Long Island bishop responds to Primates Meeting call for sanctions

January 14, 2016

[Diocese of Long Island] Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I want to take a moment to touch base with you regarding the recent news from Lambeth Palace. As many of you are aware, a majority of the Anglican Primates have voted this week to sanction the Episcopal Church for the next three years. This largely comes in reaction to our full inclusion of LGBT persons in the life of the church and specifically provisions from General Convention providing marriage rites for same-gender persons.

This moment is neither a “badge of courage” nor a repudiation of our sincere care for all God’s people. It is a challenging moment in time in the story of the Anglican Communion. However, it does not define our wider mission in the world.

Our diocese has deep and profound relationships all over this Communion, including the many islands of the Caribbean, throughout Africa, South America and the far reaches of Asia. These connections to family and colleagues in ministry remain strong. The sanctions do not have any bearing on our established relationships which are deep and rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In particular, we continue to enjoy a powerful connection to the Diocese of Torit in South Sudan, our companion diocese.  Bishop Bernard and I pray daily for each other and regularly talk by phone. These are our sisters and brothers in mission and they will continue to be.

Included here is a video message from our Presiding Bishop and Primate, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry.  I commend his words to you and your congregations. They are a sincere expression of where we find ourselves at this moment in the church’s history and an encouragement for each of us to move forward in the ministry of the church.

The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano
Bishop of Long Island