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Episcopal bishops fuel push to sign LGBT+ affirmation statement at Lambeth

Episcopal bishops fuel push to sign LGBT+ affirmation statement at Lambeth
The God is Love statement draws signatories from ten liberal Anglican Provinces

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
August 4, 2022

Dubbed as the "Statement from Anglican Bishops and Primates Who Are Keen to Affirm and Celebrate LGBT+ People" and drawing upon Ephesians 2:19, John 13:34, and Psalm 139:14 as its scriptural underpinning, the inclusionary pronouncement was released by the liberal bishops at Lambeth Tuesday (Aug. 2) evening.

The signatories, including six primates, four archbishops, many bishops and one bishop-elect, signed the document before the Lambeth Call on Human Dignity was discussed, but released after the closed door session was adjourned. All six of the gay and lesbian bishops attending Lambeth signed the "God is Love" statement celebrating and affirming the LGBT+ lifestyle as holy.

Of the growing number of signers, more than half are from The Episcopal Church in the United States of America; others are from the Anglican Church of Canada, the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil; the Anglican Church of Australia, the Church in Wales, the Anglican Church in New Zealand, the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Church of England, the Church of Ireland and the Anglican Church of Mexico. More than one third of the signers are women bishops.

The statement reads: "So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God." (Ephesians 2:19) ...

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." (John 13:34) ...

"God is Love! This love revealed by Jesus, described in the Scriptures and proclaimed by the Church, is Good News for all -- without exception. That is why we believe that LGBT+ people are a precious part of God's creation -- for each of us is 'fearfully and wonderfully made' (Psalm 139:14) and all are equally loved. ...

"We recognise that many LGBT+ people have historically been wounded by the Church and particularly hurt by the events of the last few weeks. We wish to affirm the holiness of their love wherever it is found in committed relationships.

"We therefore commit to working with our siblings across the Communion to listen to their stories and understand their contexts, which vary greatly. However, we will never shy away from tackling discrimination and prejudice against those of differing sexualities and gender identities. ...

"Together, we will speak healing and hope to our broken world and look forward to the day when all may feel truly welcomed, valued and affirmed."

It was signed by revisionist bishops from across the Anglican Communion, including primates: Mark Strange, the Scottish Episcopal Church; Michael Curry, The Episcopal Church; Naudal Alves Gomes, the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil; Linda Nicholls, the Anglican Church of Canada; and Don Tamihere, the Anglican Church in New Zealand; and Andy Johns, the Church in Wales.

Archbishops include: Anne Germond and Lynne McNaughton, Canada; Philip Richardson, New Zealand; and Kay Goldsworthy, Australia.

Bishops include: Peter Stuart, Australia; Jeremy Greaves, Australia; John Roundhill, Australia; Charlie Murry, Australia; Clarence Bester, Australia; Kate Prowd, Australia; Murray Harvey, Australia, Sonia Roulston, Australia; Eduardo Grillo, Brazil; Francisco Alves, Brazil; Francisco Silva, Brazil; João Filho, Brazil; Magda Pereria, Brazil; Marinez Bassotto, Brazil; Maurício Andrade, Brazil; and Meriglei Simim, Brazil.

Also: Andrew Absil, Canada; Bruce Myers, Canada; John Stevens, Canada; John Watton, Canada; Kevin Robertson, Canada; Lesley Wheeler-Dame, Canada; Mary Irwin-Gibson, Canada; Michael Oulton, Canada; Nigel Shaw, Canada; Riscylla Shaw, Canada; Sam Rose, Canada; Sandra Fyfe, Canada; Shane Parker, Canada; Susan Bell, Canada; Todd Townshend, Canada; and William Cliff, Canada.

Also: Ross Bay, New Zealand; David Hamid, England; Alan Wilson, England; Paul Colton, Ireland; Michael Burrows, Ireland; Julio Martin, Mexico; Andrew Swift, Scotland; Ian Patton, Scotland; Anne Dyer, Scotland; Keith Riglin, Scotland; Cherry Vann, Wales; Gregory Cameron, Wales; and bishop-elect Jeffrey Mello, United States.

Also: Robert Hirschfeld, United States; Audrey Scanlan, United States; Betsy Monnot, United States; Brian Seage, United States; Andrew Doyle, United States; Ian Douglas, United States; Brian Cole, United States; Craig Loya, United States; Daniel Guiterrez, United States; Deon Johnson, United States; Diane Akiyama, United States; Shannon MacVean-Brown, United States; Bonnie Perry, United States; Jeffrey Fisher, United States; and DeDe Duncan-Probe, United States.

Also: Jonathan Foltz, United States; Marc Andrus, United States; Eugene Sutton, United States Frank Logue, United States; Gayle Harris, United States; Glenda Curry, United States; Gretchen Rehberg, United States; Scott Barker, United States; Scott Mayer, United States; Jacob Owensby, United States; Jennifer Reddall, United States; Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, United States; John Taylor, United States; Jose McLoughlin, United States; and Kathryn Ryan, United States.

Also: Kevin Nichols, United States; Kymberly Lucas, United States; Laura Ahrens, United States; Lucinda Ashby, United States; Marianne Budde, United States; Mark Edington, United States; Martha Stebbins, United States; Mary Glasspool, United States; Megan Tarquaire, United States; Patrick Bell, United States; Phoebe Roaf, United States; Poulson Reed, United States; and Prince Singh, United States.

Also: Robert Skirving, United States, Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, United States; Sean Rowe, United States; Susan Haynes, United States; Susan Snook, United States; Susan Goff, United States, Thomas Brown, United States; Wendell Gibbs, United States; Terry White, United States; Matthew Gunter, United States; Mary Gray-Reeves, United States; Michael Hunn, United States; Douglas Sparks, United States; and Jos Tharakan, United States.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline

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