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Griswold Says Canterbury Wants a Solution within ECUSA for Unhappy Parishes

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    Griswold Says Canterbury Wants a Solution within ECUSA for Unhappy Parishes Episcopal News Service By: Jan Nunley Posted: 12/5/2003 The Episcopal Church needs
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2003
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      Griswold Says Canterbury Wants a Solution within ECUSA for Unhappy
      Parishes
      Episcopal News Service
      By: Jan Nunley
      Posted: 12/5/2003

      The Episcopal Church needs to work out matters of "extended episcopal
      ministry" within its own provincial borders, and unhappy
      congregations should not expect "direct intervention" by anyone
      outside the Episcopal Church in the United States--including the
      archbishop of Canterbury, Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold has
      written in a December 5 letter to the Church's House of Bishops.

      Griswold met with his Council of Advice, a team of bishops elected
      from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church, in New York
      December 2-3. The council, which elected Louisiana Bishop Charles
      Jenkins as its new president, includes bishops Lloyd Allen
      (Honduras), Harry Bainbridge (Idaho), Richard Chang (Hawaii), Wendell
      Gibbs (Michigan), Robert Ihloff (Maryland), James Jelinek
      (Minnesota), Chilton Knudsen (Maine), Bruce MacPherson (Western
      Louisiana), and Jack McKelvey (Rochester).

      "What they had to say confirmed much of what I have been hearing from
      you and others about the life we share in Christ and the complexities
      of the present moment," Griswold wrote.

      Thanking the bishops for their "sacrificial expenditure of
      yourselves" in listening and serving as "ministers of interpretation
      and encouragement," Griswold alluded to his own struggles in the
      aftermath of General Convention's decisions to ratify the ordination
      of a gay priest as New Hampshire's bishop coadjutor and acknowledge
      the practice of blessing same-gender relationships. "I have certainly
      had my burdens to bear as well, though in a somewhat different way,
      and have had to experience the deep sadness of relationships becoming
      impaired or broken," he wrote. "At the same time I find an unexpected
      confidence stirring within me, and look ahead with a hope not of my
      own making."

      No direct intervention

      He then outlined the process for discussion of the draft plan for
      Supplemental Episcopal Pastoral Care, which was circulated on October
      31. The document is to be discussed at the provincial meetings of
      bishops.

      Reactions to the draft and any implementation already underway will
      be taken up at the bishops' meeting in March 2004.

      Griswold pointed out that the draft was also sent to Archbishop of
      Canterbury Rowan Williams. "I have been in consultation with the
      Archbishop, and in a conversation earlier this week he made it clear
      that the responsibility for working out a form of extended episcopal
      ministry lies within our province," he said. "Indeed, the
      consultation envisaged in the statement of the primates following our
      October meeting is precisely that and does not involve some kind of
      direct intervention on his part." Calls for such direct intervention,
      either by Williams or the primates, have been made by various
      conservative groups within the Episcopal Church.

      "The matter of Supplemental Episcopal Pastoral Care in the Episcopal
      Church is clearly the responsibility of our bishops--to whom is given
      the ministry of oversight--and we are obliged to treat it with full
      seriousness. It is my firm belief that by exercising generosity and
      pastoral sensitivity in a spirit of trust we can meet the needs of
      all of our congregations," Griswold went on. "I note here how
      important it is for all of us who hold jurisdiction to be full
      partners in this work, regardless of our points of view. The various
      speculations about alternative structures and realignments are
      unhelpful and draw us away from the hard work we must do together in
      order to be faithful as chief pastors to all of our people, and to
      honor our call to be ministers of Christ's reconciling love."

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      long as credit is given to ENS.
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