In his own diocese, [Alabama Bishop Henry] Parsley said, between 500 and 600 people, including clergy groups, four convocational gatherings, the Standing Committee and Diocesan Council discussed the document and considered its reflection questions.
In the Diocese of Vermont, Bishop Thomas Ely hosted six “Communion Matters” conversations which he said were attended by close to 225 people from more than 30 congregations.
“Communion Matters conversations here in Vermont were marked by a spirit of respectful listening and sharing of information, ideas, concerns, hopes and fears,” Ely wrote in his column for the Mountain Echo, the monthly diocesan newspaper.
He reported that others talked with him privately, especially those whom he said felt uncomfortable expressing their opinion in a large group, and others emailed him.
“What I take away from them and what I take with me to New Orleans is the clear desire of the members of our diocese to remain as part of the Anglican Communion family, while at the same time continuing to welcome, celebrate and cherish the presence and ministry of all members of our diocese — our gay and lesbian members as well as our members who disagree with many of the recent actions of the General Convention,” Ely wrote. “I heard much in these conversations about justice, acceptance, tolerance, respect, living with tension, waiting in the moment, not rushing to judgment, betrayal, fear, ”˜scapegoating,’ unity, diversity, certainty, ambiguity, hope and confidence in God.”
He wrote that none of the problems were solved, “but maybe — just maybe — like those disciples on the road to Emmaus we now see the whole picture a little more clearly.”