Why Listening Matters
I think these two posts from two different TEC bishops’ Lambeth blogs speak to the importance of respectful dialogue, and of what can happen when we actually open our hearts to God and to one another, and what happens when we don’t.
When we do, from Bishop Neff Powell of Southwestern Virginia.
The Bible study group went very well as we began to discuss the matter of Gene Robinson and homosexuals in the Episcopal Church. The presenting issue for us was how this issue affects our efforts in evangelism. The African bishops said that in Muslim majority countries, openness to homosexuality made evangelism more difficult. I pointed out that in some places in our culture, especially with those under age 35, it was rather the other way around. I think, I think we heard each other.
When we don’t, from Bishop Pierre Whalon of our churches in Europe.
This got us deeply into the issue of the Sudanese statement concerning The Episcopal Church [calling for +Gene’s resignation]. As a lot of TEC dioceses have strongly supported the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, there were hurt feelings among the bishops and spouses. There is a Sudanese bishop in my Bible study, as well as three Tanzanians and three Barundis. I pointed out that while the Sudanese bishops have every right to tell us what they believe, it was done in such a way that we could not hear it, namely because they had not addressed us directly, but through releases and a press conference.
Links courtesy Episcopal Café’s The Lead.