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[Bumped For Rather Obvious Reasons] Traditional Episcopalians Remaining In TEC Need A Third Way

Sunday, December 13, 2009 • 11:49 am

[I’m reminding everyone of this article prior to my posting an article offering an analysis of Mark Lawrence’s differentiation speech of some months ago.]

The point of such processes is to hold everyone together at the same table “in conversation” for as long as possible without his having to take any action or make any intervention.  That is, of course, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s right.  And it is other people’s right to opt out of his forced and continued conversation.  Some have opted out through ACNA.  Others will want to opt out by remaining within TEC, but working through other arenas and other channels than that of the international Communion instruments for resistance, reform, and renewal.

But the fact is that there is a large group of conservatives within TEC who . . .


Towards the beginning of this year, I wrote a much-commented-upon piece titled A Few Thoughts about the ACI’s Latest Reflection.  In it, I pointed out that there were several groups of traditional conservative Anglicans represented by various groups and methods of activity—but that one group within TEC, of which I am a member, is not represented by any group or leader at all. 

[Please note in this excerpt below that the words “inside strategy” do not refer to false notions of “reform of TEC” but rather to strategic, organized action within TEC.]

Let me just point out the conservative groups that we can all see for ourselves.

There is the ACNA—they’ve left TEC and have launched their own alternate Anglican entity.

There is the ACI and Communion Partners—they vigorously proclaim that they are not interested in an “inside strategy” but rather are interested in holding to their convictions and commitments “in patient and enduring witness” without engaging “in strategies and tactics designed to bring about desired future states.”

And then, there are traditional Episcopalians who are most certainly interested in engaging “in strategies and tactics designed to bring about desired future states” and who do not share all of the commitments and convictions of the ACII and many others communicate with these traditional Episcopalians seven days a week in dioceses from Atlanta to California to Georgia to Minnesota.

Some of them are actually clergy who are within the Communion Partners too, and laity and clergy who have engaged with the ACI.

So what we have are groups of “inside strategy” traditional Episcopalians who are separate from the convictions and commitments of the ACI and the formally expressed opinions of the Communion Partners—but who are interacting with those groups.

Let’s be clear.  There are Episcopalians who are most interested in the “inside strategy.”  The fact that the ACI and I assume the Communion Partners group eschews the “inside strategy” does not mean that those Episcopalians do not exist.

On the other hand, it is good to see the ACI and the Communion Partners continue to clarify their goals publicly.  Their expressed goals do not make them “bad organizations.”  Their goals merely express who they are and what they intend to do—and it’s important for clergy who are making decisions about participation in either organization to be aware of what those organizations mean to do.  There are some good people in both organizations and, from the perspective of this layperson, the Communion Partners is currently the only place that an inside strategy clergyperson can gain some fellowship.

In the same way, we all know what the new Anglican entity—the ACNA—is clearly seeking.  Those who leave for the ACNA have obviously abandoned any “inside strategy” as well.

At this point, those Episcopalians interested in the inside strategy need to connect with one another, and seek counsel where they can—but with crystal clarity that there is no organizational or institutional or national help for them.  We are, as I have said for the past almost two years, on our own.  Acknowledging that fact is the first step towards clarity and healing and seeking help where we can find it, with those who share our goals—and of course, fellowshiping with joy with all orthodox Anglican brothers and sisters, whether in the ACI, the Communion Partners, or the ACNA.

The article goes on at some length describing the massive differences amongst the various conservative groups within the COE and TEC, but points out again that those in “the third way” group—which is what I’m going to unofficially call us—are not represented by any organized group at all.  Episcopalians in the third way group have acknowledged over and over again for years that the national structures of TEC cannot and will not be reformed.  But we still wish to work strategically for resistance, reform, and renewal within many other contexts within TEC than the HOB, the HOD, the General Convention, and 815.  We don’t want to leave TEC.  We don’t think the Archbishop of Canterbury is “irrelevant” to Anglican Communion unity, but we do think that the current holder of the see is essentially and willingly “helpless” to do anything to aid traditionalists in TEC.  That being said, and noting that the current holder of the see may do as he pleases, his helplessness then renders the things he says about TEC of limited interest and certainly distracting from the things we ought to be doing over here in TEC.

Reading the Archbishop of Canterbury’s missive reminds me all over again why the lack of an organization for this strategic group is a significant gap. 

Rowan William’s response to the actions of TEC’s General Convention was precisely as predicted by anyone at all who recognizes that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.  Essentially he points everyone to a “process” whose outcome is extremely vague and nebulous—but which we all can safely see is very very far in the future.  That is, in fact, what he has done for six years, and what he will continue to do.  At one point it was the Lambeth Commission, and then the Windsor Process.  And then the Windsor Continuation Group.  Now it is the Covenant Process.  At a certain point, it will of course be another process.  Other processes morphed right along as the former processes failed.  At one time we had the Panel of Reference process.  Which later morphed into another process.  Which later morphed into the Pastoral Forum process.

Back two years ago, many persons of average intellect pointed out repeatedly that such a process would not work itself through the system for many years—most likely 2015, if then.  That point was repeatedly and vociferously denied by various Anglicans who are committed to “instruments of Communion” working the TEC issues out for the Communion, most likely because they need to live in that alternate reality which they and the ABC have constructed for as long as possible.  This is fine and I have no hard feelings towards them—everybody must figure out a way to navigate for themselves the implications of their own actions and strategies. 

The point of such processes is to hold everyone together at the same table “in conversation” for as long as possible without Rowan Williams having to take any action or make any intervention.  That is, of course, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s right.  And it is other people’s right to opt out of his forced and continued conversation.  Some have opted out through ACNA.  Others will want to opt out by remaining within TEC but working through other arenas and other channels than that of the international Communion instruments for resistance, reform, and renewal.

But the fact is that there is a large group of conservatives within TEC who:

—have recognized for some years now that the Instruments of Unity have failed and will not provide relief or establish any sort of common order ever
—wish to “engage in strategic, thoughtful action within TEC,” not to “reform TEC” but to work within various local contexts for numerous possible goals and outcomes
—have no interest in “patient and enduring witness” only without massive differentiation and strategic action
—wish to be differentiated from the national structures of TEC in a more significant and apparent and compelling and communicative way than simply affirming the three Windsor moratoria
—do not believe that an “Anglican Covenant” based on the corrupt Joint Standing Committee and zero spelled-out consequences will be at all effective in reigning in future chaos and division
—do not believe that the Instruments of Communion are “the effective means of ordering the common life of the Communion”—they are not effective and they do not order anything at all, much less “common life of the Communion”
—recognize that the current Archbishop of Canterbury will not do what he needs to do in order to solve the chaos and disorder that is in the Anglican Communion—this necessarily means that action must take place within TEC and among traditional Episcopalians to differentiate and “bring about desired future states” through other arenas and channels

Even now, the ACI and I assume Communion Partners will be writing a piece about how great the “response” of the Archbishop of Canterbury is to the actions of TEC through their 2009 General Convention.  This is fine—the “response” fits with their values and priorities and beliefs.  Even now, the ACNA will be writing a piece about how silly the “response” of the Archbishop of Canterbury is to the actions of TEC through their 2009 General Convention and that this “response” necessarily means that their way of opting out of Rowan Williams’s forced “conversation” is the only way.  That is fine also.

But for someone like me—and scads of others—neither way is an option.

We need a third way.


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Comments:

“Even now, the ACI and I assume Communion Partners will be writing a piece about how great the “response” of the Archbishop of Canterbury is to the actions of TEC through their 2009 General Convention.”

I wonder, since the Archbishop clearly said whether the CP can sign on will not be determined until after TEC has turned it down, which will be many years down the road, is not guaranteed, and if the Archbishop decides the can do so then, they still can’t sign on if the canons of TEC don’t allow it, which assuredly they won’t.  So I think the CP is not going to be part of the covenant unless TEC is part of it, which is only going to occur if the covenant is made meaningless.  Also, even the CP should be able to see that, considering how TEC is proceeding, this will not be determined until well after many of their laypeople have left TEC.

