And so -- with my apology in advance for not having the time to write something shorter -- here goes:
Thus the concern that conservatives express (as in this statement by GAFCON) is NOT over The Episcopal Church’s permitting the “ordination of homosexuals,” but our permitting the ordination of those in “active homosexual relationships.”
Breakaway Anglicans, worldwide Anglicans, and other parts of Christ's Body the Church are of course free to set any of their own policies they choose, and most of the time it's little to none of our business, as Episcopalians. But when it comes to asking (and then presumably following up on) which members of our church are “practicing” or “not-practicing” what we believe is their God-given sexuality, well, that's just not a direction The Episcopal Church is going to go.
If I'm right -- that what is at stake in these issues is the matter of the morality or lack thereof of sexual behavior, not sexual orientation -- then in wrestling with the issue of sexual behavior, gay or straight, a common saying, often attributed to St. Augustine, should set the tone:
I do think that in certain “essentials” of the Christian faith -- those things God has revealed and the church universal has received -- there should be unity. What are those essentials? Well, we can start with the Apostles Creed, confessing faith in God revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian formula is the basis for our baptismal covenant, and a foundation of our faith.
Here they are:
- Avoid pejorative labels,
- Assume the other person wants what is best for the church,
- Do not analyze the psychological or spiritual state of others,
- Find ways to work together,
- Keep to the issues,
- Stay in contact,
- and most importantly, remember who is in charge: God.
Again, a lengthier essay than normal, but if you've gotten this far, I trust you've found it useful, or at least interesting. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment fields below: what do you think?
 The Episcopal Church (TEC) is the United States-based member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. It is a Christian church divided into nine provinces and has dioceses in the United States, Taiwan, Micronesia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and the Navajoland Area Mission. The current Presiding Bishop (Primate) of the Episcopal Church is the Most Reverend Michael Curry. In 2013, The Episcopal Church had 2,009,084 baptized members, of whom 1,866,758 were in the United States. In 2011, it was the nation's 14th largest denomination.
 The Virginia Episcopalian, March/April 2004, p. 8