Joint pastoral letter from Bethlehem and Sudan

The Diocese of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania has being doing heroic ministry in partnership with the Diocese of Kajo-Keji in the Sudan. The most recent expression of the deep relationship between these to two dioceses was the decision by the bishop and people of the Diocese of Bethlehem to focus their diocesan capital campaign around the rebuilding of theological colleges and schools in the war ravaged Sudanese diocese.

It was against this background of cooperation that words of the Archbishop of the Sudan at a press briefing in Lambeth were heard. The Archbishop reiterated the stance of the Church in the Sudan rejecting actions taken by the Episcopal Church at its last two General Conventions.

Bishop Paul Marshall and Bishop Anthony Poggo have issued a joint statement to be read in their respective dioceses which clarifies the situation and reassures all that the partnership that exists will continue in spite of significant theological differences.

From their joint letter:

“We wish to assure you that as your bishops we are of one mind about the importance of our work together for the spiritual health of both our dioceses. This is a time of change in Anglicanism, a truth that is apparent on many levels, and no one can predict what the Anglican Communion will be like at the time of the next Lambeth Conference. We can and do trust God to work his will, and therein is our peace of mind. We pledge to work together and in each of our dioceses to build understanding and love as all of us seek to follow the Lord Jesus in word and deed. All of our work is begun, continued, and ended in Him.

One of the gifts that the existence of differences in culture and outlook presents all of us is the experience of being loved by people who are not like us and who may not share all of our views on any number of subjects. The grace of learning to receive love from those who are not like us is a gift from God that awakens us to the depth of God’s own love in giving Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world.

As we continue our vital work together, it is our prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide us into deeper levels of understanding, devotion, and dedication of the ministry our Lord has given to us in Kajo-Keji and Bethlehem.”

Read the full article here (a pdf document).

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