A letter to Episcopalians from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings.
Dear People of God in the Episcopal Church:
In early 2018, we issued a call for The Episcopal Church to come to a fuller understanding of how it has handled or mishandled cases of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse through the years. That work began to take shape at General Convention 2018 when the House of Deputies Special Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation submitted more than twenty resolutions and the House of Bishops held a Liturgy of Listening to lament and confess the church’s role in harassment, exploitation and abuse.
Since General Convention, several task forces have been hard at work carrying out the resolutions of convention that address gender-based discrimination and violence. Today we are asking you to assist one of those groups—the Task Force on Women, Truth and Reconciliation—by taking an online survey designed to assess patterns of church-based harassment and abuse and the effect that it has on victims. Please take the survey online by July 1, 2020.
We know that recalling and recounting experiences of abuse and harassment can be difficult. We urge anyone who feels the need for pastoral care to seek support from their clergyperson or bishop, which can include a referral to local mental health resources. In addition, anyone can make a complaint against a clergyperson or bishop under the disciplinary canons of the church, called the Title IV canons. More information about that process is available on the Title IV website.
The Task Force on Women, Truth and Reconciliation is tasked with “making an accounting of things done and left undone in thought, word, and deed, intending amendment of life, and seeking counsel, direction, and absolution as we are restored in love, grace, and trust with each other through Christ.” Thank you in advance for taking their online survey, which is part of this work.
Please join us in praying for all victims and survivors of sexual abuse, violence and harassment, and in supporting the work of this task force and all those who are helping the church to be a community of safety that stands against the spiritual and physical violence of sexual exploitation and abuse.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings
President of the House of Deputies
Take the survey online: SURVEY LINK