This week Archbishops from around the whole world (known as the Primates) have been gathering in London to discuss current events, including the churches’ response to sexuality. Together, the conservative groups and more liberal groups prayed, hoped and talked. From the outside, it brought ME hope to see such a gathering of prayers being brought to God from good hearts with different ideas of how those prayers would be answered. Together inside and outside, we spoke, “Your kingdom come, your will be done…”
In the communique released at the end of the week (full message here), I read these statements:
“The Primates condemned homophobic prejudice and violence and resolved to work together to offer pastoral care and loving service irrespective of sexual orientation. This conviction arises out of our discipleship of Jesus Christ. The Primates reaffirmed their rejection of criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.
The Primates recognise that the Christian church and within it the Anglican Communion have often acted in a way towards people on the basis of their sexual orientation that has caused deep hurt. Where this has happened they express their profound sorrow and affirm again that God’s love for every human being is the same, regardless of their sexuality, and that the church should never by its actions give any other impression.”
It’s a step (a huge step) towards inclusion of gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered people, and sends a message of HOPE to all those who are struggling no matter their backgrounds. I admire the humility of those who have acknowledged the sorrow. I am thankful for the determination to do better. I am overjoyed to hear the Primates remind us that God’s love for every human being is the same, regardless.
Yes, there’s more to be done and said. There are still a lot of questions regarding the consequences faced by the Episcopal Church for jumping ahead with inclusion. There are a lot of unanswered questions of practice. “What is Homophobia?”, “How will the church offer pastoral care?”, “What does it look like to live out the repentance acknowledged here in words?”, “How will the church ensure that it’s actions do not suggest once again that God hates LGBTI people?”
Questions aside for a moment. Let’s give credit where credit is due: To God. To the Primates for their courage and bravery and humility. And to everyone across the world who has been praying, “Your will be done…”