TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
When something seems too good to be true, sometimes that’s exactly what it is—too good to be true. Such has been the case with our appeal to the senior bishop of our ecclesiastical province for Shared Episcopal Ministry. The appeal was intended to provide us with a bishop who would be willing to oversee our offering of same-sex blessings here at St. Stephen’s even while our own diocesan bishop has denied us that right.
Initially we were delighted by Bishop Phillip’s response, which not only accepted our appeal but also offered himself as the bishop with whom we could work … and all with the agreement of our bishop and archbishop Greg Kerr-Wilson. But it turns out that Bishop Phillip’s letter to us constituted a major miscommunication wherein what he said and what he intended were quite different things.
What he said was that he was contacting us to “to begin the process”, while also agreeing “to serve as the SEM bishop for St. Stephen’s”, to which our bishop had already agreed. What he meant was that, while he would not support us doing anything against the will of our bishop, he would willingly “walk with us” in our quest to do same-sex blessings … someday.
So your rector and wardens regret having to correct the impression they shared with you about our being granted a way forward on this issue. However, they believe that the SEM protocol still has relevance and significance, along with other options being considered.