Masthead

volume 2008-2

Issue date 2008 12 31

INTEGRATOR, the newsletter of Integrity in Canada
copyright 2008 Integrity/Toronto.
The hard-copy version of this newsletter carries the ISSN 0843-574X

Integrity/Toronto Box 873 Stn F Toronto ON Canada M4Y 2N9



== Contents ==

[2008-2-1]
Integrity's Witness at Lambeth

[2008-2-2]
A Curate's Egg
By Chris Ambidge

[2008-2-3]
Listening
[Africans at Lambeth]
By Patti Brace

[2008-2-4]
Dancing!
By Chris Ambidge

[2008-2-5]
Canada's House of Bishops, after the Lambeth Party
By Steve Schuh

[2008-2-6]
Breaking the Logjam
By Ron Chaplin

[2008-2-7]
Blessings Around the Dioceses
By Patti Brace

[2008-2-8] Adam and Steve?
By Patti Brace

[2008-2-9] John Gartshore 1926 - 2008
By Chris Ambidge

[2008-2-x] LGBT Anglicans Recommit to Mutual Support and Global Mission
[Not in print edition]

[2008-2-y] The Inclusive Church/Integrity/Changing Attitude Eucharist at Lambeth 2008
[Photos not in print edition]


Yes, it has been a long time since the last issue of Integrator, for which we apologise. This issue covers the Lambeth Conference, of over 600 Anglican bishops from around the world in July 2008, and events in Canada since then. A large number of Integrity friends and family very generously supported Integrity's witness in Canterbury, both in prayer and financially. To you we say a heart-felt Thank You.



Articles on Lambeth in this issue
are marked with the Conference logo.


Table of Contents

[2008-2-1]


Integrity's Witness at Lambeth

Five members of Integrity Canada were on the 'fringe' of the historic Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops from in Canterbury, from 18 July to 3 August, as part of the international witness of gay and lesbian Christians to those gathered for the once-a-decade event.


Integrity's Canadians in Canterbury: Bob Webster (Winnipeg), Steve Schuh (Vancouver), Ron Chaplin (Ottawa), Neil Fernyhough (Sechelt BC), Chris Ambidge (Toronto). [credit: Cameron Partridge]

Integrity Canada worked with a network of about a dozen LGBT organizations, including Integrity USA and Uganda, Changing Attitude UK and Nigeria, Other Sheep East Africa, and Courage and Inclusive Church in the UK.

In addition to their "ministry of conversation and presence" on the Lambeth campus - much like Integrity's work at diocesan and national synods across Canada - Integrity members supported the daily Lambeth Witness newsletter and a full schedule of public activities, including the daily Bible study, afternoon lecture, and evening outreach events.


Neil, in St Martin's Church, the world's oldest Anglican parish

The Integrity Canada staff at Lambeth posted their journal in an online blog Canadians in Canterbury as a way of sharing the experience with friends and family at home

Gleaned from that journal, here are a few snapshots in words and pictures of Integrity Canada's witness at Lambeth 2008

    
[Left:]Chris and Bishop Terry Brown, at the Inclusive Church display
[Right:]Chris and Bob with Bishop Barry Clarke of Montreal

    
[Left:]Steve and Bishop Dennis Drainville, co-adjutor bishop of Quebec
[Right:]Steve and Bishop Rod Andrews of Saskatoon - proud of being CANADIAN

    
[Left:]Ron and Bishop Terry Brown of Malaita
[Right:]Ron and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori


Integrity Montreal chaplain Joyce Sanchez was also at Lambeth, staffing the Anglican Women's Network display.


Class Photo" of most of the Lambeth staff from the LGBT groups [credit: Cynthia Black]


Table of Contents


A Curate's Egg


by Chris Ambidge

How to react to Lambeth? My first report back was "the good news is, there's no horrible news". That is, there was no equivalent to the infamous Resolution I.10 from the 1998 conference, condemning same-sex relationships, which has been used as another clobber text against LGBT Anglicans, almost as much as the Sodom story. For that, I'm grateful.

Katie Sherrod, of Integrity USA, pointed out that there were two Lambeths, one of communal relationship-building, and the other more hard-edged, of imposed covenants and rules.

The purpose of the Conference was to bring bishops together to see how others fulfil the same ministry; to consult and to pray. Better bishops for a better church - no arguments there, and I'm sure that that kind of web-building happened. It wasn't just for the purple-shirts: there were almost twice as many people again involved - staff, spouses, consultants, and hangers-on in the Marketplace, like us. All of those people met and interacted, shared parts of their journey, and that can only be good. The reports of the Indaba groups, where the bishops met and talked for hours, were uniformly good. Bishops agreed that the Indaba process should continue - in a very Anglican way, saying the conversations would continue even though there were disagreements. All this built up the church, just as Paul instructs us to do.

