August 2, 2022
I continue my time at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury. This conference, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, happens once every ten years, and is a gathering of Anglican Bishops from around the world.
Today, the bishops spent important time in prayer and conversation on the Lambeth Call on Human Dignity. You can read the full text of this Call by clicking here.
It is a rich text, calling us to attend to alleviating poverty, human trafficking, and violence against women and minorities. Please take time to read it in it’s entirety.
The Call on Human Dignity also discusses human sexuality and names the vastly different perspectives that are held in the Anglican Communion on same sex blessings and marriage. In his deft remarks introducing the call the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, made it clear that the Episcopal Church’s position of full inclusion is a minority position in the Anglican Communion. He also notes that we have done the theological work to support full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in all orders of ministry, and to invite and welcome LGBTQIA+ people to receive all of God’s sacraments.
We are not where many in the Anglican Church are regarding this issue. Yet he pointed out to my sibling bishops that we hold this stance having done the spiritual, theological and biblical work to support our beliefs and practices.
He pointed out that different parts of the communion are unlikely to soon agree on this issue, yet he asks that we continue to walk together and learn from each other. And he was quite clear no church, no province will be sanctioned or asked to leave.
We are all siblings in Christ and I commit myself and I hope you will join me in walking together, listening and learning from our friends from around the world. We are all united in our love of Jesus and our desire to live out his hope for our fractured, frail world.
All my best in Christ Jesus,
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
11th Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan
July 30, 2022
We are grateful for the love, support and prayer extended to us from around the world. We are delighted to gather with our siblings from across the Communion to pray, listen and learn, and join Archbishop Justin Welby’s call to walk and witness united together in Jesus Christ.
July 26, 2022
Today I arrive in Canterbury to participate in the Lambeth Conference. “Lambeth“ hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, happens once every ten years, and is a gathering of Anglican Bishops from around the world. During our time together we’ll be praying, talking, getting to know one another and we will be discussing a number of important issues, including:
In addition to these incredibly important issues we will also be discussing sexuality and human dignity. The entire Lambeth Study guide sent to participating bishops can be found here: Lambeth Calls – Guidance and Study Documents.
Some of you may have read about, the “Lambeth Call” on Human Dignity asking participating Bishops in the Lambeth Conference to reaffirm resolution 1:10 from the 1998 Lambeth conference. This resolution states that, “The legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions cannot be advised. It is the mind of the Communion to uphold “faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union” (I.10, 1998), (Lambeth Study Guide, p 32).
There are several things I’d like for you all to know about this statement.
First, this statement is not the mind of the Anglican Communion. There are a number of provinces in the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, that do have both same sex marriage and same sex blessings.
Secondly, the Lambeth Conference, regardless of what is decided in these next two weeks, does not have legislative power over The Episcopal Church. We are in communion together, but our canons are decided at our General Convention and not by the wider Anglican Communion.
Thirdly, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is steadfast in his support of full participation of LGBTQIA+ people in all facets of our life together. This will not change. In a letter addressed to the House of Bishops yesterday, Presiding Bishop Curry said,
“For now, I offer this message of love to all my LGBTQ+ siblings: We have worked hard to become a church where, as the old African slaves used to sing, “There is plenty good room, plenty good room,” for all of God’s children. We are all The Episcopal Church, and we will not compromise who we are, our connections, or our love. We head to this conference with you in our hearts and Jesus’ Way of Love as our guide.”
In these next two weeks I ask that you keep me and all of the bishops who gather in Canterbury at the Lambeth Conference in your prayers, specifically asking God’s Holy Spirit to fill us all with wisdom, compassion and courage.