May 13, 2023
Commemoration of Frances Perkins, Social Reformer
As this fifth week of Easter draws toward its close, we in the Consultation give thanks for all the Standing Committees and Bishops across The Episcopal Church who are thoughtfully, prayerfully discerning whether to consent to the bishop election in the Diocese of Florida. We know this work is both challenging and time consuming, and we appreciate how these groups and individuals have been carefully taking a wide range of documentation into account, including statements from groups under our coalitional umbrella.
We continue to believe that this particular consent process has reverberations not only for the Diocese of Florida but also for the wider Church. At stake in this election, which emerged out of a documented discriminatory system, is whether we as a wider Church will hold ourselves to account to our non-discrimination canons.
We continue to acknowledge that no diocese is perfect— that, as one of our member groups recently wrote,“we are all still on a journey in this Church to overcome discrimination across many dimensions.” All of us are in need of and blessed by God’s grace.
That grace has sustained us – people and communities in and beyond the Consultation’s seven current organizational members – as we fought for our non-discrimination canons over many years, indeed, for decades. That grace has buoyed us year after year as people in positions of power have wished we would go away or suggested that it would be better – easier, less messy or unruly or challenging to their authority and/or their privilege – if groups such as ours did not exist. Yet at the end of the day, we need such groups to help the Church move forward to becoming Beloved Community. In fact, participating in the polity of our church, and making use of the ways it provides for input and discussion by all four orders of ministry and especially those groups historically on the margins, is part of the work of becoming the Beloved Community.
We stand in the light of saints whose courage helped forge our work and brought us to where we are today, including Bishop Barbara Harris, Louie Crew Clay, and the Philadelphia Eleven whose 50th ordination anniversary we will celebrate next year. We need the kind of comprehensive insight, perspective, and truthfulness that communities such as our coalitional members, as well as the LGBTQ+ Caucus, the Deputies of Color, and many more, lend to shine light on our collective path ahead. In all of our struggles, we hold together in solidarity and love.
All of us, all of us, are ultimately in this together. We pray for everyone directly and painfully impacted by this election and consent process, including all in the Diocese of Florida, and especially all who have been excluded there for so long.
We pray for grace-grounded truth-telling for the sake of healing and transformation.
We believe and know that Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Tivaun Cooper, Union of Black Episcopalians
Nell Gibson, Episcopal Urban Caucus
Harry Gunkel, Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Sarah Lawton, Episcopal Network for Economic Justice and TransEpiscopal
Adam Lees, Partners for Baptismal Living
Amy McCreath, Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission
Joe McDaniel, Union of Black Episcopalians
Eric Metoyer, Episcopal Urban Caucus
Ruth Meyers, Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission
Carolyn Mok, Episcopal Peace Fellowship
Cameron Partridge, TransEpiscopal
Diane B. Pollard, Episcopal Urban Caucus
Demi Prentiss, Partners for Baptismal Living
Paul Ricketts, Episcopal Peace Fellowship / EPF Racial Justice Group-Convener
Byron Rushing, Episcopal Network for Economic Justice
Iain Stanford, TransEpiscopal
Tieran Sweeney-Bender, Partners for Baptismal Living and TransEpiscopal
Support our mission and work? Please consider supporting the Consultation as we prepare for GC81 in 2024