Meeting Gene Robinson

The Bishop of New Hampshire reports on his meeting with other bishops from around the Anglican Communion this past Wednesday evening. Bishops from six continents were in attendance, many having been personally invited by bishops from the Episcopal Church.

According to Bishop Robinson’s account of his conversation with the bishops:

“[…]Many more were deeply interested, and deeply committed to the listening process called for by the last three Lambeth Conferences. Some were cautious, anxious (it seemed) and taking quite a risk (from their peers) to be there — a remarkable and holy risk-taking on their parts. I was deeply moved by their willingess to attend and listen. This was my first opportunity to meet my foreign counterparts, and of course like my brother and sister American bishops, found this to be a wonderful, sobering and thoughtful experience.

After a presentation by some of our bishops about the polity and practice of electing bishops in our Province, and an introduction of me (via DVD) by laity and clergy of New Hampshire, I spoke. I told them that the one goal I had was that they might recognize the God I know and witness to in my life as the same God they know in their lives. I believe that happened.

During the question and answer conversation, several wanted to express their support, and did so movingly and sincerely, some through a translator. Both bishops and spouses contributed. Others asked good questions and listened intently to my answers. I could not have asked for a more respectful hearing. Comments made during and after the presentation revealed a deep yearning to heal this current divide — theologically, culturally and ecclesially. The longing for Communion seemed palpable to me. Those who would prematurely announce the demise of the Anglican Communion obviously haven’t talked to these folks!

One telling comment, from one of those who had chosen to accept a brother bishop’s invitation despite his misgivings, was moved to lament how easy it is to believe what one reads and hears about a fellow Christian, and to find in meeting him that that impression was distorted. He comes from a country torn by internal strife and with more than enough problems of its own, yet found time in his schedule to participate in this effort at reconciliation. Profoundly moving.”

Read the full article here.

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