Monday, July 31, 2006

From Across the Pond ...

A cartoon moment from The Church Times ... along with this excellent piece by the Reverend Marilyn McCord Adams:

Waiting on others can stifle prophetic action

For the past 150 years, the Church of England was - as an established Church arguably needs to be - a broad Church, whose institutional definition came from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; from its threefold norms of scripture, tradition, and reason; from its daily and weekly recitation of historic creeds; from its observance of the dominical sacraments; and from its episcopal government.

It was a Church wide enough to embrace Evangelicals, whose heart-of-hearts resonated to sola scriptura; and Anglo-Catholics who - amid smells and bells and clouds of smoke - secretly longed for clearer cut magisterium and for reunion with Rome. It was a Church that left room in the middle for wayfarers of all sorts and conditions - a Church whose very refusal to subject members to orthodoxy tests, or to weekly cross-examination in the confessional, created an atmosphere of acceptance that allowed it to be a home for all seasons.

It was a Church centred on worship of a mystery bigger than we can ask or imagine. Broad Church wasn't everybody's first choice, but it worked to keep the Church together. It was a Church for adults, a Church that could give members room to explore, because it always brought people back to the Bible and the BCP, back to the sacrament of the altar to meet the mystery on their knees.

Over the past decade-and-a-half, however, various forces have come together to re-identify our Church, to give the worldwide Anglican Communion sharper definition. The Archbishop of Canterbury's statement, "The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today" (News, 30 June), oils the Windsor-report machinery for immediate function, and gives instructions on how to divide the Church.

Read it all here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Walking apart" from the Anglican Communion need not be limited to ECUSA/TEC. Some in CoE have indicated they would follow the miniscule number of ECUSA/TEC-ers into the episcopal church rather than stay with the Anglican Communion. So ... rather like Tom Lehrer's reassurance to Cold War paranoids, "(You'll) all go together when you go!" Nothing like a (small) crowd, though, if I read some blogs aright. Much better to be in the (hopefully) correct vanguard than among the large crowd adhering to the Faith of the Fathers (and Mothers) who have gone before!