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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 October, 2003, 23:12 GMT 00:12 UK
New Hampshire Diocese statement
Gene Robinson
Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of New Hampshire in August 2003

Here is the full text of the statement released by the Diocese of New Hampshire - which insists the consecration of homosexual bishop Canon Gene Robinson will go ahead.

The Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire met today in response to the London meeting of the Primates from the 38 autonomous Provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion for prayer, bible study and discussion.

We acknowledge and affirm the wisdom of the Primates of the Anglican Communion in their statement.

[Canon Gene Robinson's] sexuality was incidental to his call to serve as our bishop

We echo their affirmation that "what we hold in common is much greater than that which divides us in proclaiming Good News to the world."

We commend their resolve to follow the 1998 Lambeth resolution calling for the Church to "listen to the experience of homosexual persons, and... to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ."

We warmly invite the Primates, and anyone else in the Anglican Communion, to come to New Hampshire and experience our shared communion here.

We invite them to join us in worshipping, praying, studying scripture, breaking bread and celebrating our unity in God's love and mercy.

'Other urgent needs'

We grieve that others in the Anglican Communion have felt deep pain with these issues. Despite our differences, we pray that we can move forward together in service to our Lord.

Much energy and many resources have been expended over the issues of sexuality in the life of the Church.

We look forward to the consecration of Bishop-elect Robinson on November 2
We long for a time when the Church can focus her ministries on the many urgent needs in so many other places.

We reaffirm our belief that the Diocese of New Hampshire faithfully and prayerfully considered and followed a Spirit-led process for the election of our new bishop.

Canon Robinson was elected based on his nearly three decades of ministry in the diocese, his considerable pastoral skills, and his vision for ministry.

Mission ahead

His sexuality was incidental to his call to serve as our bishop.

We look forward to focusing on our mission and ministry, addressing the pressing needs within and beyond the Diocese of New Hampshire.

We look forward to the consecration of Bishop-elect Robinson on November 2, believing that God has called him to this ministry, a call confirmed by diocesan election and by the consent of General Convention, in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

We believe the Spirit is calling us forward into an ever-deepening relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ, so that we might reach out to all of God's children, and become God's loving arms in a world that hungers for that relationship.

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