Newsletter – July 2011

Dear Friends

Christians at Pride…

Last weekend saw the annual London Pride celebrations, and there was a contingent of around 120 people in the Christians at Pride group wearing their ‘Christian and Proud’ T-shirts.  It was also great to see members of Accepting Evangelicals on the march.  It was a valuable act of positive Christian witness in a world where that witness is often so negative.

 In the photo are (amongst others) AE Trustees, Sigrun Wagner, Benny and Mel Hazlehurst.   

CofE announces review of same-sex relationships…

Last weekend also saw the Church of England announce 2 reviews of its approach to same-sex relationships.

On the positive side, such a review process is long overdue, and w hope that it will result in a much more open and accepting approach emerging.

On the negative side, clergy in Civil Partnerships will not be eligible to become Bishops in the meantime.  This is the first time that this has been formally announced as church policy.  It seems to be an unjustified step as Clergy in Civil Partnerships in the CofE already have to make a declaration that their relationship will be non-sexual, and that they will submit to the teaching and discipline of the church.

As one AE Member commented, “This poses an interesting question for the church. What does a gay person have to do in order to be acceptable to the church?  For years, we have been told that it’s really just the sexual act which is the problem, and now it turns out its more than that.”

AE along with others, have responded to the news by welcoming the reviews but deploring this new level of discrimination.  You can read our Press Release here, and the Church of England Statement here.

Can you help finance AE?

AE is justifiably proud of the fact that we run the network on a tiny budget, (last year our total expenditure was less than £400) but the opportunities to do more mean that we need to raise more funds.

So could you help?  We are asking AE members to consider making a small standing order to AE so that we can plan for the future.  Even  £2 per month will make a significant difference if enough people respond – but of course you can give more!

Attached is a standing order form which can also be downloaded from our website.  We hope you will feel able to fill it in and sending to:  AE Treasurer, Flat 3, 7 Upper Tollington Park, London N4 3EJ.  Membership of AE will continue to be free, but we hope many will be able to help in this way.

Spiritual Director wanted in the Midlands, UK…

One of our members is looking for a LGBT friendly Spiritual Director in the Midlands.  If anyone has any suggestions, please email them to benny@acceptingevangelicals.org and we will forward them on.

Next month we will have more news from around the world – sorry that this month has been so UK focused.  If you have any news you would like us to feature, send it in and we will see what we can do.

God Bless and Keep You
Accepting Evangelicals

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One Comment

  1. The statement from the House of Bishops strikes me as bizarre. They recognise that some people in civil partnerships will be celibate, in line with the Church’s teaching, and they refer to “Issues in Human Sexuality”, which states:

    5.19 Regarding clergy who come out and who are committed to a life of abstinence, “(This) ought to present no problem to anyone…….A community which cannot accept such an honourable candour is not worthy of the name of Christian”.

    So why should there be any problem with a celibate member of the clergy in a civil partnership becoming a Bishop? I can’t see any justification for that position at all.

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