[1] Posted by pendennis88 on 07-27-2009 at 01:18 PM • top

Sarah:

Correct . . . we need a third way.  Unfortunately, we need leaders who are willing to cast a vision for that third way that enough folks could buy into to create that critical mass needed to make anything happen.  And, while I’m convinced that us layfolk have an opportunity and a responsibility to help craft and even lead that “third way,” we are, after all, “episcopalians.”  Nobody (at least no critical mass) will take any “third way” seriously unless there is a bishop out front casting the vision and leading the effort.

I’m just wondering if Bishop Lawrence is interested in serious engagement and discussion about exactly what that “third way” might be.  It might be hopeless and pointless to try to indentify a particular bishop, but, we really do need a bishop involved, and he is about the only one left who has not already left but also seems to be saying something more than “patient and enduring witness.”  We may be down to our last resort at this point.

How do we go about drafting the leaders needed to make this “third way” happen?

[2] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-27-2009 at 01:19 PM • top

Sarah, inciteful as usual.  But ... what is to be done?  Organization of such a 3d group seems to necessitate a church within a church.  GC may, according to HOD Prez Bonnie be the ultimate authority, but what bishop do you know will allow such a thing within his diocese without pastoral admonitions being given to his/her clergy - even some fairly conservative bishops forbade their clergy to become members of AAC.  How does the third group do anything without some sort of organization - and can such an organization be organized in the open?

[3] Posted by Billy on 07-27-2009 at 01:21 PM • top

Thank you, Sarah, for your thoughts. This article has given me a much clearer sense of your position. In one place, you write:

“But the fact is that there is a large group of conservatives within TEC who:—wish to “engage in strategic, thoughtful action within TEC,” not to “reform TEC” but to work within various local contexts for numerous possible goals and outcomes”

Do you have an idea that you can share about what such possible goals and outcomes might be? I think I understand what goals and outcomes you DON’T have in mind, but I’m having trouble imagining other scenarios.

[4] Posted by C Heenan on 07-27-2009 at 01:30 PM • top

#2, if Bp Lawrence and any of the conservative bishops, sitting or retired - or all of them - can come together to form a union of some sort to meet, pray and give support - and brainstorm about how such an organization can function without raising the ire of sitting diocesan bishops, if it can, perhaps some organization can take shape?  Some sitting conservative bishop would have to issue an invitation - maybe to those who voted no on the two resolutions.  But I’m in way over my head as far as advice on anything like that to a sitting bishop.

[5] Posted by Billy on 07-27-2009 at 01:34 PM • top

I think, Sarah, that you are correct, and I (in my last days before having to take the family away from EPAC) visulaized that third way thus:

It seems the left spent a very long time fomenting and forming their New Thang, 40 years or so by my observations if you start the ball rolling with Spong’s first eminations.  It seems really unrealistic to believe one could roll back the clock easily or quickly, especially as the New Thang movement had a greased downhill slide right alongside society as a whole.  I don’t think New Thang-ism was a reaction to anything in the Church, it seemed to me more a desire to make the Church look more like Society, from the view of the average liberal intellectual, a group certainly ascendant since the 1960’s and promoted, even canonized by media in news, movies, and print. 

Let’s face it, progressivism is basically the recognition and quest to smash victimhood, and finding victims in a society as large and diverse as ours is no great chore.  The oddity about all this, was that the New Thang-ers were able to find folks VICTIMIZED by Christianity.  It’s a complete reversal of common sense.  Anyway, I digress a bit.

What I visualized, was a “Back to Scripture” movement, facilitated by caring parents at the Sunday School level (we were actually pulling this off at a very small Church quite well when things fell apart) encouraging the already enquiring and hungry minds of children and youth.  This is a long-term commitment, but I’ve noticed with my children, that even at ages like 8 and 9, they are smart enough to understand that if something looks too easy, it’s probably not true.  That, to me, is the essence of understanding Scripture and embracing Christianity, that embracing the unlikely and seemingly impossible fact that we are loved BUT have expectations put upon us by a loving and caring God.

But the third way I envisioned, was a bit of an underground movement, giving up completely on anyone over the age of about 30 (remember “Lean on Me”, when they kicked the hopeless kids out of school) and focusing entirely on making sure youth got the straight story, without post-modern corruption and feel-good weakness in diluting the messages of Scripture. 

They might not get it right away, but ten, twenty years from now, they will be taking back their Church. 

So, forget about now, try to build for the future, and give God the Glory.

My two cents….KTF!...mrb

[6] Posted by Mike Bertaut on 07-27-2009 at 01:36 PM • top

Sarah, one other question that has me pondering for the “third way” Episcopalians who desire to remain in TEC is this: it seems like the “powers that be” are lining up processes to start/continue to force out bishops/priests, parishes and even laypeople who publically disagree with the the current course.  In charting that third way, must there be some thought to protecting conservatives from being forcably tossed out of TEC?  It seems like the more public the protest and disagreement, the more open one becomes to having those processes geared up against you.  I’d imagine the StandFirm folks who remain in TEC might be at the head of that list…

[7] Posted by advocate on 07-27-2009 at 01:39 PM • top

Jesus is the only way and TEC does not follow Him.

[8] Posted by aghsteel on 07-27-2009 at 01:43 PM • top

What would the third way look like?

[9] Posted by oscewicee on 07-27-2009 at 01:46 PM • top
[10] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 01:49 PM • top

Sarah - is dying on the stone bridge no longer the strategy? I mean, the alliance for defense has been rejected. I really wonder what other outcome you expect?

[11] Posted by Festivus on 07-27-2009 at 01:51 PM • top

Sarah, all top-down structures will fail us. Has to be bottom-up. Something akin to writing letters to you Congressman/Senator. How about you create (create it and we sign up) a list of every clergy and lay person reading Stand Firm (and other sites), and we ban together to write letters. And, to have the list of names of one another and pray the list-that God would work through us. Our goal? Be bold about talking about Jesus, the Jesus of Scripture! Oh and write more letters. Flood the ABC’s - Bp’s - KJS’s - rectors, etc., inbox’s. And yes, talk about Jesus some more. And pray. And then another letter or two. And 1Thes 5:17…..... OK, maybe it won’t solve your concern, but could be fun… Remember, “he is no fool who gives away what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

[12] Posted by FredH on 07-27-2009 at 01:51 PM • top

To take a page from history, perhaps what needs to be done is to gather in a large square, pour gasoline over our heads and threaten to light a match and self-immolate if things don’t change.  It won’t work, of course, but it is as good as any other “inside” strategy being bandied about.

[13] Posted by DaveG on 07-27-2009 at 01:52 PM • top

Sarah,

Well said.  You make an eloquent and convincing case. 

Although I’m a partisan supporter of the ACNA/FCA approach (the first way), I sadly must agree that there’s a big hole in the conservative Anglican line where that third way, that third force, needs to be. 

Now perhaps Eddie Swain (#2) is right, just maybe +Mark Lawrence, will become the leader and spokeman for that 3rd group.  Certainly he is uniquely gifted and positioned to do so.  Time will tell.

My point is that organized resistance is better than disorganized resistance.  Leaderless, uncoordinated troops don’t fight well, for no matter how bravely they keep fighting, they just aren’t very effective.

And the ACNA, and the CP movement, would both be greatly helped by the emergence of a well-organized, well-led 3rd fighting force contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.  Not least, it would complicate things for our foes, who would have to fight on three fronts, instead of just two.

So I say, go for it!  Recruit any bishops and prominent clergy you can find who will assist you in the formation of that new group.  But I suspect you won’t find many orthodox clergy still remaining within TEC who have the stomach for that desperate battle.  Those who are the fiercest and most determined opponents of TEC’s new party line have already departed, or soon will.

