Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From Bishop Charles Jenkins

...The Bishops of the Episcopal Church will be meeting at the Hotel Intercontinental from Sept. 18-25. I ask you to join me in praying for Divine Grace that we may be faithful to Jesus, who, in His High Priestly prayer, asked the Father (that)"we may be one as He and the Father are one."

I need not state anew my traditional and unchanged thoughts on the questions before us. However, I do wish to share several observations, which have expanded my thinking a bit. As our Lord taught in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, it was the Samaritan who proved the good neighbor because it was this racial and religious outcast who demonstrated the quality of mercy. Our Lord's command around mercy was simple, "Go and do likewise." We in Louisiana have seen and experienced mercy from the hands of many for the past two years. People from radically differing perspectives around sexuality have come together in a mission of mercy, and have found their lives changed and the seeming hot button issues put in the proper perspective. Why can we as Anglicans not demonstrate the same mercy toward one another?

A failure to find a way forward together shall not simply hurt each and every one of us, but as sin is always communal in its effects, our failures will hurt the poor and needy whom we serve and to whom mercy is a symbol of hope. The Anglican Communion is engaged in a huge ministry of justice, mercy, and compassion around the world. If we give in to the sin of self-absorption, our souls shall surely be hardened but it is the poor who will suffer most. No matter which side of the issue of human sexuality you believe to be of God, I suggest that if you really want to break the heart of God, you should work to make the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as absorbed with itself and her disagreements as is possible.

The time and the place of the Archbishop's visit is significant. I think we in Louisiana and Mississippi have demonstrated the truth of mission to the Communion. The Morial Convention Center was the place of such suffering and death. Just several weeks after the second anniversary of our being brought so low, we come together to thank God and the church throughout the world for the mercy and support which has enabled us to begin our recovery.

The bishops and their spouses will take off Saturday and Sunday to do work in Louisiana and Mississippi.I need your prayers as I try to get a building for All Souls in the Lower Ninth. The Bishops are bringing offerings to pay for this new Church and I hope they will be able to finish it come September. You will likely have a guest Bishop in your parish Church on the Sunday of the New Orleans meeting. If you want to hear the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, plan to come to Christ Church Cathedral on that Sunday morning at the 10:00 a.m service....

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