Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chicago Consultation Committed to Canons, Anglican Communion

President Susan Russell, Acting Executive Director John Clinton Bradley, and Field Organizer Jan Adams represented Integrity at this event...

contact: Rebecca S. Wilson, 330-524-2067,

Meeting of Church Leaders Looks Toward Episcopal Church’s General Convention

EVANSTON, IL—The Chicago Consultation met this week at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. The group of Episcopal and other Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people supports the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.

At its meeting, the group outlined its hopes for the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in July. “We call upon the deputies and bishops who will assemble in Anaheim to act so that all of God’s children in the Episcopal Church can realize the full promise of their baptism,” said Ruth Meyers, co-convener of the Chicago Consultation and professor of liturgics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Il.

Based on rigorous study of theology and canon law, the Chicago Consultation’s participants agreed to support General Convention resolutions that will affirm the Episcopal Church’s current Title III canons on the election, consent or ordination of bishops, and exclude any outside restrictions on those canons.

The Episcopal Church’s canon law allows local dioceses to discern and elect the bishops who can best serve them,” said Meyers. “We believe that these canons have served us well and are essential to our common life. Moreover, we believe that the church would be ill-served by relinquishing its historic local initiative.”

The Chicago Consultation also supports General Convention resolutions that will lead the church to establish a rite for blessings of same-sex unions. “For 30 years, the Episcopal Church has prayed and studied about same-sex unions, and we have seen the evidence of God’s blessing in the lives of these couples,” said Meyers. “In many parishes blessings are already happening without a formal rite. Now it is time for our church of common prayer to establish a common rite of blessing.”

The leaders gathered in Chicago also indicated their strong support for The Episcopal Church’s role as a significant and committed member of the Anglican Communion. “Our relationships and experience show that it is possible both to participate in the mission of the worldwide Anglican communion and also to embrace the full participation of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters,” said Meyers. “We choose to pursue this sometimes difficult but always fruitful path.”

The Chicago Consultation includes representatives from many advocacy groups in the Episcopal Church, including Integrity, the Episcopal Church’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community; and The Consultation, an alliance of groups within the church that has advocated for justice for more than 20 years.

“Integrity is proud to participate in the Chicago Consultation. Our goals are completely congruent with those of the Chicago Consultation. We look forward to working with this larger circle of allies as Integrity seeks to move the church beyond B033 and forward on marriage equality at General Convention,” said John Clinton Bradley, acting executive director of Integrity.

The Chicago Consultation, a group of Episcopal and Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people, supports the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We believe that our baptismal covenant requires this.

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