Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bishop Wendell Gibbs of Michigan regarding the Primates' Communique: Pray for the church and sit tight

[Editor: No matter what happens, this church will survive and flourish. Let us all heed Bishop Gibbs' words.]

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I have received some inquiries soliciting my response to the February 19, 2007 Communiqué of
the Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam. Right now, beyond the comments made by the Most
Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, our Presiding Bishop and Primate, who was both present
and a participant in the meeting, I believe further comment would not be appropriate.

I will suppose your next question is “why.” There are two basic reasons: First, in the
Communiqué the Primates “request, through the Presiding Bishop, that the House of Bishops”
respond to several points. For this to happen with integrity, I believe it is imperative for the
members of the House of Bishops, to prayerfully come together to hear from those who were
actually there, to listen to one another, and to listen deeply to the Holy Spirit. Commentary at
this point could imperil my ability to be genuine to that task. Second, as you may know, as
President of the Province of the Midwest (Province V), I sit on the Presiding Bishop’s Council
of Advice. At this writing, the Council has not gathered, physically or electronically, with the
Presiding Bishop. That is scheduled to take place a few days from now. For me this adds
another layer of importance to my obligation to listen before speaking.

I know that the Communiqué has evoked a wide range of feelings and thoughts in many of my
sisters and bothers across this diocese ranging from delight to desolation. Please know of my
prayers for each of you.

I conclude with a singular request: Pray for the Church.


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Athanasius said...

The Episcopal church as an institution, may very well survive, but she is hardly fourishing. Unless the definition of the word "florishing' has cahaged...

In my diocese as well as most others, churches are closing faster than new plants open. In most diocese, it has been, no doubt, decades since a new church opened. Most Episcopalians have not a clue about the biblical madadte to personally evangelise the lost. no, we are taught to spread the "good news" of the denomination. MDGs are now called "mission". blah, blah, blah. All around me I see churches Baptists, Pentecostals, and many nondenominational congregations growing, while our diocese has shrunk by nearly 50 percent in the past 40 years. THEY are florishing, we are not. Let's not kid ourselves.