On the other hand, there was the movement (springing from the Windsor Report) focused on institutional preservation, on coming up with structural solutions to current problems. All of which, in the sight of conference officials, are almost totally the fault of the Episcopal Church and, to a lesser degree, that of the Anglican Church of Canada, with the main issue being that of human sexuality, specifically homosexuality

So, it was a curate's egg: parts of the conference were excellent, none of it was awful, some was unfortunate.


+ + + +


Chris Ambidge
was one of five Integrity Canada people at Lambeth.


Table of Contents

[2008-2-3]


Listening

by Patti Brace

While it is not exactly newsworthy to announce that many churches in the Anglican communion have not yet engaged in the listening process called for by the Windsor Report, and are rather less than willing to do so, the "African Voices" sessions at Lambeth, reported by our intrepid Integrity correspondents, presented ample evidence for why it is needed. On one side of the conversation sit those who would argue that listening is not necessary because there are no LGBT people in Africa. On the other side are those, like Davis Mac-Iyalla, a gay activist from Nigeria, who speak a different truth. Indeed, some of the gay and lesbian Africans danced this truth to drums, with a couple hundred people attending and participating. This event preceded a procession inside to hear the stories of six men and women, including Davis Mac-Iyalla, who pointed out that in his native language, Kalabari, there are words for gays and lesbians. These are not Western imports, but pre-date contact with Europeans.

Rose Ngeri, a lesbian from Nigeria, read these words:

The Lambeth Conference is, to me, a place where you meet Bishops and people from all walks of life to share different views about lots of things we see and hear.

I gather that LGB T are welcomed in the House of God by some people... yet, denied the right of place in the same House of God by others.

Please, our African spiritual fathers, let us have a place in our churches. Remember, we were born of your fathers, mothers, sisters, aunties, cousins and nieces.

Our mothers did not ask for this group of children. Rather it is the content of the man deposited in the woman that came out the same way it is made by God.

African leaders keep passing laws against LGBT. Please, if I may ask, what crime have we committed?

Mothers, will you fold your arms and let your children die through torture? Why can't you ask them what crime your children have committed before they kill more of your children?

How long should we keep quiet about issues like this?

Which way Africa?


Rose Ngeri at Lambeth 2008.
Photo credit: Ron Chaplin.


May our answer to our African sisters and brothers be that we are listening.


+ + + +


Dr PATTI BRACE
followed the Lambeth events from her home in Sudbury.


Table of Contents

[2008-2-4]


Dancing!

by Chris Ambidge

There are more ways to get a message across than with words. One afternoon at Lambeth, the African LGBT people gathered on one of the lawns at the University of Kent and drummed and danced, just to announce their presence.

    
[Left:]The Drummers
[Right:]Mai and Queen dancing.

Somehow I ended up as part of the background - Ron Chaplin and I were asked last-minute to hold up a large rainbow flag as backdrop for the dancers, and so I had an excellent view of the audience. As soon as the drums started, people paused, and many stayed to watch, for a while, or for the whole time of dancing. Here were people, clearly African, in their native clothing, dancing, happy and enjoying life. The rest of the backdrop was a banner - WE'RE HERE! - Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender ANGLICANS . And there they were, large as life and twice as natural, giving the lie to the fable that "there are no homosexuals in Africa, and certainly not any Anglican ones".


The dancers - Mai, Davis, Rose and Queen
(with Ron, Cameron and Chris holding the flag behind)
photo credit for our dancing photos: Joyce Sanchez

Some of the audience got rather big-eyed and frozen-faced, and walked on quickly, disapproving the while. Many more watched and enjoyed, some swaying to the drumbeat, for at least part of the time. A good two hundred people saw this dancing witness, which was more subtle and probably more effective for being unspoken.


+ + + +


Chris Ambidge
rarely blends into the background.


Table of Contents

[2008-2-5]

Canada's House of Bishops,
after the Lambeth Party

by Steve Schuh

The Archbishop of Canterbury claimed that the Anglican bishops who attended last summer's Lambeth Conference had come to a "consensus" on the issue of a moratorium on same-sex blessings. It seems, however, that Canadian bishops left the event with a far more nuanced understanding of where the Canadian Church stands post-Lambeth 2008.

