A group of Episcopal rectors and cathedral deans, fresh from a retreat in Canterbury has written to Archbishop Rowan Williams asking him to “continue our Anglican precedent of inviting all jurisdictional bishops of The Episcopal Church in the United States and of the Anglican Church of Canada to the upcoming Lambeth Conference.”
Signatories include Deans Samuel Candler (St. Philip’s, Atlanta), Tracey Lind (Trinity, Cleveland) and Samuel Lloyd (National Cathedral), and rectors Ed Bacon (All Saints, Pasadena), Jim Cooper (Trinity, Wall Street), Harold Lewis (Calvary, Pittsburgh) and William Tully (St. Bartholomew’s, New York)
20 April 2007
The Most Rev’d Rowan Williams
The Archbishop of Canterbury:
London SE1 7JU
We are members of a clergy colleague group enjoying a retreat at Canterbury Study Centre in the Second week of Easter. While here, we have appreciated the hospitality and history of Canterbury Cathedral itself. Surely this holy place represents the graceful strength and broad wisdom of the entire Anglican Communion of churches. We are proud to locate our own history in this spot, and we are glad that our own ministries are refreshed by our time here.
We can say gratefully and humbly that our own congregations represent centers of faithfulness, outreach and documented growth, something not always reported about mainstream Anglicanism in North America. We believe our growth has something to do with our own practice of invitation and hospitality in the one Lord. We are deeply committed both to the Anglican Communion, and to gays and lesbians as integral members of our communities.
As we meet here in Canterbury, we are also aware that people and committees are simultaneously at work in the design of the next Lambeth Conference. As leaders in our own communities, we are obviously aware, too, of the identity and authority struggles within the Anglican Communion. In those tensions, we appreciate the careful theological wisdom and depth that you have brought through your leadership in our communion.
We salute your stated desires to “keep everyone at the table.” Your recent call for a renewed reading and hearing of scripture, rooted in eucharistic fellowship and the Holy Spirit, is one that we eagerly accept. We note that such a call is what holds our own parishes and cathedrals together. Our local communities are full of people who have disagreements, but who yet share eucharist, scripture, and truly holy communion together. Thus, in our commitment to the resurrection of Jesus, the Holy Spirit has continuing occasion to renew us. Thus, too, we celebrate Jesus Christ together in our Anglican heritage.
Toward that end, we urge you to continue our Anglican precedent of inviting all jurisdictional bishops of The Episcopal Church in the United States and of the Anglican Church of Canada to the upcoming Lambeth Conference. We certainly respect the fact such an invitation is yours to give; but we pray that your invitation will be as broad and graceful as the invitation Jesus offers all Christians to gather at table together.
We understand that one of the oldest features of Canterbury Cathedral is the worshipping community, and while here we feel the connection with that central reality in our own places. We are privileged to worship here, as at home, at the invitation of Jesus Christ our Lord. Again, we encourage you to continue that inviting spirit, so that, together, the Anglican Communion can witness distinctively to the world the fullness of resurrection life.
Meanwhile, we remain committed in prayer to your and our common witness, in Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Very Rev’d Sam Candler
Dean, The Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia
The Rev’d Ed Bacon, Rector, All Saints Church, Pasadena, California
The Rev’d Michael Chalk, Rector, St. Mark’s, San Antonio, Texas
The Rev’d Jim Cooper, Rector, Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York
The Rev’d Bob Dannals, Rector, Christ Church, Greenville, South Carolina
The Very Rev’d Peter Elliott, Dean, Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, British Columbia
The Rev’d Geoffrey Hoare, Rector, All Saints Church, Atlanta, Georgia
The Very Rev’d Henry Hudson, Dean, Trinity Cathedral, Little Rock, Arkansas
The Rev’d Brenda Husson, Rector, St. James Church, New York City
The Rev’d Lucinda Laird, Rector, St. Matthew’s Church, Louisville, Kentucky
The Rev’d Harold Lewis, Rector, Calvary Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Very Rev’d Tracey Lind, Dean, Trinity Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio
The Very Rev’d Sam Lloyd, Dean of the National Cathedral, Washington, DC
The Very Rev’d Bill Lupfer, Dean, Trinity Cathedral, Portland, Oregon
The Rev’d Fred Reynolds, Rector, St. Paul’s Church, Rochester, New York
The Very Rev’d Joe Reynolds, Dean, Christ Chuch Cathedral, Houston, Texas
The Rev’d Jay Sidebotham, Rector, Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest, Illinois
The Very Rev’d Spenser Simrill, Dean, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Very Rev’d Robert Taylor, Dean, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, Washington
The Rev’d Richard Tolliver, Rector, St. Edmund’s Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The Rev’d William Tully, Rector, St. Bartholomew’s Church, New York City
The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Most Reverend Andrew Hutchison
The bishops of our respective dioceses
The Very Rev’d Samuel G. Candler
The Cathedral of St. Philip
2744 Peachtree Road, NW Atlanta, Georgia USA 30305