The House of Bishops, during its business session on Wednesday afternoon, March 12, approved a statement concerning the upcoming Lambeth Conference.
The full statement follows.
The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church
Meeting at the Camp Allen Conference Center, Navasota, Texas
March 12, 2008
Give to your Church, O God,
a bold vision and a daring charity,
a refreshed wisdom and a courteous understanding,
that the eternal message of your Son
may be acclaimed as the good news of the age;
through him who makes all things new,
even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (1)
We, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church, approaching the forthcoming Lambeth Conference, are mindful of the hurt that is being experienced by so many in our own Episcopal Church, in other Provinces of our global communion, and in the world around us. While the focus of this hurt seems centered on issues of human sexuality, beneath it we believe there is a feeling of marginalization by people of differing points of view. Entering into Holy Week, our response is to name this hurt and to claim our hope that is in Christ.
As the Lambeth Conference approaches, we believe we have an enormous opportunity, in the midst of struggle, to be proud of our heritage, and to use this particular time in a holy way by affirming our rich diversity. The health of such diversity is that we are dealing openly with issues that affect the entire global community. Thus, even as we acknowledge the pain felt by many, we also affirm its holiness as we seek to be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Even though we did not all support the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire, we acknowledge that he is a canonically elected and consecrated bishop in this church. We regret that he alone among bishops ministering within the territorial boundaries of their dioceses and provinces, did not receive an invitation to attend the Lambeth Conference.
We appeal to the faithful of the Episcopal Church and the faithful in the wider, global Anglican family, to focus and celebrate our unity in the comprehensiveness of diversity. In union with Christian tradition through the centuries, we are willing to face challenges that precipitate struggle as a means towards reconciliation.
During our meeting we have been praying for a "daring charity and courteous understanding." With this intent and guided by the Holy Spirit, we go to the Lambeth Conference spiritually united and praying that God will sanctify our struggles and unify us for Christ's mission to a hurting world.
(1) This Franciscan-inspired prayer was offered by our chaplains during this meeting of the House of Bishops.