Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Alleluia Christ is risen. Here is a statement from the Communion Partners bishops' and rectors' meeting. Our church world is one of debate locally and globally, and the statement expresses various opinions which others will disagree with. Fair enough. What I want to underline is what we are for, for this springs out of gratitude, which is an Easter attitude we all share. I hope the following expressions of 'for' ring true to you.
We are grateful first that we are Episcopalians, the fellowship in which we hear and serve in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ risen. We are grateful for the remarkable gift of a wider fellowship of churches from east to west, north to south, of which we are part. It is not first of all a problem but a gift! Within that fellowship we are particularly grateful for our Episcopal brothers and sisters in central and South America, for their faithfulness, resourcefulness, and patience under hardship.
We are grateful for the gift of marriage. Ephesians 5 teaches us that the union of man and woman is a sign of the mystery of Christ and the Church in which we all share. We also strive to honor, protect, and welcome all, for we know in gratitude that the gospel is for all.
Finally we are grateful to be members of a church, following the leadership of our Presiding Bishop, wishing earnestly at this time to be at work in racial reconciliation and evangelism. Both follow directly from the good news of Jesus crucified for us and risen. We need each of our various gifts to do this work.
A great Anglican and poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, once said we are most right in what we are for! And likewise the spirit of the Christian life is best summed up as gratitude. I hope everyone, amidst debate, can say to all these "Amen."