The Anglican Communion listens

The last Lambeth meeting encouraged all the Provinces of the Communion to create forums for listening to the experience of LBTG christians who are seeking Christ within the congregations of the Anglican church.

The Anglican Communion Office has created called the Rev. Canon Phil Groves to serve as the facilitator of these programs around the church.

The Episcopal News Service has a long article that reports on his experience here in the Episcopal Church in America and some of his experiences in other parts of the Communion:

“Anglicans whom Groves has recruited from throughout the communion will facilitate the compilation of each section of the guide. It is expected that the bishops at Lambeth will use the study guide for reflection and will then ‘go away and contemplate in their own place and with their own people’ to discern the course of their future engagement, he said.

The collection of material gathered for the study guide and the accumulation of the provinces’ work on human sexuality ‘is going to have to be on paper,’ Groves said, because in some instances that is the only way some voices from some provinces will be heard. The guide will be backed up by a larger collection on CD-ROM.

Lyn Headley-Deavours, justice minister for the Diocese of Newark, urged Groves to ensure that the process quickly involves people across the communion actually listening to each other. The Rev. Dr. Cy Deavours, co-director of the Oasis LGBT ministry in the Diocese of New Jersey, told Groves he’d like some assurance that the listening will actually happen.”

Groves goes on to discuss his role with in the process:

“If I am perceived as being on any side, I am worthless to you and the entire Communion,” Groves said. He also characterized the process as “mutual listening” that will hear from as many voices as possible, including some “that you believe have caused intense damage.”

The hoped-for long-term result of the Listening Process, he said, is that with the inclusion of as many voices as possible, “we will know the gospel better.” He asked the Integrity-organized group to support the process by contributing papers and other resources by mid-August of this year.

Read the rest here.

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