The Episcopal Church has been sanctioned by the greater Anglican Communion, a loose connection of churches all historically founded by missionaries from the Church of England, due in large part because of their tolerance of LGBTQ Christians, and their election of openly gay bishops. From the article in the Washington Post (below) it sounds like some attempt at compromise was made between the conservative members in the Anglican Communion (largely in the Global South) and the liberal members in Europe and North America. But it’s a compromise that pleases no one, because while compromise is an important value, it is difficult to compromise at the expense of people who have for so long been marginalized, attacked, and excluded (and remain so to some degree — same-sex marriage is not condoned even by the Episcopal Church, only blessings on same-sex unions). There are times when compromise is simply not enough.
The Episcopal Church faces hard times ahead, and I hope you will join me in praying for them as they continue down a road of love and full inclusion. This, I think, is what Christ meant when he said he would not bring peace, but the sword. Yet as they lose allies, they gain them too, among those who believe that God’s love is open to all people, no matter who you are.
And, as Episcopalian communications consultant Jim Naughton points out in the article: “The sanctions against the Episcopal Church are trifling compared to what LGBT Christians suffer, and we shouldn’t be whining about the nature of the sanctions,” he said.”
All churches should keep that sense of perspective in the coming years.