An Open Letter from the Vestry and Clergy of St. Paul's Church

August 10, 2003


 

Be it Resolved that we, the Vestry and Clergy of St. Paul's Church, on behalf of our congregation, repudiate the actions and resolutions of the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA.

As faithful Christians, we confess Jesus as the One Lord to whom all authority in heaven and earth has been given by the Father.  

We affirm that sexuality is God's gift to all human beings.  Everyone is welcomed into the Church and is called to a life of chastity, whether in exclusive, faithful marriage between husband and wife or in sexual abstinence as single persons.  Yet, we recognize that all fail to live up to God's standards of holiness. We affirm that God forgives all who repent and believe the Gospel, and that He adopts them into His family.  This is true, regardless of race, sex, social or economic status, sexual preference, or past behavior.   

In seeking to uphold the teaching of Holy Scripture and the traditions of the Church regarding sexuality and marriage, we reject the actions of the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church: 

  • Consenting to the election as Bishop of New Hampshire of the Rev. Gene Robinson, a man engaged in sexual activity outside of the bonds of Holy Matrimony, and  
  • Recognizing and approving the blessing of same-sex unions. 

These actions directly contradict Holy Scripture, the traditions of the Church, and our own Constitution. They also imperil our relationship with the worldwide Anglican Communion. The General Convention has rejected the declaration of the bishops at the 1998 Lambeth Conference (Resolution I.10), the counsel of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and the appeal of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Our grief and anguish concerning these actions is profound. In good conscience we cannot accept this scandalous innovation in the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church. Our Articles of Religion tell us that "councils can err and have erred," and the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church has erred grievously. 

In Christ, 

Adelaide Waring
Clerk of the Vestry