133 Bishops Walk into a Retreat Center...
Did you know that (almost) all the bishops of the Episcopal Church met last week? There was a House of Bishops meeting at Camp Allen in Texas. It was their first in-person meeting since COVID-19 first hit!
(By the way: the name “House of Bishops” is less like Game of Thrones’ House Lannister and more like the U.S. Congress’ House of Representatives.)
Our bishops meet twice a year as the House of Bishops to pray, share resources and information, and discuss important topics. This year, they released two pastoral statements about timely issues.
Here in Connecticut, Bishop Ian and Bishop Laura sent these statements to the leadership this week. Ideally, clergy and lay leaders are supposed to disseminate these within our parishes.
(Fun fact about the Episcopal Church in Connecticut: the Dean of our cathedral, the Very Rev. Miguelina Howell, is one of the chaplains to the House of Bishops!)
Statement on Ukraine
The first a statement about the conflict in Ukraine, including a statement of the bishops’ prayers. Click to download it:
Resolution on Gender Identity
The second is a resolution of support for transgender and non-binary people and their families. The bishops urge everyone in the Episcopal Church “to create safe spaces and shield all people form harassment based on gender identity.”
Flying the Pride flag, as we decided to do year-round, is only a first step toward creating such spaces. As we head toward Southington Pride’s second annual celebration, I urge you to really think about how we, as a St. Paul’s community, will take up the bishops on their urgent request.
This second resolution is much shorter, so I’ll include the whole text here, as well as the link to download the official statement.
Resolution adopted by the House of Bishops:
In light of the baptismal covenant’s promise to see Christ in all persons, and the recent and any actions by elected officials in Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, Florida, Arkansas, Ohio, North Dakota, Mississippi, South Dakota, Nebraska, Indiana, South Carolina and any other states, municipalities, and school districts targeting transgender children and their families, we, the Bishops of The Episcopal Church gathered at Camp Allen, Texas, in March 2022, voice our love and continued support for all persons who identify as transgender or non-binary and their families. We decry legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting trans children and their families. We urge all in our Church to create safe spaces and shield all people from harassment based on gender identity.