Title: A letter from Anglican Bishops Credit: staff Features Sunday 18th May 2014 - 9:20am1400361600 Article: 15097 Rights
Bishop Ross Bay and Bishop Jim White from the Anglican Diocese of Auckland have written a letter to members, saying they believe the resolution from the Synod on same-sex blessings sets the best course for change. Bishops Ross Bay and Jim White. Picture / Anglican Taonga We write following our earlier communication of the General Synod motion and the Archbishops’ pastoral letter. Members of the Synod have spent many days in conference sessions meeting as Tikanga group, in houses, and in Episcopal groups seeking to find a way forward together. The Auckland representatives to the Synod have all spoken to us of the depth of grace and aroha that has been present in the deliberations on this matter. We have been guided by a clear desire and mandate for change along with the hope that we can continue to live together under the same roof, acknowledging and respecting our differences. We believe that the resolution of the Synod sets the best course for change. For those who are aware of decisions that our diocesan synod made in last few years, and hope for more immediate change, you must understand that proper change takes time. In this matter, whatever course had been set, it was likely to have required the “two round” confirmation mechanism. This proposal does require that, hence the time frame of at least four years which has been mentioned. There will be much work to be done in order to bring proposals to General Synod in 2016 for consideration. There is great care for the Church in this process and you will have noted that the development of legislative and liturgical changes sit alongside a careful examination of the necessary structures that allow people with differing views to hold a place within the Church with integrity. A working group is being established to develop what is required in relation to the doctrinal, liturgical, and legal (both church and civil) issues. The time line for that work is such that it will deliver back to the church for widespread discussion and comment in advance of the 2016 General Synod. We realise that in all of this there will be people who are disappointed and concerned, either because the Synod has gone too far, or not far enough. The proposal seeks to be transparent about what we can do right now and not set up false hope or promises. We also wish to highlight the apology contained in the resolution in relation to actions and attitudes that have caused pain to the LGBT community. We add our own voices to that, and to the commitment to reconciliation and prophetic witness. It may well that people will want to ask and discuss about all of this and we extend again our invitation to meet at Selwyn Library this Wednesday 21st May at 7.30pm. We anticipate ongoing dialogue in many settings over time ahead and will look for ways and do our best to respond to invitations to do that. Once again, we encourage you to read the whole motion carefully so that you can appreciate the balance that is within it. We encourage you to make available to people the text of the resolution this weekend along with this letter and that of the Archbishops. It is important that people do see the whole text and not rely on edited versions or media reports about it. Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley closed with these words from our Prayer Book when the resolution was presented to the General Synod and we leave them with you also. Called to follow Christ, help us to reconcile and unite. Called to suffer, give us hope in our calling. - Bishop Ross Bay and Bishop Jim White from the Anglican Diocese of Auckland staff - 18th May 2014    
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