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Unexpected support for Episcopal Church action

Posted on: November 1, 2003 12:33 PM
Related Categories: USA

by Dan England and Matthew Davies

On the eve of the consecration of Canon V Gene Robinson as Bishop-coadjutor of the Diocese of New Hampshire and the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, a twist.

It seems students from the University of Durham in New Hampshire, will be protesting conservative protestors tomorrow by staging their own demonstration and calling for "a more realistic and broadminded approach" to the current stance on homosexuality in the Church. One of the students, a 21 year-old woman called Nika with a hard-to-miss silver ring in her bottom lip, told ACNS/ENS that she had never been to church, but was joining the protest. "I am very spiritual," she said, "but I'm not much for organised religion." Asked if she'd consider actually going to a church that took this kind of action, she said, "Yeah, I think I would. Yeah, I'll have to give it a try."

The American Anglican Council (AAC) will be sending two representatives to Durham, New Hampshire during this weekend's consecration. The Revd Canon Dr Kendall S. Harmon, Canon Theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Rt Revd David Bena, Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Albany, will be providing support for New Hampshire Episcopalians grieved by the actions of their diocese and to also stand with them in opposition to the consecration.

Ever since the 74th General Convention in Minneapolis, there has been a superabundance of opinion that has turned into a struggle over the true nature of the Anglican Communion. The conservative contingency at tomorrow's consecration will be positioning themselves to contend and protest what they see as the demise of traditional scripture while others will be observing what they feel is a remarkable turning point in the history of the church. The student protesters, many of whom are without religious affiliation, go blank when asked about the view of the Bible on the question, but seem united that "it's about time" when commenting on the event.