Like most offices, that of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church keeps a stock of templates from which letters can when required be constructed with the minimum of fuss. New Directions has been fortunate to secure a copy of these templates, and can therefore provide, in advance, an example of any communication which the PB is likely to send in any circumstance whatsoever. Here is the template for circular letters to members of the House of Bishops after a meeting or event:
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As we seek to prepare ourselves for the Church’s solemn season of [insert an appropriate period in the liturgical calendar] I have been reflecting on our time together at [insert name of appropriate retreat house or conference center], where we were privileged to meet together and speak the truth in love.
I feel truly humbled to be part of such a fellowship; and I could not help thinking (and sharing with Phoebe) that the way forward for us at the present time [insert reference to whatever crisis is currently dividing the Episcopal Church] is not to seek a common mind on the issues which divide us, but rather to go forward being Church.
Jesus (for Catholics: read ‘Our Blessed Lord in the mystery of the Sacraments’) can embrace all our conflicts and enfold all our contradictions. How can we disagree about truth when we can bind ourselves together with ‘bonds of affection’?
I am already looking forward to meeting with you all again at [insert name of another conference centre]