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I leave for diocesan Convention in the morning. It’s a five hour drive to Pipstem, a state park close to the Virginia valley border. It will be my first time at the annual West Virginia convention. The agenda looks calm and peaceful. Although we are not really far from the great urban centers in miles, we are remote from the feuds and fusses one encounters on the web. I think we have two Network parishes and a few moderately liberal parishes. The rest of us face problems related to survival. Can we afford clergy? Are there enough of us to get the job done? How do we manage relative isolation?

Next year we’ll celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Brits – Anglican Brits – at what became known as Jamestown. The settlers setup an awning, cobbled together a table, and gave thanks by celebrating the Eucharist according to the 1558 Book of Common Prayer.

So much is made of TEC’s “creation” as if it was made out of nothing, a unique creation established by visionaries. Perhaps during the next year we may regain balance by remembering who we are, and where we came from. Jamestown wasn’t built by the persecuted, by religious pioneers or political reformers. A few years after Jamestown, the Church in Virginia was the only official Anglican church left. It was beyond Cromwell’s reach.

For nearly two hundred years Anglican people in America, in different circumstances and conditions continued to do what Anglicans do, to worship as Anglicans worship and to hope as Anglicans hope. Few were idealogues. At the end of the 18th Century these people achieved home rule. I see little evidence that they believed they were tinkering with anything essential at all, unless one believes that polity is core doctrine.

Perhaps this is worth remembering and embracing at a time when revisionists of one stripe or another – iconoclasts – imagine that God has anointed them to make all things new… or all things old?