Thursday, March 10, 2005

Will You Listen?

From the 1978 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops, Resolution 10;

...The Church, recognising the need for pastoral concern for those who are homosexual, encourages dialogue with them.
From the 1988 Lambeth Conference, Resolution 64;

This Conference: 1. Reaffirms the statement of the Lambeth Conference of 1978 on homosexuality, recognising the continuing need in the next decade for "deep and dispassionate study of the question of homosexuality...
From the 1998 Lambeth Conference, Resolution 1.10;

...We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ...
From the Primates' Meeting, October 2003;

We also re-affirm the resolutions made by the bishops of the Anglican Communion gathered at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 on issues of human sexuality as having moral force and commanding the respect of the Communion as its present position on these issues. We commend the report of that Conference in its entirety to all members of the Anglican Communion, valuing especially its emphasis on the need “to listen to the experience of homosexual persons, and to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ”; and its acknowledgement of the need for ongoing study on questions of human sexuality.
From the Windsor Report, October 2004;

We remind all in the Communion that Lambeth Resolution 1.10 calls for an ongoing process of listening and discernment, and that Christians of good will need to be prepared to engage honestly and frankly with each other on issues relating to human sexuality.
From the Primates' Meeting, February 2005;

...we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral support and care of homosexual people. The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.
The bishops have repeatedly called us to listen and dialogue. When we debate, we are listening only for those parts that we can use to make our case. When we dialogue, we are seeking to understand the other person's experience. We don't have to agree with it. We don't pass any judgement on it. We quiet our own internal chatter and attempt to be fully present to the other person.

Are we willing to do this? Let's try.

I invite you to listen to this story; The Result. Go read it now. Read it slowly. No need to rush. I'll still be here when you come back.

Don't respond right away. Sit with those words for a few minutes. You may want to read it a second time.

What are you feeling? What are you thinking? What do you want to say to this child of God?

Why should I wish to see God better than this day?
I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then,
In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass;
I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God’s name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that others will punctually come forever and ever.

- Walt Whitman

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