Dear Diocesan Family,
The “Communique” issued on January 15th from the Anglican Primates Meeting has given rise to questions and confusion across our Diocese. We receive the Primates’ Communique with deep respect and every prayerful consideration and trust that you will do the same.
It is important not to overreact to the Communique, keeping in mind what the Primates said and what they didn’t say:
*The Primates have NOT “suspended,” “sanctioned,” “excluded,” “expelled,” “banned” or even “disciplined” The Episcopal Church. The actual terminology they used is “consequences” in response to the actions of our General Convention.
*Our Church has not been asked to “repent” or somehow “undo” what we have passed. We’ve simply been asked to back away from a very few aspects of the Communion’s work for a period of three years.
*By a unanimous vote, the Primates chose to continue to “walk together.” In spite of all of the rumors that The Episcopal Church would be “thrown out” of the Communion, the Primates instead affirmed that our Church remains a wanted and needed presence in the Anglican family.
In all the many links that our Diocese has in other Anglican Provinces on four continents, we never lose sight of the fact that we do need each other. So, whatever your own particular views are on the questions at hand, let us all pray AS ONE for healing, reconciliation, and full restoration in our inter-Anglican relationships.
The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Bishop of Virginia
The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff, Bishop Suffragan
The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick Jr., Assistant Bishop