President Ford on schism and the Great Commandment

An excerpt from the Rev. Robert Certain’s sermon at today’s funeral for former President Gerald R. Ford.:

Gerald Ford was a Christian man, a man who lived his life in accordance with the virtues of the Beatitudes. For us, he will continue to serve as an example of how to live as a man of faith, a man of the nation, a man for the world.

Early this past summer, as I prepared to leave for the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, President Ford’s concern was for the church he loved. He asked me if we would face schism. After we discussed the various issues we would consider, particularly concerns about human sexuality and the leadership of women, he said he did not think they should be divisive for anyone who lived by the Great Commandments to love God and neighbor. He then asked me to work for reconciliation within the Church. I assured him I would, just as he had worked for reconciliation within the nation thirty years ago.

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