I’ve been reading and trying to understand the material which has come from the Primates’ Meeting in Tanzania. It looks as if the Primates may have come to the conclusion that to allow the division within the Episcopal Church in the US to widen in an uncontrolled way – intervention by Bishops and Primates from without/expensive and bitterly fought litigation within – in itself threatens the life of the Communion. Therefore the priority becomes that of trying to find a way of managing that division so that its power to damage the rest of the Communion is limited. Only time will tell whether that will be enough or not – and whether the liberal part of the Episcopal Church will be able to find it acceptable.
And, inasmuch as the divisions within the Episcopal Church are also present within each of our churches as well as between provinces, we all find ourselves facing the same questions. And it certainly has a familiar feel to me – much of what ministry in Ireland was about was the task of managing division over issues which could not be resolved – managing so that their power to destroy was limited and the hurts caused were mitigated.
What does “Coming to the table mean?”
The Episcopal Church has excluded the largest part of the population “from the table” because their theological views on homosexuality are biblical and not secular.
It is interesting to me that the majority of Episcopalians I meet in my own parish and outside my parish do not believe in consecrating openly gay homosexuals as any sort of cleric whether it is a deacon, priest or bishop however if you were to read what the US Episcopal reports they would say the majority of the church is “Liberal Minded”. Ha. Not True.
At best, the Episcopalians I know are people full of grace and love for the G&L community as they would anyone else having some sort of difficulty in their lives but do not agree with homosexuality at all.
It is hard to imagine that The Episcopal Church would argue about being allowed to “Come to the Table” even though there are theological differences when they have told their own people go “get out and give me your property before you leave”.
I don’t even believe that you can expect the Anglican Primates to allow you that seat at the table when you do not “Walk your own Talk” and exclude discussion about homosexuality from within your own ranks.
The Episcopal Church is fractured within its own church and does not care about “listening” to anyone else except those who agree fully with their liberal stance on homosexuality.
THERE IS NOT ROOM AT THE TABLE FOR CONSERVATIVE EPISCOPALIANS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
Unfortunately, you cannot talk out of both sides of your mouth and have any sort of credibility.
I am very much disappointed in the way this entire matter was handled by the former US Bishop Frank Griswold.
We will be dealing with his arrogant decisions for a long time to come.
I pray Holy Spirit that you would help us “Listen” to those in our own church and include them “at the table”.
What I do not get is how they expect TEC to make any changes to anything of any substance before the next meeting of General Convention in 2009. I do not know if our (TEC’s) Constitution & Canons allow the House of Bishops to do anything major apart from the approval of the House of Delegates (the members are clerical & lay, but no bishops, and are elected in each diocese by the diocesean convention delegates [lay and ordained], the lay members of which are in turn elected by their respective parishes).
If one wants to really understand our (TEC’s) polity, they should study U. S. Government, since a number of those who gathered in Philadelphia to write the U. S. Constitunion later gathered in New York City to write a very similar document for their part of what would evolve into the worldwide Anglican Communion.
No matter what happens I will not cede my membership in either the Anglican Communion or The Episcopal Church*.
(* I don’t use ECUSA since several of our curent dioceses are not in the USA [or even North America] but in other countries and I feel it would be disrespectful to ignore their membership in TEC.)
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