Still, it was the laity who really saved the Church in the long, bitter struggle against Arianism in the 4th century.  And who knows?  Maybe the same will be true in the 21st century.

Anyway, there is an honorable place for John the Baptist types, who will boldly take on the lonely role of being a voice crying in the wilderness.  Or Jeremiah and Ezekiel types, who faithfully persist in calling the people of God to repentance and warning of dire consequences if they don’t turn from their wicked ways, despite the covenant people’s stubborn, hard-hearted refusal to repent.

David Handy+

[14] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 07-27-2009 at 01:55 PM • top

David Handy+ wrote: “Still, it was the laity who really saved the Church in the long, bitter struggle against Arianism in the 4th century.  And who knows?  Maybe the same will be true in the 21st century.”

I pray it will be so. 
Vive le Resistance!
(both CP and Third Wave resistance)

If no leadership and organization is forthcoming and very soon, there will likely be a third wave of departures from TEC.

[15] Posted by Theodora on 07-27-2009 at 02:02 PM • top

A third way that relies on a formal organization will be problematic at this point for several reasons.  First, there is the ghost of the Network, which, up until the last few months was signalling that everyone would be included, whether inside or outside.  Of course, that could not continue.  Many parishes and clergy are now a bit resistant to joining another group that might leave them behind again.  Second, the large target that it would paint on parishes or clergy in many diocese would mean that certain rectors would not participate because it would be a distraction from the real work that needs to be done. 
I can envision something of a movement that is much less formal, that will not paint a huge target for anyone to aim at.  It would be self-selecting because at the center would be things like evangelism, sound biblical teaching etc. rather than political involvement in formal structure, though individuals within the movement could and should if possible hold positions within formal structures. 
It may not work, but trying to do the same things that have been tried before will only leave us with more of the same results.

[16] Posted by revrj on 07-27-2009 at 02:07 PM • top

Cursillo already exists in most/all dioceses. Push people to attend Cursillo, get a jolt of Jesus, come back to church and form prayer groups with fellow Cursillistas. Push more to attend Cursillo…

[17] Posted by Katie in Georgia on 07-27-2009 at 02:21 PM • top

Another good effort.

One thing that I don’t think anyone saw coming was the neutralizing (or should I say neutering?) of the Instruments of Unity. Really an amazing feat by Rowan Williams.

[18] Posted by robroy on 07-27-2009 at 02:24 PM • top

RE: “A third way that relies on a formal organization will be problematic at this point for several reasons.”

I agree with the reasons you give, but perhaps not the original thesis.

I think it is perfectly possible to neatly sidestep the issues with having an organization by 1) having a very small board of laypeople and 2) not accepting any “memberships”.

At that point, nobody but the small board of laypeople gets the target painted on them, and the organization doesn’t accept membership anyway, so nobody can “join.”  There isn’t particularly a need to join with something anyway.

Just some quick thoughts.

[19] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 02:39 PM • top

Good analysis, Sarah.

There is one aspect of this whole thing that puzzles me.  If the conservatives in TEC now have no power and are the targets of the progressives’ ire, what is hoped to be achieved?  Is this about martyrdom?

-Jim+

[20] Posted by FrJim on 07-27-2009 at 02:44 PM • top

Hi Jim—above in an earlier comment I linked to three articles that may answer your questions.

[21] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 02:49 PM • top

Katie in GA, is Cursillo OK? I heard that it had been weakened/changed?

[22] Posted by oscewicee on 07-27-2009 at 03:00 PM • top

With TEC HQ in NYC, perhaps we will be offered a place on the third rail .  Actually, we already have that if we stay with what Sarah rightly calls

“patient and enduring witness” only without massive differentiation and strategic action

In at least some cases, this will resemble a game of chicken, as a diocese or parish goes on about its known local work while refusing to cooperate with various aspects of the elite poobahs’ outside agenda.

TEC will be in a tough spot, trying to satisfy its craving for public approbation as noble and englightened, while simultaneously indulging its “one generation strategy” to grab up resources to maintain the positions and pensions of its poobahs.

[23] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 07-27-2009 at 03:05 PM • top

Sarah,  Thank you for this article.  It is needed in the aftermath of GC 76. 
David #14 The last thing we need is another AAC/ACN/ETC
#15 I do like the “Third Wave” title, tho…
#16 Subscribe! Too much organization then spends energy on the organization and makes the key players “targets”
#17 I love the Cursillo movement, but you must realize that the Nat’l Cursillo is very revisionist in their leanings, removing “spouses” from the application forms because “partners” wasn’t yet permitted…
  At GC 76 many of us made good use of the leadership of the AAC TEC desk, we were fairly organized on the floor and generally were able to get the Orthodox message included in the debate.  I am still pleasantly surprised at how big the “remnant” is after the four Dioceses have left.  I really thought we would be a smaller minority

[24] Posted by Soy City Priest on 07-27-2009 at 03:09 PM • top

For those of us with short attention spans, can these goals be summed up concisely?  My experience has been that organizations with charters that require 10,000-word explanations tend to fade quickly for lack of focus.

[25] Posted by Jeffersonian on 07-27-2009 at 03:10 PM • top

nobody but the small board of laypeople gets the target painted on them,

I suspect they would have to be replaced at frequent intervals….

[26] Posted by oscewicee on 07-27-2009 at 03:19 PM • top

I’ve been watching and listening to Bp. Lawrence and Dean Munday, having decided that I’ve more or less been in line with their take on things. I’ve also appreciated NT Wright and JI Packer.

Like so many others, I don’t have an escape strategy from TEC should things get to the point that corporate ministry and worship is no longer possible in my particular parish. I don’t think that’s going to happen. But, if my parish were to leave TEC, I would probably follow.

I’ve avoided joining any organizations because there’s nothing to be gained by my provoking somebody. I could see showing up at Mere Anglicanism some year.

I’m obviously not an activist.

[27] Posted by Ralph on 07-27-2009 at 03:21 PM • top

Oh dear, #24 Loose Cannon- no, I wasn’t aware of the changes in Cursillo. Well, so much for that thought…

[28] Posted by Katie in Georgia on 07-27-2009 at 03:22 PM • top

RE: “For those of us with short attention spans . . . “

Those with short attention spans would ask the same question moments after the concise “summing up.”  I’m sure that if a charter ever occurs [very very unlikely] the same question will be asked moments after the charter is unveiled.

; > )

[29] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 03:26 PM • top

How about the Alpha program?

[30] Posted by Doogal1234 on 07-27-2009 at 03:28 PM • top

Like Remain Faithful in FW before the split???  But without a membership master-list?  And without clergy on the board, so they can duck the radar?

[31] Posted by TXThurifer on 07-27-2009 at 03:33 PM • top

Maybe what I’m asking for is the One Big Idea that drives all the corollaries.  What big, overarching goal is the objective to an orthodox person staying in TEC?

[32] Posted by Jeffersonian on 07-27-2009 at 03:39 PM • top

A remnant church within a church may not need to be/have a top-down organization but it needs to have leaders—not big-name organizational leaders so much but preachers and teachers, people who will speak at local, regional and national conferences, people who are writing Christian books that can refresh and uplift the masses, people who can be looked to for inspiration. These local, regional and national conferences are important because they are a reminder that the orthodox faithful are not alone, are not the only people in the country standing for the Gospel.
I am thinking especially of the Canadian experience with Essentials and J. I. Packer.

[33] Posted by Toral1 on 07-27-2009 at 03:56 PM • top

Sarah, while I agree with most of what you write, I disagree on one point. I believe the the ABC has want a “tiered” Communion for years, at least since 2003, and has been consistent on that point, always coming back to it. I also believe that he wants a situation that will allow traditionalists within TEC to remain in Communion with the AC. His weakness, to me, is putting forward how this will work. I think he is a good man, showing Christian love and charity to all, but deeply troubled by the Anglican wars, and the hatred exhibited by our factions. He seems to want “a happy issue out of all our afflictions…” sigh

[34] Posted by FrVan on 07-27-2009 at 03:59 PM • top

RE: “What big, overarching goal is the objective to an orthodox person staying in TEC?”

