Dear Companions in Christ,
The bishops of The Episcopal Church meet together every fall and spring for prayer and worship, study and consultation, collegiality and fellowship. As your bishops we are blessed to participate in these meetings. We write to share information from our Spring 2018 House of Bishops Meeting recently concluded at Camp Allen in the Diocese of Texas.
Each day at Camp Allen began with Eucharist and ended with Evening Prayer. The main focus for the meeting was evangelism, and we were well resourced by both outside speakers and each other as we shared stories and best practices for evangelism. We reaffirmed our church’s commitment to evangelism as “the presentation of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit in such ways that persons may be led to believe in him as Savior and follow him as Lord within the fellowship of his Church.” In addition, we spent time preparing for the upcoming General Convention of The Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas this July.
We also addressed ourselves to urgent matters in our society, specifically the ongoing realities of sexual abuse and gun violence in our nation. Below you will find two statements from the House of Bishops on these important topics that were affirmed unanimously by the bishops gathered. We commend the statements to you for your study, prayer, and action.
In keeping with the Statement on Sexual Harassment and Gender Bias, there was an opportunity for bishops to participate in a listening process ourselves where we were able to share our own stories of sexual harassment and abuse. It was a very powerful and sacred circle of sharing and prayer.
As called for in the Statement on Gun Violence, we in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut will observe a Day of Lament and Action at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford on March 14, 2018. More information on these events can be found here. We urge you and your parish to participate in the March 14 events at our Cathedral especially the “Service of Lament, Confession and Action” at 7:00 p.m. where Bishop Jim Curry, Retired Bishop Suffragan of Connecticut, will preach.
We also ask that you and your parish join with the youth of our diocese, state, and nation by participating in a “March for Our Lives” on March 24 either in Hartford or in Washington, DC. Bishop Laura, and women from across ECCT who will be attending an International Women’s Day Conference at Christ Church Cathedral, will be at the Hartford March. As co-convener of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, Bishop Ian plans to attend a vigil for victims of gun violence at Washington Cathedral on March 23 and then join with the Parkland youth in the Washington DC March for our Lives the next day. More information on these two opportunities and how you can follow the leadership of the youth of our nation in working to end gun violence will be available in ECCT social media.
Please join us in God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation working together to end sexual abuse and gun violence in our state and in our nation.
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
Bishop Diocesan Bishop Suffragan