[Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil] “The love of God extends to the whole creation. Every life, beginning with ours, is precious to God. Christian people have always believed that there is hope, both in life and death, and that is new life in Christ, even after physical death.” Common Book of Prayer Brazil
This Monday, July 11, 2016, we from Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (IEAB) learned with sadness about the passing of Bishop Edmond Lee Browning. In this time of mourning we send our affection and solidarity both to the people and the clergy of The Episcopal Church.
Bishop Browning has left a precious theological-pastoral legacy to the Anglican Communion by safely leading the Church beyond borders of so many taboo and challenging issues. In a practical and generous way he has built up bridges with sister churches, in an effective gesture of what has been called “Partners in Mission.” Yes, he has gone beyond physical and human thought borders, towards the other in a passionate manner, with no restrictions!
Edmond Browning was a great friend of the Brazilian Church when held the office of 24th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and left spiritual marks when took part in the celebration of IEAB Centenary (1890-1990). For us Brazilians, it was the time of the “Church We Live” slogan that challenged Brazil to open a new paradigm of Church as community of faith, where Christ incarnates. Bishop Browning and former [Brazilian] Primate Dom Olavo Ventura Luiz started a new movement in relations between our churches, which for some time had been asleep, and mother and daughter church rebuilt their affective and historical relations. They took actions to bring two provinces even closer. We then became part of CETALC membership, searching “to make Anglican theology in the Latin American and Caribbean context” in a deeper manner. With the creation of a Bilateral Committee, there was a gradual insertion of Brazilian leaderships in Episcopal Church events and programs trying to find new ways of doing mission.
We want to express our gratitude for the life and ministry of Bishop Edmond Browning, who was truly a “Shepherd of Sheep,” encouraging and supporting all people baptized in their ministries and gifts!
And last but not least, we want to join our voices with those of all who lived with and met Bishop Browning, saying wholeheartedly and out loud: “Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:23
++ Francisco de Assis da Silva
Primate Bishop of IEAB