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The first of two important meetings has ended in stalemate. We shall see if Texas can do better. In the first meeting, held in New York through the past few days, bishops representing dioceses which seek to be in TEC but not of TEC, met with the Presiding Bishop who is and the Presiding Bishop who is to come; with establishment bishops, moderate bishops, and less conservative conservative bishops to find a way to resolve the present crisis.

It took three days to come up with the following report:

“We had honest and frank conversations that confronted the depth of the conflicts that we face. We recognized the need to provide sufficient space, but were unable to come to common agreement on the way forward.We could not come to consensus on a common plan to move forward to meet the needs of the dioceses that issued the appeal for Alternate Primatial Oversight. The level of openness and charity in this conference allow us to pledge to hold one another in prayer and to work together until we have reached the solution God holds out for us.”

Those used to what I term 815 Mandarin, may be able to interpret the report readily. For others I supply this brief translation. The report says everyone had a chance to speak and “share”, all agreed that there ought to be “space” for everyone, or maybe space for some, but no agreement emerged about how to get to the space, or what the space looks like. Indeed it all sounds very spacey.

Having realized that there was no common agreement on a plan to help the grieving dioceses, the report goes on to agree that everyone would pray for everyone hoping that God might step in to provide the solution and answer the prayers.

One can’t imagine what useful purpose such a report serves. It states the obvious and ends in cant.

It would seem to me that it might be a good idea if the bishops all read Tom Wright’s little book: “Simply Christian.” It’s a delightful read. It demonstrates the Bishop of Durham’s ability to speak clearly to ordinary people. In the process he gently steps on the toes of fundamentalists and liberals and everyone in between. Wright, I think, asks the Church, asks our Church to get beneath our divisions and capture once again the vision of who we are and whom we serve. There’s certainly enough about justice to satisfy any liberal, enough about the visible church to delight the Catholic and enough about the Bible to resonate with the evangelical.

It is to be hoped that the bishops who meet in Texas in a couple of weeks will seek to pierce through the hopelessness of Cause and Crusade, slogans and lobbies, fears and reactions. When these bishops have something to say, it might be a good idea to hire a journalist to write the report. If they can’t say anything much, better they say nothing at all. Surely the wretched report of the New York meeting demonstrates that!

5 Responses

  1. While the message is clearly in code, it does speak clearly that in spite of all the difficulties that combination of people must have, yet they stayed together and no one went off in a huff. If they continue to talk, that is a step in a good direction. Their prayers and ours will help. Without that and the underlying charity it entails, things would indeed be bleak. But they aren’t, and that is a good thing. At this point we need to hold on to every little glimmer to see if we can find the spiritual growth which I firmly believe will eventually come from this and other meetings.
    I still belong to that tiny group that believes 1) that Anglicans exist to change the Church; and 2) that TEC exists to change Anglicans; and 3) in the process ALL will change for the good of the Gospel.

    E. Perren Hayes

  2. I think that part of the problem is that neither Griswold nor KJS have the authority to grant all that has been requested. The Network apparently wants to be under the Canons and Constitution (or at least those parts which, in their judgement, do not offend their judgment) but not under the discipline embodied in those documents.

    They, apparently, also want to conduct their own, seperate episcopal ordianations without the participation of anyone outside of the Network. That is something to which KJS could consent, but the wisdom of that remains obscure.

    The other demands for pastoral care and their own province don;t need the consent of 815 at all. They already have organized themselves into a provinse, of sorts, called the Anglican Communion Network. No one can really force them to particpate in their geographic provinces and any interdiocesan cooperation they wish to do can just as easily be done however they wish. Similarly, they can appoint a conservative retired bishop to provide whatever pastoral care the bishops feel they need without any cooperation or consent from 815.

  3. I presume we will fairly soon see the proposals made by those who think the General Convention should have paid more attention to Lambeth and by those who think the General Convention paid sufficient attention to Lambeth.

    I’d like to see some proposals for a more effective union of the various “orthodox” juridictions – Network, AMiA, CANA, Southern Cone (Bolivia, Chile), Kenya, Uganda, REC, APA, etc. In Western NC we have a good APA parish in Arden with two missions in North Asheville and Black Mountain using the 1928, an AMiA congregation using a version of 1979 Rite II, and two Charismatic Episcopal congregations using their own versions of Rite II. We don’t have any Network or CANA churches.

  4. Hello +Tony!

    No surprise here – the only surprise would have come ‘if’ they had found some form of an agreement to keep the ‘ship afloat’ – now all eyes turn to Texas – some would offer that that should have been done a long time ago -GRIN- and you are right, +Tom Wright’s book would make a very good study and perhaps a foundation for what should follow.

    Blessings. D+

  5. http://perrenhayes.blogspot.com/

    He’s the coolest!

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