Thursday, March 23, 2023
My siblings in Christ,
In The Episcopal Church, we vow in our Baptismal Covenant to “respect the dignity of every human being,” and to “seek and serve Christ in all persons.” We make these vows because we affirm that all persons are created by God and in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). In the words of our Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry, “this is a divine declaration of the inherent sanctity, dignity and equality of every person.” At the most recent meeting of the House of Bishops (March 2023), the Bishops issued a resolution decrying legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting transgender individuals and their families:
Statement of Support for Transgender persons and Transgender children and their families
In light of the baptismal covenant’s promises to see Christ in all persons and to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being, and in response to the rapidly expanding numbers of proposed and enacted legislation by elected officials in forty-one states in the United States (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming), and any other states, countries in which our Episcopal Church ministers, municipalities, and school districts targeting transgender persons and transgender children and their families, seeking to limit access to healthcare, educational opportunities, public accommodations, free speech, and civil rights, we, the Bishops of The Episcopal Church gathered at Camp McDowell, Alabama, in March 2023, reaffirm our March 2022 expression of our love and continued support for all persons who identify as transgender or non-binary and their families. We decry legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting our transgender siblings and their families. We urge all in our Church in all the countries in which the Episcopal Church is found to create safe spaces and shield all people from harassment based on gender identity, and to join in advocacy to protect them from discriminatory laws.
I firmly believe that Missourians of all genders and sexual orientations are beloved children of God. I grieve that persons who are transgender and non-binary, and their families, currently face harassment and discrimination throughout Missouri, in our Diocese and beyond. I affirm my support for all these persons, and ask you to join me in being the loving face of Christ to them. I recognize that they are under attack and I join the Bishops of The Episcopal Church and decry the legislative initiatives and governmental actions targeting them, especially those actions that intend to limit or prohibit access to medical treatment and would erase them from sports, education, and other areas of civic participation.
Our Diocese strives to walk in the Way of Love as our Presiding Bishop has asked us to do. We are all called to proclaim and build up God’s Kingdom of justice and peace by being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in West Missouri and in the world. Therefore, I ask you to join me in prayer for those who face such harsh discrimination. I encourage all members of our Diocese – lay and clergy – to welcome all, create safe spaces, and shield all people from any form of hate, discrimination, oppression, and harassment based on gender identity.
I am here to answer any questions you may have and to support every member of this diocese in any way I can. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns you may have on this important issue.
Blessings and love,
The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce
Bishop Provisional of West Missouri
See statements from:
- The Rev. Susan Candea, Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Central States Synod.
- The Rt. Rev. Deon Johnson, Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri.
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