I can’t speak for all orthodox persons staying in TEC, but for me it is:

An Anglican focusing on opportunities for contextualized reform, renewal, resistance, and strengthening rather than international or national activities, while watching closely for the next holder of the See of Canterbury and the political shifts in the COE.

[35] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 04:00 PM • top

To put it another way, from another article [that slipped out of Certain Parties’ minds the instant they read it]:

The thing to do is to make the best of how things are now and work within how things are now, doing the small things well within our parishes and dioceses, while waiting for a turn of the tide and winds on the international front, if that turn is to come. If that turn never comes, then the Anglican Communion will continue to whirl apart—the center not only did not hold but it will continue not to hold. And thus, the Anglican Communion will continue to further fragment until all but the bare bones of the structure remain.

[36] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 04:04 PM • top

Okay, so it’s got it’s steering committee, and then a huge network below it.  What does the structure of the network look like, what are the rules of networking, and should there be another steering committee devoted to administration of the network?

[37] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-27-2009 at 04:12 PM • top

Anyone staying in the TEC is supporting financially the practice of forcing people out of their church buildings.A year ago Easter I realized I could not do it anymore. I joined the TAC and have slept better since.

[38] Posted by sic transit gloria mundi on 07-27-2009 at 04:15 PM • top

I would suggest that the Third Way’ers get in touch with Bishops Love, Beckwith and Lawrence (especially Bp. Lawrence). As I see, it Orthodox Episcopalians can be divided into two groups: Those in orthdox dioceses and those who are not.

Therefore, two strategies need to be pursued. The first is to strengthen the orthodox dioceses and make arrangements to insure that they remain orthodox. The other is to shelter those are isolated in the storm of heterodoxy.

[39] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-27-2009 at 04:18 PM • top

RE: “Anyone staying in the TEC is supporting financially the practice of forcing people out of their church buildings.”

Please don’t continue to sow falsehood and misinformation.  People within revisionist dioceses are well able to designate their pledge for parish use only [if their parish allows them to do that and keep such pledges off the books for the operating budget on which the diocesan pledge amount is based] or simply not give to their parish except with in-kind contributions [which *does* effectively keep the pledge off the operating budget on which the pledge to the diocese is based.]

People who are in orthodox dioceses—like South Carolina—do not even send money to the national church through their own dioceses, which have ceased that practice.

Again—I’m addressing your comment one time and one time only.  Further incessant claims along these lines will be deleted, as they have been thoroughly debunked many many times here at StandFirm.

Thanks.

[40] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 04:26 PM • top

Oh no, not two strategies again. wink

[41] Posted by oscewicee on 07-27-2009 at 04:26 PM • top

The Third Way group is already forming, or can be if the will is there. The members are:
Sara Hey
Eddie Swain
FredH
Loose Canon
and a whole lot more out there ready to jump on.
Truthfully, nothing will happen unless the very people who feel strongly about this—such as the renowned Sara Hey—DO it. The tools are here at StandFirm to establish contact via the private messaging. All that it takes is the will.

[42] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-27-2009 at 04:27 PM • top

Mike Bertaut (#6) and Revrj (#16):

Unless I’m missing something in what the two of you have written, I can’t see any difference between what you propose and what the CPP folks say they are doing (patient and enduring witness with no strategies or tactics for bringing about desired future states).  That is what Sarah calls the “2nd way.”  Nothing wrong with that if that is what you feel called to . . . However, we are trying to find a way for those of us not content with that plan to band together and employee strategies and tactics to bring about desired future states (unless I’m missing something in what you are advocating).

In the Joy of Christ,
Eddie Swain

[43] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-27-2009 at 04:32 PM • top

The picture of Sarah’s group I’m getting is the French underground resistance movement after Paris fell to the Germans.

[44] Posted by Marie Blocher on 07-27-2009 at 04:38 PM • top

Sarah:
Excellent article.

There are perhaps thousands who feel as you do. I have many, many friends, in a nearby orthodox TEC parish, who feel as you do.

My thoughts are that such leadership probably needs to come from laity. They clergy could be threatened, or have various threats carried out against them.  I think such leadership roles would be very dangerous for the clergy to assume.

[45] Posted by ohio anglican on 07-27-2009 at 04:48 PM • top

Brer Rabbit (#42):

I don’t know whether to take your inclusion of my name in your idea as a compliment or a challenge.  But, the fact of the matter is that Sarah Hey is a leader in the third way movement, and has been all along (I wouldn’t put myself in the same category at all).

The problem has been that, at the beginning, forces beyond Sarah’s (or anyone’s) control de-railed Sarah’s strategy (at least as a national strategy).  The Network and the AAC morphed from “inside” to “outside” and left all “third wavers” high and dry.

For the past couple of years, Sarah has been pretty consistent in her call for a third way (it may not have been called that, but her strategies have been pretty consistent).  Meanwhile, very few people have joined in the fight (at least not in any discernable way).  Lots of folks focused on their parishes and there have been more than a few good examples of rector searches snatched from the jaws of defeat (but not nearly enough).  There have been precious few victories at the diocesan level (but mainly in dioceses that were basically orthodox to begin with), and even more resounding defeats.  And, absolutely no vicotories at the national level (unless you count the Thew-Forrester rejection).

The reason is because the orthodox have not been able to unite behind any achievable goals.  We have allowed our concerns about one thing or another (women’s ordination; worship style; inside vs. outside; relationship to Canterbury; concern about retribution and target painting . . . the list goes on and on forever).

What we need is for a critical mass of layfolk and more than a few clergy to understand that we are in a fight for our lives and we need to put everything except Jesus and Gospel aside and set some goals and stay united.

Unfortunately, every time we do that (or get close), we end up having some sort of internal orthodox split and we are now at the place where we have the leavers (they were the folks that had the closest thing to a critical mass of people willing to do hard work) and the CPP stayers (who have basically decided to leave everything in God’s hands and focus on persistence in faithful witness till the end . . . I guess hoping that some assistance will come from the international front.

What’s left are folks who want to see another option, but we aren’t networked so we can’t really get anything done.  And, frankly, I fear that we wouldn’t have the critical mass needed to get anything done if we managed to get ourselves networked.  And, even if we could get a critical mass together, I fear that we could never settle on a unified set of goals.

So . . . unless we get this critical mass of support under the existing lay leadership, as well as some sort of credibility that would come from at least one respectable bishop willing to take on the mantle of clergy leadership . . . there just isn’t a third way, and we are left with the choice of either leaving TEC or bearing out a persistent and faithful witness without any strategies and tactics to bring about future states.

Sorry I sound pessimistic, but I’m basically just trying to come to grips with this as the only choice available, and I just don’t like either choice right now.  That is why I am desperately looking for a third way myself.  But, I know that it will take a critical mass of people underneath whatever leadership structures emerge in order for that to work, and the failure to capture the attention of a critical mass on any inside strategy thus far attempted is likely indicative of any future scenario as well.

[46] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-27-2009 at 04:58 PM • top

I have been an orthodox member of upstate,a delegate to many conventions, starting Alpha at my church; we had a good group of resistance, but we were outmaneuvered….  ...prior to that I was at St Michael’s in Charleston, upon moving I moved my letter back to St Michael’s..I am in the process of moving to a location where the bishop has not voted as I wanted, and has not been transparent at all…but I am still in TEC..lets see what we can do….

[47] Posted by ewart-touzot on 07-27-2009 at 05:01 PM • top

STGM [38]-

I’m sticking around because there’s nowhere else to go… sort of like the Alamo, or the battle of Rorke’s Drift. There’s nowhere to retreat to, so I figure I’ll stand here on the wall until the end.

