Recently on ATWT (As The Anglican World Turns) the announcement by the Anglican Communion Office of a pending meeting between ACO officials and a select group of Episcopal bishops generated much speculation. (Never mind that EVERYTHING seems to generate much speculation in the church these days ...)
Bishop Iker in an interview with The Living Church said he hoped the meeting would bring "clarity." (For those thinking they must have missed an episcode of ATWT because the last they heard was that COLUMBUS had provided clarity all I can say is we must have missed the same episode.)
The Episcopal Majority folks immediately urged the PB and PB-elect to "to hold fast to the legitimate Anglican tradition through the following: to deny any “alternate primatial oversight” for Episcopal dioceses; to oppose firmly the CANA initiative; to make clear that our sincere attempt at moderation at General Convention has been rebuffed by forces at home and abroad; and to affirm once more the consecration of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson and the legitimate right of homosexual persons to all the Sacraments of this church."
Meanwhile the Wake Up folks asked some great questions and offered some suggestions on how to make your concerns know in their piece "Tightening the Noose."
But wait ... there's more! Now we get a statement from the Presiding Bishop, clarifying the focus of the meeting "conceived as an opportunity for those of differing perspectives to come together in a spirit of mutual respect to exchange views."
Meanwhile (redundant, I know, but I'm in a hurry to get this posted and get to staff meetings) one of the smartest people on the planet -- Bill Carroll -- had this to say (over at Fr. Jake Stops the World):
I am far more certain in our baptismal covenant than I am in the results of any meeting of bishops, no matter who calls it or who attends. Whatever they offer, I will strive to seek and serve Christ in all persons. No exceptions allowed.
My only concern about the meeting is that, like the Windsor Report, it seems to be more about preserving institutions than following the Gospel. I pray that something useful may come out of this meeting, but if the negotiating stance of the conservatives remains that we must renounce our baptismal vows and embrace an authoritarian vision of the Church, then little will be accomplished.
I suppose that preservation of the institution is at least a prima facie good, but we must remember that it is only a provisional and relative good, a means to an end, the faithful mission of the Church to all people. I pray that all who take counsel for the Church will keep in mind the obligation of all Christians and other people of goodwill to "promote the dignity of every human being." I would also reiterate the concern that openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons be included in all meetings that discuss the future of the Church.
Will Schori or Griswold have the moral courage to bring Gene Robinson with them? I would like people other than bishops to be in the room, but if we limit it to bishops, he is the only choice that can make this conversation a conversation with lgbtq people rather than about them.
What Bill said. And let the people say, AMEN!
PS - Anybody else remember back when things SLOWED DOWN over the summer?