Scottish Bishop Backs TEC

You all know what I think about most British bishops. But there is one who, since I met him a few years back, I have had a lot of respect for. He is Bishop Mark Strange of of Moray, Ross and Caithness. He seemed like a good bloke and he has never done anything to make me think otherwise. Today my reckless admiration for one of the bosses has been proved warranted beyond any doubt. This is a letter to his people posted today on his diocesan website:

I am very conscious of the footsteps that I walk in. Every time I enter the cathedral I am aware of the picture that hangs at the rear of the nave. It depicts Samuel Seabury, the first Bishop for the newly independent American states being consecrated by Arthur Petrie, Bishop of Moray and his two colleagues. I am very aware of that history and I have always considered the Episcopal Church in America as our closest family, sharing a strong common history in our prayer and worship.

I am also very aware that the inclusion of both ourselves and the Episcopal Church in America into the Anglican Communion moved the Communion into a new place. For the first time the churches that came together were not daughters of Canterbury but independent churches connected by fraternity and bonds of friendship. I am clear that this membership was not to do with rules and regulations but by a mutual respect, liturgy, scripture, tradition and the orders of Bishop, Priest and Deacon.

Now I am confronted by a different situation, a Church which has followed its own accepted processes to bring about a change in its Canons, a change which it believes is done in response to the love revealed to us all by Jesus Christ. This Church has been reprimanded by those who see things differently. In the drive for unity in the Anglican Communion we risk removing our diversity and our ability to respond to the particular needs of mission in our own communities, the ability to hear the voice of God in our own situations.

Where do I stand? I stand with those who seek to reveal the love of God to all of God’s children and at this moment I hear that in the voice of The Episcopal Church in America, as its Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has said “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the Church today: All who have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

I support that commitment.

Comments

Scottish Bishop Backs TEC — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you, Jonathan and Bishop Strange. As an American Cradle Piskie of adopted heritage, I honor deeply the commitment the Scottish Anglican Church made to the birth of the American Episcopal Church. My father was an Episcopal priest and I was adopted about age 15 months . I have inherited Scottish heritage on both sides of my adopted parents and I feel privilaged to be part of 2 Scottish clans – both of which accept anyone as a member whether they are native, blood Scottish or not. I find it a loving privilege to be part of the Scottish community both as an adopted Scottish relative and as an American Episcopalian. We owe our very existance to you, and this support for our acceptance of ALL of our Heavenly Father God’s creation brings tears to my eyes. Thank you. I hold you all in my prayers in thanksgiving. Blessings, alice gray, Port Orchard, Washington State, U.S.A.

    • Don’t go praising them Scots too much, Alice. They are unbearably patriotic as it is 🙂

  2. “Bishop Mark Strange of of Moray, Ross and Caithness”

    So, could the admiration be mutual, MP? Is he hiring? {{{hugs}}}

    Thanks to all TEC’s fur’ner friends. To this (alleged! good enough for my dad’s kilt) descendant of Clan Douglas, the Scots seem less fur’in than most!

    • I did go after a post in his diocese a few years ago. We got on okay and I very nearly got the job. Unfortunately, the bloke who did get it was a lot more charismatic than me. I have to admit that time has proven the wisdom of the parish’s decision. I asked Bishop Mark to keep me in mond but as he never did get in touch I assume he was just being polite and that I was not really what he was looking for.