Traditional Teaching on Marriage
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings in Christ. You probably have heard of the ancient Chinese saying, “may you live in interesting times.” (It seems that it was never said, but someone should have!). Well, those are just the times we do live in. The last few weeks have been dramatic and tumultuous, and leave us with a sense of uncertainty. They call forth from us patience, forbearance, and charity.
I return in my mind to the three goals that were expressed in our recent episcopal search. We want to articulate the traditional teaching on marriage. Here I commend to you the thoughtful letter from our Standing Committee. We do well to think of this witness as actually a gift to the whole church. This is just the perspective of the bishops themselves in their generous mind-of-the-house statement toward the Communion Partners bishops at Convention. I pledge myself to do whatever I can to advocate for this continuing witness in our Church among my future colleagues in the coming years. Secondly, we remain loyal to our church, even as we remind it that the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you.’ (I Corinthians 12:21). Thirdly we expressed a desire for a spirit of charity and unity. I mean, by God’s grace, to be bishop for the whole diocese, across differences of opinion, in this demanding time. Through all this, we need together to get on with the work of evangelizing and serving God has in mind for us, clinging as we must to the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is our only true certainty.
I promise, in the weeks and months to come, to be available for conversation on these important matters with brothers and sisters of various points of view. I appeal earnestly for all of your help and your prayers.
Finally, let me commend our superlative General Convention deputation who showed grace, savvy, and grit throughout a grueling week. I am also grateful for Bishop Paul’s ministry: his wide range of friendships in the House of Bishops was obvious, and serves us well. I look forward to being with you in the diocese soon.