Dear Beloved in Christ,

Several years ago I met for lunch with the then Senator for Iowa, Tom Harkin. Senator Harkin mentioned that he believed that Bishops and Senators had similar constituents. Our responsibility for public discourse covered the same demographics. He then went on to say that he feared that we as bishops were losing our voice in promoting what was once called the social Gospel. In a recent conversation with one of the small groups, I mentioned that I felt that one way of carrying the cross in our time was to discern the gaps in our community and seek to enter them and give voice to what we find.

Bishop Meghan is seeking to do that in a recent letter sent out to the Clergy and Wardens of the diocese of Northern California in response to the US Supreme Court decision on abortion. The gap she seeks for us to walk into is that of graciousness in handling civic discourse. We are also publishing a letter from the Presiding Bishop who outlines the historic development of the position on abortion within The Episcopal Church. With General Convention opening next week, we can expect a late resolution to be placed before our governing body. It is a good time to bear all our leaders in prayer.

The voices of our Bishops are important to us in such difficult times. And so, I am grateful for the response of Bishop Meghan and that of our Presiding Bishop. We also reassure ourselves with the words of Jesus who promises to be with us always even unto the farthest reaches of the world (Matt. 28:20); and those of the apostle Paul who writes to the Corinthians how “God will not test you beyond that which you are able to bear, but will give you the way out so you may endure it”. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

+Bishop Alan

You can read the latest statements from Bishop Meghan here.

You can read the Statement on Supreme Court Dobbs decision by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry here.