When the end finally comes, I’ll probably stop going to church. Or I’ll find a big, anonymous RC parish where nobody knows me, sit quietly in the back, learn to live without receiving Communion, and mind my own business.

I’m tired of fighting, but it’s almost over.

[48] Posted by Athanasian on 07-27-2009 at 05:10 PM • top

I agreed with almost everything you wrote.  I didn’t much care, though, for the way you referred (and the way I have seen so many others refer, here and elsewhere) to the ABC.

He’s “willingly helpless to do anything to aid traditionalists in TEC”?  That sort of thing frankly bothers me.  I think it is neither helpful nor particularly Christian, and I especially think it demonstrates ignorance of +Rowan’s basic nature and an unjustified disregard for both his gifts and the extraordinary difficulties he faces.

As for +Rowan’s basic nature and gifts: he is, at heart and to the core, a peacemaker.  (You know, one of those people who are blessed, and shall be called the children of God?  Matthew 5:9.)  Everything I know of him, everything I have heard from those who know him well, and everything I have read either by or about him, confirms this. 

I have serious, deep, and abiding problems with just about everything TEC is doing these days.  I think it would be lovely if someone would come thundering up on his white steed, slay a few metaphorical dragons, and magically fix everything.  It would also, I confess, give me great (if fleeting) satisfaction to see the equivalent of a stern and angry parent chastising TEC and sending certain bishops (and clergy, and lay deputies) to their respective rooms – and maybe even using a crosier to get in a quick swat to a few behinds.  But neither of those things is going to happen – it’s not possible; that’s just not how the Anglican Communion works.  For better or for worse, we have neither a pope nor a Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

It seems to me that very few traditionalists in TEC express any understanding of or empathy for the fact that poor +Rowan finds himself in a very trying and tricky – and undoubtedly quite stressful – situation.  It really is an excellent example of a “lose-lose” situation – no matter what he does or how he does it, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth; from all sides, people will rail against him, excoriate him, post mean-spirited comments about him on numerous websites, and almost certainly send him nasty letters.  And when they do, he will react as he always does: peaceably, generously, kindly, in reasonable and measured tones.  I tell you, it impresses the hell out of me; despite my aspirations, I doubt I will ever have the patience to turn the other cheek so many times.  (I only have two, and once they’ve both been slapped, it gets a lot harder for me not to hit back.)

I’m going to go briefly off onto a tangent: if anyone reading this comment has ever written a nasty letter to a bishop or priest, or is presently tempted to do so, please stop.  Bishops at every point on the spectrum have been getting nasty letters from every other point on the spectrum since 2003 – whether a bishop is liberal, conservative, or moderate, he is too liberal for some, too conservative for others, and insufficiently established on one side of the fence or the other for almost everyone.  Rude and nasty letters are not helpful, they are not an appropriate response for a Christian, and they help create a climate which can only accelerate the gradual destruction of our Church.

And now back to my main point:

As people who are doing our best to be good and faithful Christians, I believe that our job is to keep trying to find a way to untie the Gordian knot our Church has made of itself.  As anyone who has ever tried to undo a big knot can tell you, it will not help to start furiously yanking; instead, what is required is a calm, gentle, and steady hand, as well as a dogged persistence.  (Patience with things, I have in spades; patience with people, not so much.)  +Rowan, to his credit, has all of these things.  I feel for him, and I pray for him.

[49] Posted by fishsticks on 07-27-2009 at 05:14 PM • top

Sarah, I think this an excellent article.  That said, count me in as a non-member of TEC working in a very small, very orthodox TEC parish, doing my best to make sure that one under 30 couple and one 5oish woman get a firm grounding in Holy Scripture…what it says and what it does not say and why it is reliable.  I keep a low profile; I am known to the revisionist bishop on sight so I avoid being where he is.  Having a different last name from my husband (a “temporary” priest substitute for a while) helps tremendously.  Should the bishop find me and forbid my teaching in one of “his” parishes, I will teach at another location.  That’s the best I can do.  If that is appropriate to the third way, count me in.  Frances Scott

[50] Posted by Frances S Scott on 07-27-2009 at 05:19 PM • top

The Network and the AAC morphed from “inside” to “outside” and left all “third wavers” high and dry.

#46 Eddie,  I meant it when I said that we had a good resource at Anaheim in the AAC’s TEC Desk.  I was a bit upset when the leaders of AAC went outside, but as Sarah and Greg have said we can not fault individual decisions and <u>the AAC is still there</u> for this Third Way, or whatever we might be called.  I have seen several former fence sitters, several moderates, in my mission Churches sit up and take note over several of the events from GC 76.  They are taking note of budgetary priorities and the PB’s opening remarks about the “heresy” of Individual Salvation.  The third way is a place for them to gather along with us.

[51] Posted by Soy City Priest on 07-27-2009 at 05:57 PM • top

ISTM that if the insiders come up with a scheme to distacnce themselves from the apostacy, then KJS, Beercat, etc. will just bring discipline against them for not bowing to the hierarchial, God ordained leaders.  Trouble makers and those who don’t obey are usually not tolerated.  But of course that would answer the porblem, because she would have made them outsiders.

[52] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 07-27-2009 at 06:12 PM • top

#39 mathew A   You are an enabler whether you buy the alcohol or merely leave where it can be taken. Without the bottle there can be no drinking.

[53] Posted by sic transit gloria mundi on 07-27-2009 at 06:38 PM • top

#53, I speak Al-Anon, fluently. smile Who’s talking about buying the alcohol? I’m talking about setting up a shelter for the families of the addicts. I’m talking about support for those who are bereft.

Maybe that’s what is needed. A support group for Christian anglicans. Not a church or a church structure, but a third way structured more like Al-Anon to teach coping skills, help the members through the grief process and mutually support each other.

Maybe this whole crisis is God’s way of telling North American Anglicans to get their collective sticks out of their collective arses? Maybe we need to get cellular, unstructured and ad-hoccy and then rebuild once we’ve healed a bit.

Perhaps, and this is just a wild and crazy idea, it’s time for all of us to get serious, really serious about evangelism? As for the revisionsist, ‘let the dead bury the dead’. Just commit to spreading the Gospel.

I think if we do that we may very well bury the calcifying mainline structure.

Just spitballin’....

[54] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-27-2009 at 06:52 PM • top

Since military quotes are somewhat fashionable:

“We are outnumbered, there is only one thing to do. We must attack!”
- Admiral Andrew Cunningham, 11 November 1940.
Before attacking the Italian fleet at Taranto

[55] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-27-2009 at 07:00 PM • top

Eddie Swain,

Yes, it was rather more of a challenge than a compliment. I just looked at the commenters here who (1) seemed to be favorable to Sarah’s idea, and (2) seemed to be inside TEC. The point is, the winning strategy always starts now and the losing strategy often starts later. If it’s a good idea, then just do it!

If you wait for that “critical mass,” then it’s never going to happen. The path to the critical mass starts now, not later.

Looked at another way, the critical mass is actually 6 people. Look at most any grass roots organization or movement, and you will discover that most of the work and an even greater part of the energy is generated by a core group of 5 or 6 people. Such a starter group is readily within the grasp of the commenters here at Standfirm.

Yes I know that Sarah is the sparkplug, and I have been watching her work. Now is the critical moment. Back her up on her idea, go to work, and get started!

Sorry that sounds so bossy—it’s my chief failure. I mean it as a suggestion. I speak from a background as an activist. I was once in a group of five or six activists that thought we had a justice issue that was not being addressed, and we had been meeting monthly to talk about it. Finally, I reached into my pocket, handed $20 to our most vocal proponent, and said “Ok, here’s the first contribution to our legal fund.” He was backed into a corner; now he had to open a bank account for a fund drive. Within a year we collected $40,000 dollars, and took our grievance all the way to the Supreme Court.

We lost, but that’s another story. The point is that if words don’t lead to action we might as well all change our names to Rowan.

