Friday, December 11, 2009

Makes the Heart Sad

I make it my custom to check the blogs -- if not daily at least frequently -- from various facets of the theological perspective. And I just about always check in with Kendall Harmon's Titusonenine.

Today I found this interesting piece by Andrew Carey:

Andrew Carey Offers an Analysis of Current Anglican Communion Developments
Posted by Kendall Harmon

So where does the Anglican Communion go from here? The Archbishop of Canterbury’s relatively mild reaction to Mary Glasspool’s election is a recognition that this appointment could still be halted if the bishops and dioceses of The Episcopal Church fail to confirm her election. However, it remains a highly unlikely prospect.

The problem that the Archbishop of Canterbury faces is that the Anglican Communion will continue to fragment. The Covenant which he believes is a centre of unity around which the vast majority of provinces can coalesce is not even yet in its final form. Such is the polarisation of the Church of England, as a result of the Anglican Communion crisis, that there is now no guarantee that it can pass in the General Synod let alone in other more liberal western provinces.

It seems likely that any Anglican future worth having will be radically different from the current shape of things. The so-called instruments and international meetings will become largely a thing of the past, replaced by networks, regional conferences and some tangential relationships to the Canterbury primate. It is a fragmented and difficult future, but one preferable to a constant state of hysteria and schism.

Read it all.


Interesting. MORE than interesting. Deserving of comment, even. So here's what I said:

"It is a fragmented and difficult future, but one preferable to a constant state of hysteria and schism." Let me be among the first to weigh in and agree with my brother in Christ Andrew Carey. It is indeed a fragmented and difficult time, but his words bring to mind the words from the hymn "as grain once scattered on the hillside was in this broken bread made one." Might it be that it is in our scattered brokenness that we will again be made one through the grace and mercy of the God we all claim in spite of our differences?

Fate of the above referenced comment on Titusonenine? "Comment deleted by Elf"


No room at the inn at Titusonenine ... not only for differences of opinion but for ANY perspective that comes from "across the aisle."

Remember when Anglicans prided themselves on the "big tent" they'd inherited from those who dared to imagine a church that could be both catholic and protestant? Remember when agreeing to disagree agreeably was a what we "did" as members of the Episcopal Church?

That was then. This is now.

And it makes the heart sad. (And ... for the record ... it's a revision of historic Anglicanism that cannot be laid at the feet of "the revisionists" --no matter how hard you try to spin it!)


Bill Carroll said...

At least someone is lamenting the fragmented state that George Carey helped engineer and Rowan Williams has only acted to enable.

Elaine C. said...

bless you for your gracious comment

Henry Greville said...

Dear Susan:
It was my good fortune to find your comment before the T19 police removed it. I am too moderate for most future-oriented progressives and most past-devoted reactionaries, but on this point about how Anglican inter-relationships are likely to evolve, I am with you. Each of us can do the work of Christ in the world without having to agree about everything to do with Christian religion

Just Me said...

I agree that your comment should not have been deleted; it seems odd that it was if that was the full comment posted.

From my viewpoint (and only because I'm politically aware and active) is that anyone who identifies themselves as "progressive" and/or states support for progressives... they will be immediately shut down/silenced by anyone who considers themselves conservative, libertarian or a 912er. In lack of a better phrase, "the gig is up"; there is no longer any "tolerance" for progressives.

Brad Evans said...

I've had my comments deleted and I know how you feel.
"I feel your pain!"

Marcia King said...

A couple of people have commented about the deletion of your comment on T19. But does it really make your heart sad? I'm serious. Really?

I sincerely wish both the progressive and conservative voices were more gracious toward each other. We are Christians afer all and the heat seeking missles I have seen fired over the past six years have been awful.

Given the resolutions passed at GC '09 and the recent episcopal elections, however, it seems the progressive agenda has overcome 2000 years of biblical supremacy and Church tradition. I'm genuinely surprised that it bothers you if an elf deletes a comment or two. Don't you know? You won.


Marcia ...

"Does it really make my heart sad?"



It does.

And it also makes my heart sad that you don't "get it." It really does.

I've had comments deleted before on other sites and deleted them here -- when they're off topic, polemic or commenting on comments rather than the original post. But this was different.

My post on T19 was yet-another good faith question from a cradle Episcopalian wondering where the via media we used to hold has gone ... and wondering if there mighten't be some grains of hope for new beginnings in what Andrew Carey posted.

I heard in his words a rather poignant longing -- one that I can't help wondering if doesn't have as much to do with the ghosts of British Empire past as it does with the present unraveling of the Anglican Communion as an institution.

As for who "won" -- this isn't a rugby match. For all that David Anderson famously said the reason he stayed in the Episcopal Church was "he likes a good fight" whether you believe it or not -- accept it or not -- understand it or not -- those who work for the full inclusion of all the baptized in the Body of Christ do so not because they like the fight but because they love the Gospel. And they want to share it with as many people as possible.

So yes, it makes my heart sad. Over the years Kendall Harmon and I have been on opposite sides of many issues and opposite microphones on many talk shows. And I prayed for him and his family when his mother died. And he prayed for me and mine when my son was in Iraq.

And it makes my heart sad that we're at the point where there is no longer a willingness to hear from or consider perspectives that differ.

People ask me ALL the time: Do you really want to be in the same church with "those people?" (the ones who stay because they like a good fight and use litigation to draw that fight out and who would exclude LGBT and/or women from all orders of ministry)

My answer -- honestly -- is not always. I'm only human, after all, and I weary of my life and relationship and vocation being "an issue."

But the more important answer is it is not MY church. Jesus is the one who makes the guest list and my job is to welcome in His name those who come seeking love, compassion, justice and mercy.

We've been at this a long time.

A refresher course is in the 2007 blog I wrote entitled "Story Time:"

We're more broken now that we were then. And yet there is abundant hope that as that grain scattered on the hillside was made one in the broken bread so we as the Body of Christ might become one in the broken institutional church.

And of all seasons, Advent is -- I believe -- the one to claim such hopes.

Advent Blessings, Susan