from the list of invitees to the Lambeth Conference May 31st, 2007
On the Exclusion of Bishop Gene Robinson from
Participation in the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion
by Rev. Elder Nancy L. Wilson
Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches
Quoting from her letter:
Bishop Robinson is to be commended for his courage in practising the truthfulness and fidelity he has long preached. As an obviously gifted and qualified church leader, he should be held in high esteem for responding unhesitatingly to God’s call to serve the Church. In a church culture of whispers, secrets, silence and avoidance, Bishop Robinson’s stand of truthfulness distinguishes him.
In light of Archbishop Rowan’s decision, I commend to you the words of Rev. Elder Glenna Shepherd, who guides MCC’s work in the United Kingdom: “How tragic that thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Anglicans have been shunned by the Archbishop’s decision. Even more tragic is that many of these will understand this as God’s rejection. Perhaps most tragic of all is that at a time when a united Church could call the world to peace, work for justice, feed the hungry and heal the suffering, it instead divides itself according to internal political agendas.”
Likewise, I echo the words of Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, who oversees MCC’s ministry and commitment to human rights across Eastern Europe: “To deny Bishop Robinson full participation in the Lambeth Conference seems to be a response to the political agenda of some conservative members of the Anglican Communion. Bishop Robinson’s only “problem” appears to be that he loves another man. Jesus always stood with the marginalized and oppressed. Would Jesus have discriminated against Bishop Robinson? Would he have turned his back and stood with the angry mob? It is my sincere prayer that Archbishop Williams will reconsider his decision to exclude Bishop Robinson from participation as a full member of the Anglican Communion, including his presence at the Lambeth Conference. There should be no second class Bishops.”
I urge all people of faith to join me in praying for the Episcopal Church as it continues to wrestle with the question of inclusion. Pray with me for all our brothers and sisters across faith lines, to have the courage to honestly examine the issues of sexuality, including the racialization of sexuality, the history of colonial churches and sexual ethics.
The Church Universal must do this work together, in open and honest conversation, for God’s sake, and for the sake of all people around God’s earth who hunger for faith and spirituality. The exclusion of more and more leaders and members is a terrible and sad price to pay in exchange for avoidance of conflict. (And in your prayers, please pray for Metropolitan Community Churches, that we might never lose our God-given calling to lead by example, to stand with those who are marginalized and rejected, and to share the hope-filled message of God’s unconditional love for all people through Jesus Christ.)
The decision of Archbishop Williams is one that deserves the close scrutiny by all people of faith, for its heart, it serves to further alienate and divide the whole Body of Christ. I urge us all to pray, as Jesus prayed: “May they all be one.” (Gospel of John, Chapter 17)
Rev. Nancy L. Wilson
Metropolitan Community Churches
Read is all HERE