You are blessed. Go forth without fear. Success is not guaranteed. If you do not start, failure is guaranteed.

[56] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-27-2009 at 07:29 PM • top

cool smirk

[57] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 07-27-2009 at 07:46 PM • top

Let me be quite blunt. Unless the “stayers” are willing to treat TEO as a true mission field and comport themselves as if they are evangelizing the lost, they will get nowhere. This means that every committee meeting, vestry meeting, diocesan meeting, meeting with the bishop, etc. must be treated as if you are Peter on Pentecost or Paul in the Agora of Athens. Unless you know the people have surrendered themselves to Jesus you have to assume otherwise.

Unfortunately, be prepared for the same treatment as Peter, Paul, and the rest of the Apostles and martyrs. You might be ridiculed and thrown out and your good name sullied - but if you count it all “trash” as did Paul you’ll keep going.

This approach requires that you are called by the Lord to TEO as the mission field - in which case you stay until they clap you in chains or throw you out of town. Not everyone is called to evangelize in TEO.

This approach also requires you have a strong community of believers with which to become saturated in the Word and the breaking of the Bread. When your “church” isn’t a Church, you need a Church.

This is, I think, the heart of the “third way”. You’ll have to simultaneously be “in TEO” and “not of TEO”. You can do it only if you have a peculiar kind of fortitude - and no children to be corrupted (since you can’t hover over the kids all the time to protect them from the wolves in the sheepfold). This is also the reason why the third way is so unstable - it takes a very special calling to stay in hostile territory as a missionary without rotation or respite.

[58] Posted by Doug Stein on 07-27-2009 at 08:39 PM • top

An Anglican focusing on opportunities for contextualized reform, renewal, resistance, and strengthening rather than international or national activities, while watching closely for the next holder of the See of Canterbury and the political shifts in the COE.

I’m a great admirer of yours, Sarah, but I just don’t see many picking up their muskets and charging to the barricades with this.  And if you’re not on offense, you’re on defense.

[59] Posted by Jeffersonian on 07-27-2009 at 08:39 PM • top

RE: “I’m a great admirer of yours, Sarah, but I just don’t see many picking up their muskets and charging to the barricades with this.”

I’m cool with that.  ; > ) 

But keep in mind, Jeffersonian—for people who simply ain’t leavin’, that mission sounds pretty good.

[60] Posted by Sarah on 07-27-2009 at 08:41 PM • top

The Evangelicals who met at VTS in May were talking not so much about a third way as about what might be called the ‘old way’—faithful biblical teaching in the local parish generation after generation. No quick solutions, but the one ‘strategy’ that we know for sure aligns us totally with God’s will.

We’re meeting again in September, and Michael Lawson, chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council will be a featured speaker, looking at how Evangelicals in England have affected their church; Chuck Alley, one of the Communion Partners rectors, will also be one of the speakers—‘Of babies and bathwater’ sounds like having some good points to make.

More details at http://canterburytrail.wordpress.com/

Philip Wainwright

[61] Posted by Philip Wainwright on 07-27-2009 at 08:44 PM • top

Dear sweet fishsticks, #49 That is a lovely post, but there is NO way to make peace between good and evil. 

What you are talking about is tolerance and peace*keeping* which are not really peace*making* that leads to true unity.

Rowan Williams has been set on trying to make peace between anti-christian heterodox/immorality and orthodox/holiness. 

Won’t ever work.  Besides, it’s against God’s will and all of Scripture.

It is this kind of thinking and behavior, while it sounds lovely, is really co-dependency and it has led to the downfall of the Episcopal Church.

Jesus said he had not come to make peace with non-believers, rebellious, and evildoers, but a sword.  The only unity is in the Holy Spirit in the bond of peace…it is peace made through agreement on basic Gospel theology, doctrine and discipline.

[62] Posted by Theodora on 07-27-2009 at 09:16 PM • top

The picture of Sarah’s group I’m getting is the French underground resistance movement after Paris fell to the Germans.

I like the Dutch Resistance better.  Hey waitaminute.  Ik ben Fries.

[63] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-27-2009 at 09:17 PM • top

#63. Moot,
Only you would have De Gaulle to say something like that.
Blessings,

[64] Posted by Fr. Dale on 07-27-2009 at 09:28 PM • top

(disclaimer: outside strategist) putting on my inside strategist hat for a minute acouple of other ideas come to mind. First, any action must have a long-term component to it or align to one. It can’t be simply about slapping patches on or rear-guard holding action. It perhaps should be more like the French resistance during WWII. The Vichy government capitulated and France was occupied. I also want to be careful that we do not strain the war-time analogy too much either. But the Resistance built up an impressive network that supported their work right under the noses of the revisionists, er, sympathizers. There were leaders of course who were dogged constantly, but the cell arrangement made it much more difficult to control the effects. Now obviously this in no way is meant to be an admonition to try and politically undermine the progressive power structure. It IS meant to provide an example of how to help one another by ground-level networking, sharing resources, combining prayer trees, mapping diocesan behaviors in revisionist diocese and so on. With a distributed network a lot of support can be generated with little political liability. My respects and prayers for all waves.

[65] Posted by masternav on 07-27-2009 at 09:40 PM • top

Things We Couldn’t Say, by Diet Eman (Excerpts)

On the 15th of May, 1940, the Netherlands surrendered.  Hitler had assumed that he could take this little country with their bicycle soldiers within a day, but it took him five.  The Dutch surrendered only because Hitler’s bombers had destroyed Rotterdam… I didn’t know it then, but Hein had been transferred to Rotterdam before the boming, and he say the whole thing himself 
p 23

from Hein’s journal:

Pentecost I could not celebrate.  War of five days and we were conquered.  Bitter I have been.  Hate I felt.  Courage, for I did not shrink from death Only Diet was there - because of her I still was careful.
I have been in the flames of hell of Rotterdam.  And the sun I saw through the black-gray column of smoke was changed into blood.  And it spoke to me.
Much has happend, and I could not be silent. 
Not we wait patiently, and sometimes impatiently, for we don’t know the future.  One day we will have peace again.  One day we won’t hear the engines of warplanes any longer.  One day we will again live freely, lives of happiness and love and Dutch luxury.  Maybe then people will acknowledge that neither the one, nor the other, but that -he- rules the world.

p 27

[66] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-27-2009 at 10:25 PM • top

pp 37-38

It was no more than a few months after the Occupation began that we realized there were things that simply had to be done.  When we saw injustice, we all felt it;  we couldn’t just sit there and do nothing.  But what could we do?  The atrocities toward the Jews all around were beginning, and we felt that it was our duty to act in some way.  But it took time for us to know exactly what, when, and how we could do something.

Right from the beginning, the Occupation created ambiguities, arguments, and difficult struggles within Christian circles…  Even my brother was originally inclined to think that one simply could not work against the Germans if one followed the teachings of Scripture. 

The queen and the government had left for England in the early moments of the five-day invasion, and there was a whole group in Holland who said tha the queen had no right to lead us anymore.  Those of us who remained behind were required to obey the government that God had given us now - that is, the Germans.  But Hein and I and many others felt that our royal family had been crowned in a religious ceremony, with the words “By the grace of God.”  We felt the queen was our rightful government, and we felt that we were doing what the Lord wanted when we obeyed her.  That’s why, later in the occupation when the queen actuallly told the Dutch to go on strike against the Germans, we did it, although our actions cost many lives.”

[67] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-27-2009 at 10:34 PM • top

#59,

I’m a great admirer of yours, Sarah, but I just don’t see many picking up their muskets and charging to the barricades with this.

Actually, this song runs through my head every time I think of how glad I am to be on the inside:

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men
It is the music of a people
Who will not be duped again

When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
there is a life beyond GenCom
When tomorrow comes

Will you join in our crusade *
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade
There is a world we long to see

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will go and some will stay
Will you stand up and take your chance?

