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Chicago Consultation Statement on the 76th General Convention

July 17, 2009:  The Chicago Consultation released this statement from its co-convener, Ruth Meyers, at the close of the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Anaheim, California. Meyers is a deputy from the Diocese of Chicago and is the Hodges Haynes Professor of Liturgics at Church Divinity School of the Pacific:

During the past ten days, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church has worshiped, prayed, and worked to discern God’s will for our common life. Our time together has been filled with generosity, honesty, and the blessings of the Holy Spirit.

The Chicago Consultation is particularly grateful to the four Anglican primates who attended the meeting as our guests: The Most Rev. Philip Aspinall, Primate of Australia; the Most. Rev. Solomon Jongmo Yoon, Primate of Korea; the Most Rev. Idris Jones, Primus of Scotland (retired); and the Most Rev. Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, Primate of Japan. We are also thankful for the Convention’s many international visitors, guests of House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, who participated in Chicago Consultation events.

At this General Convention, we have both advanced mission relationships in the Anglican Communion and opened the way for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion to realize fully the promises of their baptism. We celebrate the progress we have made toward full inclusion of all baptized people in God’s church and pray that the Spirit will continue to bless the Episcopal Church’s mission and relationships across the Anglican Communion.

Now the work begins. Thanks to two key General Convention resolutions, D025 and C056, the Episcopal Church has a fresh opportunity to strengthen Anglican Communion relationships, deepen our understanding of the discernment process by which God calls us all to ministry, and explore together how we can enrich our common life by blessing same-gender unions.

We  pray that all Episcopalians, no matter their opinions on specific legislation or issues, will go forward from Anaheim in the spirit of our time together and use the opportunities presented by this General Convention to unite our church in a renewed commitment to Gospel mission.

The Chicago Consultation, a group of Episcopal and Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people, supports the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We believe that our baptismal covenant requires this.

The Chicago Consultation believes that, like the church’s historic discrimination against people of color and women, excluding GLBT people from the sacramental life of the church is a sin. Through study, prayer and conversation, we seek to provide clergy and laypeople across The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion with biblical and theological perspectives that will rid the church of this sin.