop Akinola's enthronement at St. John the Divine in New York City
The International Office at the Diocese of New York has prepared Questions
and Answers concerning the July 7th installation of Archbishop Akinola at
the Cathedral of St. John the Divine:
I rejoice in the risk-taking leadership of Bishop Sisk and the Diocese of
New York. I am grateful that our Presiding Bishop will be a part of the
service, and I am honored to be doing the first reading.
I rejoice in the risk-taking leadership of Archbishop Akinola. It cannot
be easy to invite the criticism of many colleagues and friends back home
who would not come nigh our dwelling.
We in ECUSA have much to learn from the Archbishop. There is much more
that unites us than divides us, most especially God's love for us all and
God's commandment that we love one another.
Nigerian Christians face immense hardships, including persecution and
poverty. Their faith and their endurance are a remarkable witness to the
power of the Gospel. I pray that the Archbishop's visit will humble us,
strengthen our own faith, and prompt us to be more generous.
The Archbishop's comments about lesbians and gays are numerous and many of
them are horrendous. Yet the Archbishop's views are not very different
from those held by many members of our own House of Bishops back in 1974
when I founded Integrity. At that time most ECUSA bishops had as little
exposure to the incarnational witness of lesbian and gay Christians as the
Archbishop has had. The Archbishop has not yet known lesbians and gays as
sister and brother disciples.
I have found that it is good to love our 'enemies' and to treat them with
hospitality; that makes it much easier when they become our friends, as so
many have, and will. The Archbishop's visit is a good opportunity for us
greet him with warm hospitality.
It is important to be hospitable without strings attached. We don't like
those who say they love us 'if only we would change'; and we should not
love others in that way. God's love is unconditional; may ours be also.
I ask the prayers of all for this important service on July 7th. Pray for
those of us who will be a part of it. Pray for those the lesbians and
gays who are hurt by it. Pray for the Archbishop. Pray for his friends
who will be hurt by his having any thing to do with us.
Let us dare to hope. God has great expectations of all of us. So might
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