[...And I envision Sarah as our own Enjolras…..]

 


*not proselytizing here….following posting guidelines by not exhorting or criticizing, merely inviting…..

[68] Posted by heart on 07-27-2009 at 10:37 PM • top

As an ACNA member, I agree with everything Sarah has said. Its a realistic appraisal of the availible options for TEC members, and of the political landscape in the Anglican Communion.

[69] Posted by Going Home on 07-27-2009 at 10:47 PM • top

Sarah: Can you explain what “contextualized” means in regard to, “reform, renewal, resistance?”

many thanks.

[70] Posted by lift high the Cross on 07-27-2009 at 10:49 PM • top

the third way sounds like a good option for folks in a diocese with an orthodox bishop.

[71] Posted by AhKong2 on 07-27-2009 at 10:58 PM • top

20. - Jim+
It’s not about martyrdom.  It’s about being faithful. It’s about being a missionary within the walls of my own church parish.  It’s about setting my eyes upon the Lord instead of the giants before me.  It’s funny how small the TEC “giants” are when placed against the backdrop of an omnipotent and unceasingly faithful Father.
On the surface it would seem as though we conservatives have “no power”...but with the Lord Jesus all things are possible.  He has conquered death.  He has overcome the world. Remaining in TEC does not put my soul in jeopardy, it puts my faith into action.  I am secure because I am grounded in Him, not TEC.  I would be ashamed to be in front of my Creator only to have him ask me one day, “Where were you when I needed you to help the lost within TEC?”  How would I answer?  “But, but, but I thought they were too far lost for you to reach!”

[72] Posted by DJHunterB on 07-27-2009 at 11:21 PM • top

I thought that you had the Third Way already in motion and it was called the “Inside Strategy?” Have I missed something?

[73] Posted by TLDillon on 07-28-2009 at 12:07 AM • top

Eddie,
You are in the 3W, brother.  But it is not about critical mass.

DJ,
That is the only Power left to us, and He is Power enough.

[74] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 07-28-2009 at 02:12 AM • top

The prevailing teaching on leadership is not and can not be “squeeze hard enough and something will finally pop out.”
I am assured that Jesus has not given up on the love He has for his Body, the Church.  Certainly, He is grieved; if you listen you will hear the testimonies of those who have been given the momentary blessing and pain of experiencing His grief.  Despite His own thwarted efforts and the resulting breaking of the Heart of Jesus, though, He is still with us and will be always.
  And since Jesus has not abdicated from Headship it also means that He has been, and is now, calling new leadership.  And that leadership will arise, fear not.

  In the meantime, this now is the season of forerunners.  And although a few of the more visible forerunners may “lose their head” like John the Baptist at the whim of spiritual arrogance, pride and envy, they will do so having proclaimed the Kingdom of God and its standards, and pointed to Jesus as the One who embodies that Kindgom.  Leaders of a 3W will emerge.
  Forerunners are lay and ordained, in any and every circumstance (including the isolated), watching and prepared for “opportunities” (that is, any and every opportunity) to proclaim that Kingdom and point to Jesus, the Bread of Life.
Proclamation and testimony will be a great part of this season, so know how to do both.  Profoundly simply resources are available.
  Prayer must be first and foremost.  Be aware of the fact that God hears your prayers.  So many, many times I have heard Prophets and prophecy that included the Lord saying, “I have heard the cry of your heart for _______”, or “Your prayers for _________ have been heard.”  Bring your complaints and your cries, and your hopes and desires to the Lord in prayer, in Jesus’ Name.
  And while you are praying, focus in on the gifted offices necessary to build up the body in unity to the glory of God.  This is God’s power made available.  I am thinking especially of Ephesians 4, which is the epistle for this Sunday.  Pray for these offices to be filled and raised up in the Church.
  In fact, as I know see, it is all there this Sunday: Jesus as the One we need, God knowing our prayers, and the Holy Spirit’s work in raising strategic ministry “offices” for all the right reasons.
  And it should also not be overlooked that there is a great convergence of lectionaries this Sunday: Canada, 79 BCP, RCL, and English, and perhaps others, all proscribing the same set of lessons.

Signing off with this:  This Sunday with the lessons, and especially the lectionaries convergence, is exactly one of those “opportunities”.  If you are a preacher this Sunday, preach it.  If you are a member of the laity, no matter whether in a reasserting or revisionist/reappraiser congregation, get this message to the preacher for this Sunday, “Wow. I just heard that most every English-speaking church in the world will be using the same lessons on Sunday!  That is amazing (or awesome or sweet or so cool).  I’ll be listening especially close to what God has to say, along with in your sermon.”
Go to church prepared to take notes.  After church share verbally with your preacher a couple of things you heard that you agreed with or challenged you.  Than ask your preacher if you can share your notes with her or him later.  Make the appointment.
If you’re not sure of what to say, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the words.

[75] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 07-28-2009 at 03:36 AM • top

For anyone thinking of remaining inside the increasingly lawless evil Episcopal organization:

1. Prayer and spiritual warfare and having an organized *constant* faithful fervent intercession are essential.  There are spiritual forces operating in Anglicanism that need people with spiritual understanding. 

2. Operating under GODLY authority and oversight and being accountable and transparent are also essential.

3.  II Timothy 2:24-26 comes to mind when thinking of an inside strategy.  TEACHING Jesus Christ as The WAY TRUTH and LIFE, teaching the true Gospel, the Scriptures, teaching disciplines of prayer, repentance, confession, holy living (which is the best spiritual warfare) are essential.

[76] Posted by Theodora on 07-28-2009 at 04:48 AM • top

RE:  (#58) Doug Stein
“You can do it only if you have a peculiar kind of fortitude - and no children to be corrupted (since you can’t hover over the kids all the time to protect them from the wolves in the sheepfold)”
and
(#71) TheBeat
“the third way sounds like a good option for folks in a diocese with an orthodox bishop.”

These are not the only means by which to be “stayers.” 
We have young children and a revisionist bishop.

Fortunately, we have a large orthodox parish, which is thriving.  Our children are being well-taught, and our bishop is being ignored as much as possible.  I think as long as our church continues to be the biggest contributor to his coffers, he is mostly content to let us be.

RE: #54, the wise mousestalker:
“Perhaps, and this is just a wild and crazy idea, it’s time for all of us to get serious, really serious about evangelism? As for the revisionsist, ‘let the dead bury the dead’. Just commit to spreading the Gospel.
I think if we do that we may very well bury the calcifying mainline structure.”

Exactly. 
Or as our clergy keeps saying “Keep the main thing the main thing.”

I was very distressed for a time, when I felt like so many in our pews were not “getting” what was “really going on” in the wider church. I wanted our clergy to be constantly informing them, keeping them current on all the horror, preaching and teaching against it, etc. but I finally understand that what they want is to teach and preach the Truth, and the natural outgrowth of that is an increasingly orthodox (and increasing!) congregation, which is not distracted from “the Main Thing.”

[77] Posted by heart on 07-28-2009 at 06:25 AM • top

#77. Agree wholeheartedly! but is it time for ‘us’ to connect. I think there are more of us than we realize.
#49.  I agree, not ‘angry’ letters. Letters of peace, yet disagreement. We do in fact need each other.

[78] Posted by FredH on 07-28-2009 at 07:08 AM • top

From Anaheim in Lotus Land,
The Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.
Sailed off on a lavender cloud
To an unknown shore of religious practice.

Parting from the Anglican Communion,
Firmly engaged in the post modern culture
Of changing beliefs and mutable standards,
TEC leaves behind their brethren of centuries.

Will the newly enlightened church be able
To withstand the pressure for continuing innovations?
Will they find a bedrock of Truth,
Or engage in an ever changing exegesis of the Word?

What becomes of those in TEC
Who cling to the faith of their fathers?
Will they be forced to accept practices they abhor
Or be drummed out of membership?

