East Tennessee bishop’s response to primates’ statement

[Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said:

“Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

It is unfortunate that a majority of the Primates of the Anglican Communion have told The Episcopal Church to go “sit in the corner.” Regardless, we are still sisters and brothers in Christ with all people in the Anglican Communion, and more importantly sisters and brothers in Jesus. That will never change. Never.

We hope, pray, and trust that the leadership of the Anglican Communion, as well as the leadership of all of God’s people will now devote their resources, energy, and action to combat the true evils of injustice, poverty, suffering, degradation of creation, violence, and discrimination in our broken world.

Under the guidance and leadership of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, we will – in in our corner – continue to be part of the Jesus Movement in the wider church and world, in our parishes, and in our communities. And all shall be well.

“What does it mean to Episcopalians to be ‘sanctioned’ by a majority of the Primates of the Anglican Communion for refusing to treat our LGBT members as second class Christians? It means we’re willing to pay ‘the cost of discipleship’ as we follow the Jesus who welcomed, blessed, included, empowered and loved absolutely everybody. It means we take seriously our call to be part of the Jesus Movement – proclaiming the Good News of God’s inclusive love to the world. It means we choose inclusion over exclusion, compassion over condemnation, and justice over judgment.”     – The Rev. Susan Russell

The Right Reverend George D. Young, III
Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee


  1. Adam Brown says:

    The fact of the matter is you all ignored the Anglican Communion as a worldwide body and change a doctrine of the church. You all don’t have the ability to change doctrine and in the meantime you got us suspended from the Anglican Communion. How irresponsible to put the Rainbow flag above the Cross. You have really screwed up this time.

    • Nick Noble says:

      Adam, I am sorry: the Anglican Communion has never been a “worldwide body” imposing fixed doctrine (as is the Roman Catholic church). It is a collaborative assembly of independent churches, many of whom have for centuries produced their own individual prayer books, hymnals, policies, and unique (sometimes idiosyncratic) liturgical rituals and practices. My Christian faith, I believe, requires me to support women in the clergy and as bishops, gay marriage, and the welcoming of ALL into the community of worship. For me, the operative question will never be “What does Deuteronomy say?” (we are, after all, a church of the new testament and a new covenant which has for a very long time almost univerally rejected fundamentalism), or “What does Paul hate?” (Paul was, after all, only a man, and while he rails against sin [as he defines it] he also wrote some of the most beautiful and inclusive language ever expressed), but “What would Jesus do?” The Rainbow Flag is not above the cross, but an integral part of what the cross stands for.

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