Episcopal bishops issue ‘A Word to the Church for the World’

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affaiirs press release] The House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church has issued the following: A Word to the Church for the World.

 

 

The text follows.


A Word to the Church for the World

Greetings from Detroit, a city determined to be revived.  Greetings also from the city of Flint, where we are reminded that the gift of water has for many of our brothers and sisters become contaminated.

Here we have been exhorted to set our sights beyond ourselves and to minister to the several nations where we serve and the wider world.

We lament the stark joylessness that marks our present time.  We decry angry political rhetoric which rages while fissures widen within society along racial, economic, educational, religious, cultural and generational lines.  We refuse to look away as poverty, cruelty and war force families to become migrants enduring statelessness and demonization.  We renounce the gun violence and drug addiction that steal lives and crush souls while others succumb to fear and cynicism, abandoning any sense of neighborliness.

Yet, in all this, “we do not despair” (2 Cor. 4:8.). We remember that God in Christ entered our earthly neighborhood during a time of political volatility and economic inequality.  To this current crisis we bring our faith in Jesus.  By God’s grace, we choose to see in this moment an urgent opportunity to follow Jesus into our fractured neighborhoods, the nation and the world.

Every member of the church has been “called for a time such as this.” (Esther 4:14) Let prophets tell the truth in love.  Let reconcilers move boldly into places of division and disagreement. Let evangelists inspire us to tell the story of Jesus in new and compelling ways.  Let leaders lead with courage and joy.

In the hope of the Resurrection let us all pray for God to work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.

Writing Committee
Bishop Tom Breidenthal of Southern Ohio
Bishop Mariann Budde of Washington
Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Los Angeles
Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Ecuador Central
Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real
Bishop Alan Gates of Massachusetts
Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. of Michigan
Dr. Scott Bader-Saye
Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester
Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta
Bishop Rob Hirschfield of New Hampshire

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops met Sept. 15-20 in Detroit, Michigan.

Comments

  1. John Thompson+ says:

    Thank you to the bishops for this wise word.

  2. Kay Davidson- Bond says:

    You speak of your feelings but you do not give us a holy command. I do not want to sit still. I want holy direction. I am old. But I know what our young people want and what they are capable of doing to achieve their goals. Why does our church hold back? Are you leaders, guardians afraid to change the world as did our Christ ? For shame!

    • The Rev. Bill Cruse says:

      The call is there, and I hear it as holy. “urgent opportunity to follow Jesus into our fractured neighborhoods, the nation and the world.
      Every member of the church has been “called for a time such as this.” (Esther 4:14) Let prophets tell the truth in love. Let reconcilers move boldly into places of division and disagreement. Let evangelists inspire us to tell the story of Jesus in new and compelling ways. Let leaders lead with courage and joy.”
      Go. Get into Gospel trouble. Quickly!!

  3. Stryker Smith says:

    Wonderful purpose. But at the same time are we not also to bring the good news of the promise of salvation thru our Lord Jesus? Shouldn’t this also be an explicit goal?

  4. Rev. Peggy Blanchard Hunt says:

    Each of us calling ourselves Christians needs to set aside our discomfort with people, customs and places that are strange to us. No matter where we go, we go as bearers of Christ. This fact alone, both humbling and empowering, equips us to go out to -all- others with compassion, patience and receptivity. Our faith is -not- about us as individuals, it is about us growing into the holy community of God, in Christ’s name.

  5. Tony Oberdorfer says:

    More cheap talk on your part while you continue to promote political policies that create the very problems you bemoan. I’m pleased at least that many fellow Episcopal bishops evidently still harbor enough common sense to have refused to join your effort.

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