Friendship in Christ Across an Ocean
|April 12, 2016||Posted by stchris under Uncategorized||
You might be wondering who the little stuffed animal is that has present with us since Bishop Chilton came to visit in February. This little lamb and many stuffed animals like it have traveled all the way from England as a sign of friendship between an Anglican church on the west side of London and The Episcopal Church.
Tensions between some member provinces of the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church have been in the news quite a bit lately. In January the Primates of the Anglican Communion met and one of the subjects was the Episcopal Church’s decision at the last General Convention to allow for marriage equality. The Primates voted, by a significant margin, to sanction the Episcopal Church for a period of three years. This would mean that, according to the Primates communique, the Episcopal Church would, “no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”
There is so much more happening in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican communion than battles over human sexuality. Members of St. Laurence, Cowley wanted to reach out in friendship and love to congregations in the Episcopal Church. They began the Friendship Bear project on the day the Primates communique was released. Thanks to Jean Kennedy paying attention to Anglican Communion news and taking the initiative to answer the invitation to receive a bear (or in our case, a lamb), St. Christopher’s was among the first to receive a token of friendship. They recognized that many members of the Episcopal Church, “clearly value the Anglican Communion and the historic link with the Church of England. Here in the Church of England, many members value the Episcopal Church for its dynamic commitment to the Gospel and social justice.”
We received our little lamb in February just before Bishop Chilton Knudsen made her visit. The curly fleeced stuffed animal has been present at every worship service since and appears in many photographs. The note attached reads, “This lamb loves Harry Potter, marmite, ginger nut biscuits, Prince Harry, and lovely green vegetables.” We are grateful for the sign of friendship and hold St. Laurence in prayer, especially their vicar, Fr. Steven, who has been ill lately.