Following its first meeting as a House since Lambeth, the Canadian bishops avoided a "mind of the House" report typical of many past meetings and instead acknowledged their plain differences in a statement released October 31.

While accentuating the many issues on which they agree, the House also stated that a "large majority" of bishops continued to be committed - "to the greatest extent possible" - to the House's three moratoria, including that on blessing same-sex couples, which is now in its fourth year. This majority will uphold the status quo until General Synod's next meeting in 2010.

The House's statement was unclear, however, about what the minority of bishops intended to do, although this became clearer following the meeting. The statement also allowed that even some of those who will maintain the moratoria might not do so in full.

Anglican Journal quoted Archbishop Hiltz after the meeting as describing it as "a very honest statement from the point of view that it clearly reflects the reality of the Canadian church", which is to say that there is no consensus among Canadian bishops on a moratorium.

This difference of opinion was expected, however, for as the statement also admitted, "some dioceses have not yet engaged in the listening and discernment process", while others have been discussing the issue for years, even decades.

In a show of unanimity, therefore, the House of Bishops as a group affirmed "a commitment to establishing diocesan commissions to discuss the matter of same-sex blessings in preparation for conversations at General Synod 2010."

The parameters of the work and content of such diocesan commissions was left undefined, but for many Canadian bishops, this may be their first attempt to make good on the Lambeth 1998 promise to listen to the life and faith experience of lesbian and gay people.

Integrity's many members and friends across the county stand ready to help Canadian bishops fulfill this promise, at long last. It was already two years ago that the House of Bishops warned - in reference to General Synod but equally applicable to themselves - that "further inaction or the perception of stalling may result in widespread disobedience in many parts of our province."


+ + + +


Steve Schuh
is President of Integrity Vancouver.


Table of Contents

[2008-2-6]

Breaking the Logjam

by Ron Chaplin

"At this juncture I believe some are being called to speak with a prophetic voice, challenging long-held assumptions, unseating prejudices, and advocating on behalf of those whose circumstances do not permit them to advocate for themselves."

These were the words spoken by Ottawa Bishop John Chapman at the opening Eucharist of diocesan Synod on the evening of 23 October. The following morning, Montreal Bishop Barry Clarke spoke the exact same words in his charge to Synod.

Both made bold statements intended at ending the stalemate within the Canadian House of Bishops regarding the blessing of same-sex marriages. At the fall meeting of the House of Bishops, they were to make their case. Both were to call on their appropriate diocesan bodies to develop a blessing rite. Bishop Clarke called on them to also recommend a process whereby parishes could be authorized to offer such blessings, while Bishop Chapman said he would designate one particular parish to do so.

I was a member of Ottawa synod. Many parishes are vying for this opportunity.

The following week, the House of Bishops met in Niagara Falls. It was, by all accounts, a testy meeting. A statement regarding the moratoria requested by the Archbishop of Canterbury was drafted and redrafted, apparently more than 20 times, to state the following:

"… a large majority of the House can affirm the following: A continued commitment to the greatest extent possible to the three moratoria - on the blessing of same-sex unions, on the ordination to the episcopate of people in same-sex relationships and on cross-border interventions - until General Synod 2010. …"

It was not immediately clear just what the words a large majority or to the greatest extent possible might mean. It remains ambiguous, but is becoming clearer.

On 4 November, Bishop Clarke issued a pastoral statement which stated that, "in this diocese, at this time, the moratorium on the blessing of same-sex unions is still in place." He did not, however, retract any commitment to the development of a rite or process.

Two days later, Niagara Bishop Michael Bird, on the eve of their diocesan synod, issued a statement signaling his intent "to ask for a rite to be developed for the blessing of same sex couples who have been civilly married, along with a process to enable these blessings to take place… "

Clearly, while there may have been a "large majority" at the House of Bishops who supported continuing the moratoria, there was no consensus. Bishop Bird made this clear when he responded publicly to the statement of the House of Bishops with these words: "I do not believe that this statement honours the faithfulness that the Diocese of Niagara has brought to this particular issue. I do not believe it honours the faithfulness we have offered to the Anglican Church of Canada. I do not believe that it honours God's Mission for the Diocese of Niagara as we have discerned it."

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, in an interview with the Anglican Journal acknowledged these differences among the bishops. He described the statement issued by the House of Bishops as "very honest… from the point of view that it clearly reflects the reality of the Canadian church… that there are some within the House who would not stand with the majority."

