Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What a difference a coupla days make ...


That was then:

Are the Anglicans About to Split?
Friday, Jun. 20, 2008 By DAVID VAN BIEMA

The schism long forecast for the Anglican Communion over the church's liberal stand on homosexuality may be getting closer. A document released by a group of conservative churchmen called the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFcon) made it clear that the more than 250 bishops who belong to the group intend to transform the 77-million-member global Communion, the world's third-largest affiliation of churches, because of their differences over the church's stance on gay priests and other issues.

Read the rest here.

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This is now:

Threat of Anglican Schism Fizzles
Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2008 By DAVID VAN BIEMA

The would-be Anglican rebels gathered with storm clouds brewing around them. But now, even though the conservative Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFcon) has not concluded its meeting in Jerusalem, the secession it threatened to bring to the 78 million-member Anglican Communion looks like a confused bust.

This all comes as a bit of surprise to the press, which — with ample encouragement from the Church's right — had been framing GAFcon as a decisive step toward schism in the Anglican Communion, the third biggest global religious fellowship.

Read the rest here.
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So there you have it. Let that be a great, big fat lesson to our friends in the press to think twice before swallowing hook, line and sinker the bait being tossed out by the Chicken Littleists in Anglican clothing.

The sky is not falling.

The Communion is not going to rent asunder -- as much as they wish it would -- just because parts of it are actually willing to respect the dignity of EVERY human being and seek and serve Christ EVEN in LGBT folks. The differences they so desperately want to exploit into divisions are the same kind of differences this Communion has muddled along holding in tension for lo-these-many-years and we're going to keep on muddling along.
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In point of fact, if the criterion for the fabric of the communion being "irreparably rent" is the fact that not every Province will receive every bishop (a current example might be Nigeria and New Hampshire!) then the minute they put rochet and chimere on +Barbara Harris we were sunk.
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And we weren't. Yes, there are still folks who do not embrace the full inclusion of women into the Body of Christ but life goes on. Ministry goes on. Mission goes on. And there are a whole lot less of them around than there were back in 1974 when the ordination of women was the LAST great schism that was going to split the church.
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SO ... as we prepare to gather with Anglicans from all around this Great Big Fat Anglican Family of ours in Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference experience, let's be committed to being open to what we can learn from each other as we sit around the table together, not be determined to keep closed the conversation so that we only have to listen to those who are willing to sign the same "confession."
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It's the ANGLICAN COMMUNION, folks -- not the ANGLICAN CONFESSION ... and if you want to belong to a confessional church, feel free to email me ... I'd be happy to refer you one of them.
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In the meantime, leave mine alone.
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5 comments:

DavidJustinLynch said...

All this is so bewildering to me. I just want to go to Mass and be with Jesus and Mary. Each person, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, race, or whatever, is a child of God. All we need do is obey the baptismal covenant to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being. So simple.

Jim said...

The gaffe is a shambles it appears at this remove. Some of the holier-than-god folk seem to have looked at what a church run by Bp. Minns and ABp Akinola and blinked. Maybe the Anglican messiness is better than a curia after all!

I have been wondering for months how any sane person could want to be under anything led by these people, and now we know -- most of them don't. Or at least so it appears.

I am waiting to see how the nutcase commentators at SF et al manage to blame PBp Katherine, Louie Crew and Rev. Susan for this. They actually are blaming them for the timing of Israel's Gay Pride parade! You just could not make this stuff up.

FWIW
jimB

rwk said...

In all fairness, it's Christ's church and not theirs or yours -- a stunning lack of humility on the part of both sides is part of the problem. It may be some time before we find out which bridesmaid had the extra measure of oil for her lamp.

David said...

Susan wrote

'The differences they so desperately want to exploit into divisions are the same kind of differences this Communion has muddled along holding in tension for lo-these-many-years and we're going to keep on muddling along.'

Right on Sister! That's why it's called a Communion- 'Communion' being constantly 'in process-' with each other and with the sweet Lord who 'loves us beyond our wildest imagining'

Susan wrote

'let's be committed to being open to what we can learn from each other as we sit around the table together, not be determined to keep closed the conversation so that we only have to listen to those who are willing to sign the same "confession."'

Amen

Matthew said...

Susan,

A question. Are Lutherans confessional? I wonder because I was one once (baptized). The document, Called to Common Mission is part of what led me to the Episcopal Church. So, how can we be in full communion with, whatever that means, and why did our general convention endorse such a document if we have misgivings about confessional churches, including recognizing their holy orders. Just curious. I still have a great deal of fondness for the ELCA and the many years I sojourned there.

Of course, we not really in full communion with ELCA when they will not recognize our holy orders, at least the GLBT ones, only the straight ones.

I only wonder if the ELCA agreement can be used against us (i.e. to suggest that we had no problem entering into agreements with others that are confessional, so why the reluctance now). Just curious what your thoughts are.
Matthew