Episcopal News Service February 11, 2007
House of Deputies president promises support to San Joaquin Episcopalians
Anderson tells gathering all are called to church's mission of reconciliation
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[ENS] Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, assured a February 10 gathering of Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin-most of whom are committed to remaining within the Episcopal Church-that the wider church supports them.
"I want you to know that you are part of the Episcopal Church," Anderson told the gathering. "You will be supported and defended, and prayed for. You are loved as sisters and brothers in Christ. You will not be left alone. We have God's mission to do together in the world and we need to get past these distractions."
"Our mission is reconciliation in the world," Anderson said. "It is the mission of the Episcopal Church; it is the mission of every Christian."
The diocesan-wide gathering, "Celebrating and Proclaiming the Gracious Love of Jesus Christ in and through the Episcopal Church," was held at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Lodi, California, which sponsored the event along with several local Episcopal churches and the group Remain Episcopal (http://www.remainepiscopal.org). About 350 people attended the event.
San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield attended as a spectator, along with some members of the diocese who support his efforts to distance the diocese from the Episcopal Church. He did not speak during the presentations.
Anderson made her comments during her keynote presentation titled "I Will, With God's Help: Our Mission and Ministry in the World." She drew sustained applause and a standing ovation when she began her presentation by saying, "I am Bonnie Anderson and I am an Episcopalian."
She described the Episcopal Church's commitment to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals as its top mission priority for the next three years. She anchored that priority in the baptismal covenant, in which all Episcopalians promise "to seek and serve Christ in all people . to strive for justice and peace and to respect the dignity of every human being."
"I want to assure you that the Episcopal Church is alive and well and is engaged in important work in the name of Jesus Christ, and we are building the Church both here and in other parts of the Anglican Communion," she told the gathering.
Full story and photographs: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_82355_ENG_HTM.htm
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