Response Following Clergy Meeting on B012
September 7, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I met with the clergy of the Diocese of Albany on Thursday, September 6th, to discuss the recently passed General Convention Resolution B012. In order to provide a “safe setting,” enabling all the clergy to speak freely without fear of being quoted in the local newspaper, or by other clergy, the meeting was held within the context of an Executive Session. Approximately 130 clergy were able to attend.
I invited the clergy to reflect and share their thoughts regarding B012, particularly as it impacts them individually and their ministry as deacons and priests; the potential impact on their parishes; and the potential impact on the Diocese as a whole. I also asked what they would like to see from the Bishop prior to December 2nd (the first Sunday of Advent and the effective date of all General Convention Resolutions).
Overall, I found the day to be positive and helpful as I continue to discern how I, as the Bishop, will respond to B012 and lead the Diocese in the days to come. A wide variety of diverse thoughts and opinions were offered by the clergy regarding B012. All were shared in good faith.
As I mentioned in my letter of invitation to the clergy, the purpose of the meeting was NOT for me to issue a proclamation at that time on how B012 will be carried out in the Diocese of Albany, but rather for me to share with them some of my thoughts regarding B012; to clarify my understanding of what it does and doesn’t say; and to give me a chance to listen to the thoughts and concerns of the clergy.
Ultimately, as the Bishop, I will make a decision regarding my response to B012 and how it will be dealt with in the Diocese of Albany. That decision will be made thoughtfully and prayerfully and will be openly shared with the whole Diocese prior to December 2nd.
While, I know there are some who would like me to simply say today what I am going to do, it is not simply a matter of being for or against same-sex marriage. As a result of the complexity of B012, there are a multitude of implications not only for same-sex couples wishing to be married in their home parish, but also for the clergy and parishes involved; for my role and ministry as Bishop; for the Diocese of Albany and its relationship with the wider Anglican Communion and body of Christ.
Whatever decision I and or the rest of the Church make regarding B012, there will be consequences. There is no escaping that. My ultimate desire as your Bishop, is to be faithful and obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ, discerning not my will, but His will in knowing how best to lead the Diocese of Albany in such a way that He will be glorified and His Church and people be blessed. Please keep me and our Diocese in your prayers.
Faithfully Your Brother in Christ,
+William H. Love
Bishop of Albany