New books say that taking a hard line on sexuality will damage mission

WARNINGS that it has become “impossible” to oppose faithful gay relationships without being regarded as an extremist, and that an entire generation is being “lost to faith in Christ” are included in a new book published in the run-up to the Shared Conversations on sexuality taking place at the General Synod in York.

Amazing Love: Theology for understanding discipleship, sexuality and mission, edited by Canon Andrew Davison, the Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, was published last week by DLT.

In the same week, senior Evangelical clergy shared their positions on theology and sexuality in a new book edited by Jayne Ozanne, a member of the General Synod. Among them is the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes, who writes about being “profoundly changed” by his interaction with the LGBTI community, and his desire to “make room and to extend the table”.

Both books are being sent, free, to members of the General Synod, who are preparing to participate in the Shared Conversations next month (News, 17 June).

Journeys in grace and truth: Revisiting scripture and sexuality, published by Ekklesia on behalf of Via Media Publications, features ten essays by Evangelicals. Many call for a shift in the current debate within Evangelical circles, and an end to the dismissal of those who have reached a different conclusion on sexuality.

Source: Church Times

Gay clergyman to appeal after losing discrimination claim 

A gay clergyman who lost an employment tribunal against the Church of England has been given the right to appeal.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton was prevented from taking up a post as a hospital chaplain in Nottinghamshire after marrying his partner, Laurence Cunnington.

Last year an employment tribunal found that Pemberton was not discriminated against, but he has said a hearing to review the decision will take place.

He tweeted: “My application to appeal against the ET judgment has been accepted #justiceforjeremy”.

Pemberton, who had his permission to officiate revoked after marrying his partner in April 2014, had alleged that the C of E’s stance on same-sex marriage breached the Equality Act 2010.

Source:  The Guardian

Sorry seems to be the hardest word – On the CofE’s apology to LGBTI Christians

‘It’s a sad, sad situation, and it’s getting more and more absurd.’So sang Elton John 40 years ago – his lament for a lost relationship could have been written for the Church of England this past month.

At the first full meeting of its governing body this year, the General Synod met this week to respond, among other things, to last month’s meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and calls for the church to apologise for its treatment of LGBTI Christians around the world.

Source: Sorry seems to be the hardest word – On the CofE’s apology to LGBTI Christians | A brave faith

English Bishop Apologises for Hurt to Gay People.

The Church of England is gradually adapting to the reality of gay marriage – and one more bishop has publicly apologised for the hurt it has caused (in particular, for the hurt caused by the bishops’ January statement on same – sex marriage.

Right Revd Michael Perham

Right Revd Michael Perham

Bishop of Gloucester speaks out on Church of England’s attitude to homosexual people

THE Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Michael Perham, addressed the Church of England’s attitude towards homosexuality at Thursday night’s Gloucester Diocesan Synod.

He apologised for the hurt caused by the ‘harsh’ House of Bishops’ statement on same-sex marriage.

Here is his full address.

“We are where we are. Same-sex marriage is here, here to stay.

“It will fast become part of the fabric of our society.

“The weekend of the first such marriages I wanted to rejoice with those who were rejoicing, recognising what a wonderful moment it was for them, and to weep with those who wept, recognising how for them a deeply held belief about marriage was being undermined.

“The House of Bishops’ January statement, when the first same-sex marriages were taking place did recognise that there needed to be room for conscience, that some gay or lesbian Christians would enter such a marriage and that the Church would continue to honour and accept them as members of the body of Christ.

“What it also said was that it could not extend that freedom to its authorised ministers or allow those who had contracted such a marriage to become one of its authorised ministers.

“There were those who, taking a more conservative position, felt that the statement went too far in its accommodation to same-sex marriage.

“But there were rather more who felt the statement struck an unnecessarily harsh and negative tone.

“The House of Bishops, producing a statement under some pressure, underestimated how uncompromising and hurtful the statement felt to some.

“The tone was harsh – there was not much sense of welcome to all as children of God.

“I am sorry for that and for the hurt I know it has engendered.

– more at Gloucestershire Echo.

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Christmas Present for the Anglican Church: a Women Bishop ?

The Guardian reports that the Anglican Church is expected to name its first female bishop by Christmas 2014 – and one of the leading candidates produced a report “friendly to gay clergy” as far back as twenty years ago.

Church of England could appoint first female bishop by Christmas

Secretary general of church’s governing body says law could be changed in time for committee meeting in December

The Church of England could name its first female bishop by Christmas, its most senior bureaucrat has said – a move that would end nearly 20 years of wrangling since the church decided in 1993 that women could be made priests but must not be promoted to bishops.

The Church of England’s General Synod in November last year. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

William Fittall, secretary general of the church’s governing body, the General Synod, said that if the synod voted as expected at its next meeting, next month, the arrangements to promote women could become law in November after being approved by the dioceses and then by parliament.

The committee that chooses bishops has a meeting scheduled for December. If the legislation has been approved by then the committee is almost certain to choose a female candidate for one of the six posts currently free.

Christina Rees, one of the synod’s most prominent campaigners for female clergy, said of next month’s vote: “I think it will sail through. I expect the first woman bishop to be named and appointed before Christmas.”

Among the candidates most frequently mentioned are two women who have already been promoted as far as the law currently allows – Vivienne Faull, the dean of York, and June Osborne, the dean of Salisbury.

(….. Faull is the least controversial candidate). Osborne produced a report friendly to gay clergy 20 years ago that frightened conservatives

via  The Guardian.

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Is The C of E Tiptoeing Towards Gay Marriage?

Damian Thompson, at the Daily Telegraph, thinks so:

The C of E is tiptoeing towards gay marriage

The Archbishop of Canterbury ran up the white flag on gay marriage this week and almost no one noticed. The Most Rev Justin Welby told the Evangelical Alliance – an umbrella group for born-again Christians – that “we should be really, really repentant” for having supported homophobia in the past. That call for repentance made the headlines – but it wasn’t the real story. Continue reading