Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Chair, Commission on Publications
The Reverend Dr. Johnny Barbour, Jr., Publisher
The Reverend Dr. Calvin H. Sydnor III, the 20th Editor, The Christian Recorder
TCR News Break: The Council of Bishops Plenary Session - June 30,2015
The Christian Recorder News Break – The Council of Bishops Public Statement –The Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel - New Orleans, Louisiana, 1 July 2015
THE COUNCIL OF BISHOPS
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The Council of Bishops acknowledges we are a Church still mourning the massacre of nine sisters and brothers in Charleston, South Carolina. We continue in prayer for the families of the martyrs and Mother Emanuel AME Church. Our witness is that grief has not denied us the hope we have in Jesus Christ. The prevalent testimony of forgiveness is indicative of the grace and faith with which we have been blessed. May God grant an increase of grace for the days ahead!
We express appreciation to President Barack Obama, Congressman James Clyburn, Governor Nikki Haley, Mayor Joseph Riley, Jr. and the numerous civic leaders who rose with wisdom and compassion to serve various needs of the African Methodist and wider community in the midst of this tragedy. We are proud of Bishop Richard F. Norris and the leaders of the Seventh Episcopal District as they confront this calamity with faith, order and poise. They all remain in our prayers.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church continues to be attentive to the grief and social challenges confronting us in New York City; Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; Baltimore, Maryland and numerous cities in the United States and in various other places around the world.
We ask the AME Church on the local level to engage with persons in their respective communities on matters of race as they mobilize to combat the policies and behaviors, which express cultural and institutional racism in the United States of America and other nations around the world.
In the face of racially motivated violence, we remind our membership that God did not give us a spirit of fear. Nevertheless, we cannot be negligent in the exercise of due diligence with security precautions. There are various security recommendations available to churches online which should be reviewed by every congregation regardless to size of membership.
THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
The African Methodist Episcopal Church is herewith informed that the action of the Supreme Court of the United States does not change the law of the AME Church with regard to same-sex marriage. We encourage all AMEs to abide by existing church law as we also treat all persons with dignity and respect.
PERSONS OF HAITIAN DESCENT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
We are concerned by the ongoing practices in the Dominican Republic, which potentially have rendered tens of thousands of its citizens of Haitian descent stateless. We join with our partners in the ecumenical community to advocate for justice, fairness and a humane spirit in a country where the AME presence is longstanding.
We encourage our members to protect every child from harm through the full, safe immunization of our children, and children everywhere.
The Council of Bishops’ Anvil gift for 2015 ($10,000) will be given in support of the families of the Charleston Martyrs.
We are excited about the celebration of our 200th year of denominational organization. All AMEs are encouraged to support the connectional celebration of our bicentennial as we also encourage local celebrations.
THE NEW PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
We offer congratulations to the Right Reverend Michael Bruce Curry upon his election as the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church. This first African American leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States has our prayers for wisdom and strength as he shepherds the people of God in greater ministry.
Bishop Julius Harrison McAllister
President of the Council of Bishops