An open letter to Bishop Lloyd Duncan
May 19, 2013
Dear Bishop Duncan,
I’m writing to you respectfully, to express my concern over remarks that I heard you make at the “ National Gathering of Prayer” on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Those comments, paraphrased by
The Royal Gazette — as “a not so subtle reference to the Government’s intention to amend the Human Rights Act..”
To be clear, I’m not questioning your right to express your views about anything. However, I question your use of the” National Gathering” to make your point. The invitation that the community received for May 16th, had a clearly published and packed agenda on Gang Violence, the Hurting Economy and Unemployment from a diverse coalition of churches which has slowly evolved.
That evolution arguably began after the 2008 murder at Elbow Beach when Bishop Lambe took much of the leadership in developing a response. Rev. Nick Dill took up the mantle the next year, following the Harford murder. Fostering collaboration among the Denominations has been a long and arduous process, given the diverse perspectives.
My concern comes as one of the many who have been engaged in this process along with you. The evolution of the coalition is based on a social contract involving Spiritual Leaders and others in the community working together, fostering a synergy. Adherence to the published agenda speaks to promoting trust which is vital for the renewal of community.
In John Chapter 8 Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees with a woman who is accused of adultery and they point out that Moses required that a person in that situation should be stoned. Jesus suggested ‘He that is without sin among you, cast the first stone’. It was that spirit of inclusion that seems to be at the core of the National Gathering.
I’m sure that all the other speakers at the Gathering had additional issues that they feel passionate about, but they resisted the temptation, since they did not wish to ‘trespass’ on the published agenda. They were clued in on the matter of trust. That said, the Lord’s Prayer reminds us to ‘forgive those that trespass against us’. I’m fully aware that we all make errors from time to time, and I’m reminded to ‘judge not..’
In the spirit of forgiveness,