“Bearing with One Another in Love,” a petition that urges a non-litigious resolution of tensions within the Diocese of South Carolina, has attracted support from Episcopalians and Anglicans in 27 states (including South Carolina), Canada, and England.
The petition also urges the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to “seek, alongside other leaders of our Church, a new application of the discipline of this Church that will build up the body of Christ in South Carolina and the Episcopal Church, mindful of our call in Christ to ‘be patient, bearing with one another in love.’”
The petition has drawn support across diocesan boundaries, including from several well-known leaders and bloggers:
- The Rev. Tony Clavier, vicar at St. Bartholomew’s, Granite City, and St. Thomas’s, Glen Carbon, Illinois
- The Rev. Tobias Stanislas Haller, BSG, rector, St. James Church Fordham, Bronx, New York
- The Rev. Robert Hendrickson, curate, Christ Church, New Haven, Connecticut, and director of St. Hilda’s House
- The Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Louis
- The Rev. Jonathan A. Mitchican, rector, Church of the Holy Comforter, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
- The Rev. Yejide Peters, rector, All Saints’ Church, Briarcliff Manor, New York.
- The Rev. Ephraim Radner, Wycliffe Hall, Toronto
- Charles Wingate, Maryland
- The Rev. Jesse Zink, United Kingdom
The petition has a goal of 1,000 supporters, and stood at nearly 9 percent of that goal on the afternoon of Jan. 8.
The petition reads, in full:
We, the undersigned seminarians, clergy and lay members of the Episcopal Church, hold a variety of views which are often in direct conflict with each other concerning the theological issues confronting the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. But we have been joined together through baptism into “God’s family the Church” as “Christ’s body” (BCP, 858), and we lament the sad divisions that have arisen among us.
As such, in light of the recent escalation of litigious dispute between factions within our Church, we stand united in our plea that the case involving the withdrawal of the Diocese of South Carolina be settled without recourse to civil litigation (1 Cor. 6:1-11), lest our rivalries become a stumbling block and impede the ministry of reconciliation that our Lord has given to us (2 Cor. 5:17-20).
We furthermore implore the House of Bishops — as guardians of our faith and common life — to take counsel with one another as a body; to seek, alongside other leaders of our Church, a new application of the discipline of this Church that will build up the body of Christ in South Carolina and The Episcopal Church, mindful of our call in Christ to “be patient, bearing with one another in love”; and finally, to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:2-3).
Above all, we commit ourselves to prayer for the unity of the Church:
Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one: Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.