Thursday, December 21, 2006

Proud he's our Bishop

Bishop Don Wimberly, Diocesean Bishop of Texas, just issued the following statement to his flock regarding current events in Virginia. His words make me proud that he's our Bishop and give me hope that we may survive the current upheval within our denomination.

A Statement on the Diocese of Virginia:

The decision of several congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to withdraw from the Episcopal Church has highlighted once again the current challenges faced by the Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion. According to the Anglican Communion Office in London, the Archbishop ofCanterbury has not granted these congregations "any official status within the communion's structures, nor has the Archbishop indicated any support for its establishment."

"I am saddened that Bishop Peter Lee and the leaders in these Virginia congregations could no longer continue together as one church," said the Rt.Rev. Don Wimberly, Bishop of Texas. Acknowledging the pain experienced by all those involved, he added, "I know that Bishop Lee has reached out to these congregations in ways that most bishops would not. I believe he has provided every opportunity to pastorally deal with the current crisis in their diocese."

Bishop Wimberly emphasized his vision for unity within the 158 congregations in the Diocese of Texas. "I give thanks for the sense of being One Church,"he said. "I take the sacred trust given to me as Bishop of the Diocese of Texas to heart, and it is with this trust that I lead all of our congregations forward in mission and ministry.

"The vision of One Church is focused on those to whom the Gospel of Christ is Good News. We endeavor to move forward as One Church, united beyond division," he said.

In previous statements to Diocesan Council and elsewhere, Bishop Wimberly has said he intends the diocese to remain a member of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

In a statement to the clergy and members of the diocese, Bishop Wimberly said, "It is Advent. It is only a short while now before we celebrate the second most holy day of the Christian year. Let us with expectation raise our eyes and voices above the clamor of our time to join with the heavenly chorus that proclaims God in Christ Jesus as our savior. Let us with joy meet our Lord who is Emmanuel, God with us, our deliverer and our hope."


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