In his Charge, Ottawa Bishop Chapman made eminently clear the intent of his proposal. It was to continue the discernment process. He cited previous disagreements within the Church on the matters of divorce, slavery and usury, and stressed that the Church had "not been able to come to a clear mind regarding the benefits of the ordination of women to the priesthood until the Church experienced the priestly ministry of women." And so it is with the issue of same-sex marriages - "in order to further the discernment process, we must 'experience' the issue as church before clarity of heart and mind might be attained."

And so the efforts of these three dioceses is to be "experiential", a means of witnessing what so many of us have been testifying for years, and years, and years.

As I sat in the pews with my friends at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa as Bishop Chapman was reading his charge, we all shared the same reaction. We dared not look at each other for fear of dissolving in tears. Finally, maybe, there might be a way out of this quagmire.


+ + + +


Ron Chaplin
is a member of Ottawa diocesan synod.


Table of Contents

[2008-2-7]

Blessings Around the Dioceses

by Patti Brace

Since the Lambeth request for moratoria on both same-sex blessings and cross-border incursions, moves toward both have continued apace. Encouragingly, however, several more Canadian dioceses have made statements affirming the place of lgbt Anglicans in the church and seeking to move forward with the blessing of same-sex unions.

Most recently, the diocese of Rupert's Land passed with an 86% majority a resolution that included the following clauses: 1) that gay and lesbian persons in our society should continue to receive full protection under the law with respect to the fundamental principles of equity and justice; 2) that gay and lesbian civil unions be fully supported by the Church; 3) that committed gay Christian relationships receive the maximum recognition, ministry, and support this Diocese can provide compatible with our desire to remain a part of the Anglican communion. A further resolution addressed the issue of blessing same-sex unions once an "enabling doctrinal resolution" is passed by General Synod. This latter passed with a majority of 57%.

In October, the assembly of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (British Columbia) passed, with a 72% majority, a motion asking its bishop, Gordon Light, to allow clergy to bless the unions of civilly-married lesbian and gay couples, in which at least one party is baptized. Bishop Light concurred with the motion, but deferred action until after the meeting of the house of bishops at the end of the month.

Last May, the diocese of Huron joined Niagara, Montreal, and Ottawa with a motion asking Bishop Bruce Howe to permit clergy to bless same-sex unions. Bishop Howe concurred with the 72% majority, but also indicated his intention to consult with other Canadian bishops. Bishop Howe has since retired: his successor, Bp Robert Bennett, has not yet acted.

Many dioceses have not held votes on this matter, votes in some dioceses, for example Saskatoon, have failed, and in some dioceses, like Ontario, votes on same sex unions have not been permitted on the grounds of being "ultra vires" (beyond the legal competence of the diocesan synod to decide). However, seven Canadian dioceses representing all of the ecclesiastical provinces are now at various stages in the process of welcoming gay and lesbian Anglicans to full participation in the sacraments. This is good news.


+ + + +


Dr PATTI BRACE
teaches English at Laurentian University.
She has staffed many Integrity synod displays


Table of Contents

[2008-2-8]

Adam and Steve?

by Patti Brace

While members of Integrity Canada attending Lambeth in August kept watch over their flocks by night, or rather their exhibit by day, they maintained a blog in order to keep the rest of us apprised of the goings-on. One of the entries that caught both my eye and imagination detailed an intriguing feature of the church of St. Stephen's, Hackington, where an "Alongside at Lambeth" programme ran during the exhibitors' off-hours.

The rector of the parish pointed out, in our faithful blogger's words, "with great glee" a funerary tablet on the north wall of the sanctuary. The text is highly conventional, detailing the location, on the south side of the chancel, of the remains of "Mr. William Bunce of Camberwell, Surrey, son of the Revd John Bunce, formerly vicar of this parish for more than half a century" and of "Mr. William Carter also of Camberwell, and a native of the city of Lichfield." This information is followed, unremarkably, by their dates of death and ages, 76 and 83, respectively. What is remarkable, however, is the inscription that follows: "they had lived in a course of uninterrupted friendship for sixty years, and in the grave they are not divided." Yes, a same-sex couple of remarkable longevity was not only buried together, but acknowledged, in an English parish church… getting together in 1776, and commemorated in 1836. Might this not count as "tradition"?

Table of Contents



[2008-2-9]

John Gartshore 1926 - 2008



John Gartshore, taken in 1992

By Chris Ambidge

One of Integrity's pioneers is now in the closer presence of God. John Gartshore, one of the six founders of Integrity in Canada, died 13 September 2008, full of years.

John had celebrated his 82nd birthday, with friends and an ice-cream cake, on Labour Day, and then the next Sunday, for the first time in several months, managed to get to church, as had been his weekly wont before his health kept him abed most of the time.

