I commend to you “A Word to the Church from the House of Bishops” of the Anglican Church of Canada, dated October 26, from Montreal where the House of Bishops have been meeting for six days. In this conjoining of three separate meetings was “House and Spouse,” which included bishops’ spouses, who opted to gather as friends rather than have an educational program. As has been their practice for several years, the Canadian House of Bishops met jointly with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s Conference of Bishops to dialogue about living into their full communion partnership.
The Canadian bishops reflected on why they meet, who they are when they meet, and how they fit into the overall church structure throughout their time together with the Lutheran bishops and separately. They reached several conclusions about how they will meet in the future. Their desire is for greater opportunities for education and theological discussions, but they eschew outside presentations without specific purpose, and they do not wish to be lobbied. Like The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops, they choose closed sessions to enhance free exchange of ideas without press scrutiny.
In closed session and in an update from the Lutheran bishops, the distribution of the respective churches’ statements on sexuality was discussed. The Canadian bishops observed that there has been little response despite wide dissemination of the statements. Their sense is that the churches are engaging other areas of mission and ministry even as issues of sexuality are not settled.