Friday, September 14, 2007

On stepping away from the bread of anxiety

It is but lost labour that we haste to rise up early, and so late rest and eat the bread of anxiety.
[New Zealand Night Prayers]

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But it's hard, isn't it -- not to take a nibble every once in awhile on that bread of anxiety that seems to be featured so prominently on so many menus these days. The truth is it's bad for the figure, bad for the psyche and just as addictive as those famous potato chips that suck you in because "you can't eat just one."
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Here's just a sampling of some recent headlines:
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Preparing for New Orleans: Will there be a Communion after September 30th? [Stand Firm]
(Anybody know what's straight for "Drama Queen?" Or has that term now transcended orientation into the collective vocabulary?)
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and then there's
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Episcopalians Head to High-Stakes Meeting [Religion News Service]
... which begins "The Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, was given until the end of the month to state unequivocally that it will not ordain any more gay bishops or authorize rites to bless same-sex unions. If the U.S. bishops refuse, overseas Anglican archbishops have promised unspecified "consequences" that could drive the U.S. church from the Communion or lead other Anglicans out the door."
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Or was it? A different story altogether over at The Living Church which concludes its article speculating on will-there-or-won't-there-be-a-primatial-vicar-proposal with this interesting tidbit:
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" ... a senior advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury told The Living Church it was a serious misreading of the primates’ communiqué to say that an ultimatum had been given to the House of Bishops to take certain actions by Sept. 30 or face expulsion from the Anglican Communion. The communiqué had asked for certain clarifications from the House of Bishops, he said, but did not envision a breaching of The Episcopal Church’s constitution."
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And today titusonenine and Stand Firm are salivating over a background paper sent to every bishop in the church in preparation for their meeting next week. Never mind that [a] it doesn't contain anything new and [b] it appears to be some good bishops taking a crack at "doing the theology" the other side keeps whining we "haven't done" it is [c] being touted as "breaking news" and "very important."
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It is going to be a very long week.
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So pray for the church.
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Connect with your bishops.
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Assure them of your prayers and remind them to take their backbones with them to New Orleans.
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Stay tuned for ACTUAL developments (and that doesn't mean monitoring Greg Griffith's Rumor Central: for as a very smart news colleague reminded me recently, even a stopped clock is right twice a day!)
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And if you forget for a moment who it is that's pushing the bread of anxiety and why, then remember these words of wisdom from The Church Times' Pat Ashworth:
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“Forced to choose,” “moment of decision,” “brink of destruction,” “the gravity of this moment” are phrases designed to turn a drama into a crisis as US conservatives, with help from English friends, seek to sabotage next year’s Lambeth Conference.
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And just say no. To the bread. And to the BS.
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10 comments:

Muthah+ said...

Thanks for reminding me that I needed to send my bishop a note.

I agree, too much tempest and too small a tea pot.

Yes, there will be division in the Church. But we aren't making it! We aren't drawing a line in the sand and we ain't keeping anyone else out. Deliver us from those who say otherwise.

Felida said...

Thanks from me too. I've just written an email to my bishop. Not sure what good it will do but at least he knows someone is praying for him and those with whom he will be meeting.

Alice C. Linsley said...

It is time to feel anxious. There is a time for everything. Anxiety has its use. It should drive us to prayer, and in prayer to repentance.

Caminante said...

"Connect with your bishops.
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Assure them of your prayers and remind them to take their backbones with them to New Orleans. "

Already done, though he's not one to worry about.

Jane Kniffin said...

Anxiety increases cortisol levels, that's the stress hormone. God loves us. Love God, live in gratitude. Anxiety or prayer? Choose life. Jane Kniffin

Lorian said...

Philippians 4:6 (New International Version)

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Nothing to be anxious about. God made us; God loves us; God will care for us.

The church belongs to God and God will care for the church according to its needs. Whatever the outcome of this squabble, we can trust that our relationship with God remains steady and true.

Anonymous said...

Alice,

Take two "Isaiah 43:1"s and call me in the morning.

Fred

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Note to Mr/Ms Anonymous "just say no to vulgarity/gay is synoymous w/promiscuity" -- Although I've declined to post your comment I am inclined to remind you -- and anybody else who cares to come along for the ride -- that there are INDEED "gay lifestyles" that do not rise to the level of that which I believe are blessed by God and therefore rise to the standard of what the church should bless and uphold.

AND there are heterosexual lifestyles that do not rise to the level of that which I believe are blessed by God and therefore rise to the standard of what the church should bless and uphold.

And neither are the subject of our discussions here.

If you need a refresher course on the standards we expect from holy relationships here's your remedial reading assignment:

"C051"

Anonymous said...

Here's the reality of it:
The number of gays who are in stable relationships for more than five years is statistically insignificant. Of that group, only a minuscule percentage are faithful within the stable relationship. To build a policy on this is to live in an Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy. -- Mr/Ms Anonymous "just say no to vulgarity/gay is synoymous w/promiscuity"

Jane said...

As a lesbian living in France and an elected member of her church council, I pray that ECUSA will not weaken and will remain generally welcoming and open to LGBT people. The rest of the Anglican Communion needs you.
God bless, Jane.