John was one of six people from Toronto who (independently of each other) went to Integrity's founding convention in Chicago in 1975. There, in the parish hall of St James Cathedral Chicago, the six of them decided to form a chapter of Integrity in Toronto, the first in Canada. John filled many leadership roles with the Toronto chapter over the years. That seed, planted by six people in Chicago, has grown to eleven chapters across four time-zones in Canada.

John was a pioneer in gay circles in Toronto. He marched in Gay Pride parades when they were still on the sidewalk rather than in the middle of the roadway; and when participants were worried about possibly being seen on TV and losing their employment. Besides being active in Integrity for the last 33 years, John worked with such groups as the Toronto AIDS drop-in, and the Right To Privacy Committee, which formed after the Operation Soap bath-house raids in 1981. For many years after he retired from paid employment, he was a volunteer chaplain at the Old City Hall courthouse.

John spent many years working to open doors for all sorts and conditions of folk, but that wasn't always his position. He was initially opposed to the ordination of women, and would go to the back of Trinity College Chapel during communion if a woman was presiding, feeling, as he himself said, quite self-righteous. On one of those sojourns at the back, he heard a voice very clearly in his ear: "Just what do you think I'm doing up there? Do you think I'm laughing up my sleeve at the people the people taking communion, saying 'ha-ha, you think I've consecrated that, but I haven't'? Don't be ridiculous - of course I'm there, I'm with any of my children who call on my name. Just as I'm back here with you." It was a crystallising moment for John, and thereafter he was an emphatic activist for inclusion of all sorts.

John was part of the Integrity team at six General Synods, and many more diocesan synods. Integrity would not be where we are today without his talking to just about anyone in the church about the position of gays and lesbians in the church. After years of schmoozing in the corridors around the synods, he is now singing God's praises in a better place. He never lost sight of the love of God, or lost the urge to open the church doors wide.


+ + + +


Chris Ambidge
first met John Gartshore in 1985.


Table of Contents

[2008-2-x]
Not in the print edition because of space limitations.

LGBT Anglicans Recommit
to Mutual Support and Global Mission

Leaders of seven lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Anglican organizations met as the Lambeth Conference drew to a close.

We recommitted ourselves to the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life and ministry of the churches of the Anglican Communion.

We promised to redouble our efforts to work for the human rights of LGBT people around the world that they might live free of violence and discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We resolved to develop and distribute additional educational resources for church leaders and civil authorities related to theology and sexuality issues.

We pledged to continue promoting and supporting the Anglican Communion Listening Process.

We recommitted ourselves to supporting each other's intra-provincial work and to helping our LGBT Anglican sisters and brothers around the world develop ministries of support and witness.

We agreed to form an umbrella organization named Inclusive Communion to facilitate our cooperative efforts.

We planned to convene a worldwide summit of LGBT Anglicans in the near future to build on the cooperative ministry and witness begun during this Lambeth Conference.

We invite other LGBT Anglican organizations to join us in this mission and to affiliate with Inclusive Communion by sending an email message to add@inclusivecommunion.net

Signed by:

Changing Attitude Nigeria: Davis Mac-Iyalla
Changing Attitude: Colin Coward and Max Manin
Claiming the Blessing: Cynthia Black
Integrity Canada: Steve Schuh and Chris Ambidge
Integrity Uganda: Christopher Senyonjo
IntegrityUSA: Caro Hall and John Clinton Bradley
Other Sheep East Africa: Michael Kimindu


Table of Contents

[2008-2-y]

Photos taken at the combined
Inclusive Church/Integrity/Changing Attitude Eucharist
Held on St Stephen's Field, Canterbury during Lambeth 2008


Here Come the Bishops!

   
Left: Deacon Bob Coolidge of Montreal, Davis Mac-Iyalla of Nigeria reads the Epistle, Colin Coward of Changing Attitude UK the celebrant
Right:] Colin Coward celebrant, with Susan Russell of Integrity USA, the preacher; and Canterbury Cathedral on the horizon


Steve talks to Bp Michael Ingham of New Westminster


The Canadians are Here!
(Ron, Chris, Steve, Bob - Neil hadn't arrived yet)




End of volume 2008-2 of Integrator, the newsletter of Integrity in Canada
Copyright © 2008 Integrity/Toronto
comments please to Chris Ambidge, Editor
chris.ambidge@utoronto.ca OR
Integrity/Toronto, Box 873 Stn F, Toronto ON, Canada M4Y 2N9


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