ABC to meet with LGBT Episcopalians

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will meet privately with a select group of Episcopalians concerned with LGBT issues.

Episcopalians during his time in California to participate in General Convention. The meeting is not part of General Convention, and it is not clear that it was meant to come to light.

ENS: Eight members of the Episcopal Church’s House of Deputies are scheduled meet privately with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at General Convention in a session that is intended in part to address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the church.

The session is not an official convention meeting and thus there has been no announcement of the plans. However, when contacted by Episcopal News Service, the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe of the Diocese of California confirmed the details.

Barlowe said that he and the other deputies understood the meeting was to be brief and private, but that it was not a secret.

Barlowe took the idea for such a meeting to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori or House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson. Williams “graciously” agreed to participate:

The presiding officers did not appoint the deputies, Barlowe said. Instead, he was asked to put the group together. He said he consulted with others and sought deputies who reflected the range of geographic, age, and ministerial diversity of those people who supported the request for the meeting.

In addition to Barlowe, the deputies are:

* Louie Crew, Diocese of Newark;

* the Rev. Canon Lisa Gray, Diocese of Michigan;

* the Rev. Tobias Haller BSG, Diocese of New York;

* Joanne O’Donnell, Diocese of Los Angeles;

* the Rev. Altagracia Perez, Diocese of Los Angeles;

* Rebecca Snow, Diocese of Alaska; and

* Michael Spencer, Diocese of Eastern Michigan.

The Rev. Eric H. F. Law, known for his work in multicultural leadership training, has been helping the deputies prepare for their meeting, according to Barlowe, and Law may attend the session with Williams.

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