Monday, August 20, 2007

A Letter

August 20, 2007

The Right Reverend Gary Lillibridge
Bishop of West Texas
111 Torcido Road
San Antonio, TX 78209

Dear Bishop Lillibridge:

I am writing to offer my prayers for your upcoming trip to New Orleans, for the House of Bishops meeting convened, at least in part, to respond to the Primates’ Communiqué.

I respectfully ask that you and your colleagues respond to the communiqué with love and compassion, with a dedication to all Anglicans being welcome at the communion table, and with the strength of our own convictions as an evolving church.

I believe that we have no reason to apologize for TEC’s recent moves in support of full inclusion for our LGBT communicants; I am committed to that day coming much sooner than later. However, I see no reason why TEC’s evolution need be matched step by step by the rest of the Anglican Communion. I support the journeys of all the Communion’s churches, those in concert with and those divergent from ours. The genius of Anglicanism has been its ability to hold a communal space in the midst of our diversity.

The Primates’ lack of authority to issue ultimatums notwithstanding, as well the apparent disregard for TEC’s own established polity, I believe we are called to remain at the table as witnesses to what makes us Anglicans in the first place. Paul Avis’ words in the Communion Matters document go straight to the heart:

“The Anglican vocation is to create a spiritual liberty in which individuals may bear witness to the truth as they see it, submitting themselves to the criticism of their peers without fear of ecclesiastical censure or censorship…”

I’m troubled by TEC’s willingness, when asked in recent years, to absent itself from meetings in the larger Communion, as a show of love for our global sister churches who are troubled by our actions. To abandon our commitment to witness to our truth, as we see it, seems to me to be an abdication of our love for ourselves and our sisters and brothers. To sit in prayerful difference at the table is to live out our Anglican vocation in a powerful way; the injury to all is in the leaving.

May God bless you on your journey.


Paschal Murat Booker
The Episcopal Church of Reconciliation

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Blogger jsd said...

Beautiful and thoughtful letter.

8:07 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you, jsd.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

I am so glad you wrote that. Thank you for sharing it.


7:13 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

You are welcome, Lee.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Susan Palwick said...

GREAT letter.

The more loving part is not to go away! Amen, brother!

9:46 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Thank you for your comments, Susan. Peace to you in the West.

11:29 PM  

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