Werner: Statement on Windsor Report
October 18, 2004
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As President of the House of Deputies and Vice-Chairman of the Executive
Council of the Episcopal Church, it was my great privilege to testify
before the Lambeth Commission. I am deeply grateful to these sisters
and brothers in Christ who have accepted such a difficult and even
daunting challenge. How shall the Anglican Communion continue? How
shall 80 million of us, from more than 160 nations, continue to join
hands in witness and mission in the midst of our differences?
"We being many are one in Christ". We many are called, not
just to a people and a place, but to a challenging moment in God's history.
The differences which divide us are serious and important. Yet our discipleship
requires that we not abandon the Great Commission, nor the New Commandment
to love one another. We must not forget Jesus' orders to Peter, "Feed
my sheep, feed my lambs."
As I write this, I have not yet seen the Commission's report. I pledge,
however, that I will use the office I occupy to do my utmost to help
our Church prayerfully listen to the report and its recommendations.
I trust the work of the Commission as I left with deep respect for
Archbishop Eames and his colleagues. It is clear to me this is more
than a family struggle; it is an opportunity for each of us to grow
We live in an age of dread and enmity. Civil discourse is too often
giving way to impugning motives and assassinating character. None of
these is a Gospel value. I call on all parties for Godly restraint.
May we all lower our voices and listen for the bidding of the Holy
Spirit. May we converse with one another, especially with those with
whom we disagree. May we especially remember that our God is the God
of all truth, and not just the part of the truth we may prefer. And
it is the fullness of God's truth that makes us free.
As we are reminded in Colossians: "Clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Bear with one another and,
if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just
as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all,
clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect
The Very Reverend George L. Werner, President
President, The House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church