A rival Anglican province lurks in the wings,
Ready to sweep up the outcasts.
But supposed we do not want to transfer
From a melting ice floe to a strange new island?

This once was ours, this failed experiment
In encompassing a wide range of Christian theology.
Its rationale is no longer relevant;
We must take sides in a quarrel we did not begin.

[79] Posted by profpk on 07-28-2009 at 07:40 AM • top

Sarah et al,

This reminds me of the story about he man who was caught in a rapidly rising flood. He climbed up on his roof and began to pray to God for help.  The water continued to rise. In a little while, with the flood laping at his feet, a man came by in a row boat and offered to take the man to safety, but the man replied, “Thanks, but God is going to deliver me.” The man in the row boat went away.  The flood water continued to rise.  With waters up to his waist, the stranded man saw a larger boat approach, this time with several people already rescued in the boat.  They offered to take the man to safety, but, once again, the stranded man replied, “Thanks, but God is going to deliver me.”  The larger boat went away.  Finally, with the raging flood waters up to his neck, a helicopter hovered overhead, and a man speaking through a loud speaker called for the stranded man to grab the rope that had been extended to him so they could pull him up to safety.  Again, he replied, “Thanks, but God is going to deliver me.” 

Later, after the flood waters completely covered the man and drowned him, he found himself at the Gate to heaven.  A bit startled, St. Peter asked the man, “What are you doing here?”  The man replied, ” I was caught in a flood, and I prayed to God to help me, but I drowned.”  To which St. Peter replied, “We sent you two row boats and a helicopter.”

There has been the ACI, the Communion Partners, (the two row boats) and the ACNA (the helicopter).  How many more ways is needed.  I get that it is hard, but at some point one has to face the fact that this is the reality in which we find ourselves.  Forming another organized institutional response within TEC is going to accomplish what?  Working within a loosly formed grass roots remnant will be effective how and when?  I’ve been involved in a lot of political grass roots activities, and I can say with great confidence that the successful ones only appear to be loosly formed.

I wish you well in your search for a solution for staying within TEC and continuing to struggle on.  For me, that struggle is over.

[80] Posted by Immortalitas Equestris on 07-28-2009 at 09:56 AM • top

[43] Eddie, it is very different.  It requires a great deal more patience than a political strategy, but is still a strategy to bring about a desired future state.  It relies on several basic assumptions that others have found to be solid assumptions.  I’ve written about it in other places, and will not take the time to write the whole thing out again here.  Sarah’s idea for organization fits in very well, and if we employ this kind of strategy, there will be no reason to assume that there will be targets on anyone because the methods look so powerless and non-threatening.  There will be no need to worry about the wrong people wanting to get involved, because again, no one will want to get involved unless they already accept the basic assumptions.

[81] Posted by revrj on 07-28-2009 at 11:00 AM • top

RE: “Later, after the flood waters completely covered the man and drowned him . . . “

Well certainly if you are unsure or insecure in your justification and sanctification due to your membership in an organization I suppose one should leave.  It is hard for me to say, since I do not share that theology or view of salvation and thus can have no recognition or acknowledgement of the relevance of your metaphor.

[82] Posted by Sarah on 07-28-2009 at 11:01 AM • top

Or, what if the man took the second boat out, lived a ripe old age, showed up at the Gates, and heard this:

“We heard you and sent a log downriver.  The log lodged itself on your house.  ‘Twasn’t much, but it would have sustained you.  Had you stayed, you would have been able to save two people from drowning. 

Oh well, come on in anyway, brave soul.  You know as well as I do that no one gets in here on their own merits.” 

[83] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-28-2009 at 11:10 AM • top

Sarah,
Although we haven’t been on the best of terms lately - mea culpa, I am interested.
I belong to probably the most vibrant orthodox parish in the Dark Diocese of LA. A virtual TEC megachurch. Oh yes, there are folks with different opinions but not from the top.
And I’ve just been waiting with an escape plan if necessary. I’m prepared to bolt TEC and the AC and start my own church which is already established.
I will not go to the 3 local ACNA churches - been a member of one, visited the other two. Nice, but not for me.
I have been a lay leader in this Diocese for a number of years in the past but not since ‘03. Been to the Diocesan Convention many times. And I have a pulse on the 143 or so parishes because it was my job.
Anyway, I would prefer you view my “obsession” as “passion.”

#49 - I’m right there with you as to what’s stated about the ABC, not particularly in any one post or thread or by any particular person, but as a general pervasive tone.

[84] Posted by LA Anglican on 07-28-2009 at 12:19 PM • top

I don’t know what a “Third Way” proposal would look like, but if it involves remaining in TEC as orthodox parishes or dioceses, on a long-term basis, it will be absolutely doomed.  As we have seen with WO, those who oppose “justice”, may be tolerated now, but a time will come when those same individuals will be labeled and persecuted for their unjust beliefs and practices.  And no canon or covenant will be able to provide protection, plain and simple!

[85] Posted by MikeSWFL on 07-28-2009 at 12:44 PM • top

RE: “it will be absolutely doomed. . . . “

I’m sure for those who have left that is true.

Maybe true for those who stay, too.

But since I’m staying—and since I need a third way—I’ll be continuing to promote the idea.

[86] Posted by Sarah on 07-28-2009 at 12:50 PM • top

MikeSWFL,
Those still in TEc are all good with that. On their tombstones it will read “A Martyr for Christ”.
I’ve been told and taught that martyrdom is something not only to be proud of but to seek. The Muslim terrorists think so too in their religion. They use it as a recruitment tool. If I was seeking martyrdom, I would whole lot rather be a martyr for Christ than for Ali or whatever their god’s name is…..

[87] Posted by TLDillon on 07-28-2009 at 12:51 PM • top

RE: “Those still in TEc are all good with that.”

Yup.  When one has no other choices of integrity, one’s back is against the wall and one fights.

RE: “On their tombstones it will read “A Martyr for Christ”.”

Lol.  I wouldn’t go that far, though—a little dramatic and self-serving if we had that on our tombstones.  I have some other words in mind, anyway.  ; > )

[88] Posted by Sarah on 07-28-2009 at 12:55 PM • top

Just curious Sarah….What happened to the inside strategy? Seriously…no joking….no jesting….no anything…just seriously interested to what happened to it?

[89] Posted by TLDillon on 07-28-2009 at 12:59 PM • top

Not certain I understand what you mean by the “inside strategy.”  Please define.

[90] Posted by Sarah on 07-28-2009 at 01:01 PM • top

TLDillon, Then so be it.  If one sincerely discerns that God is calling them to such a “witness” in TEC, then they must be obedient and follow that course.  I certainly have no problem with such faithfulness.  On the other hand, I think it is neither helpful nor responsible to suggest that without wholesale “metanoia” within TEC or (most) of the instruments of Anglican unity, that the orthodox remnant will be allowed to remain faithful, as members in good standing, without persecution, within safe dioceses or even parishes.  The past 40 years of TEC history cannot be ignored without peril.  To be viable, alternative solutions must be clear and grounded in reality, rather than unsupported hypotheticals.  There has been lots of criticism of ACNA, but to be blunt, I have not seen any alternative solutions that meet the aforementioned criteria.

[91] Posted by MikeSWFL on 07-28-2009 at 01:16 PM • top

Sarah, please pardon me for putting my two cents’ worth in here, but my view of the inside strategy is that working for reform from within TEC hasn’t worked (witness the AAC’s efforts and what happened as a result of those efforts) because those trying to reform the Church have been blocked at every turn. 

I was one of those who worked for reform within my former diocese, El Camino Real, and we all got the cold shoulder at every turn.

The inside strategy doesn’t work, and it won’t work, because the firmly-entrenched powers-that-be in TEC won’t LET it work.

[92] Posted by Cennydd on 07-28-2009 at 01:20 PM • top

Well….you have been stating over and over again to those who are nt staying in TEc that there is an “Inside Straegy” and that we who have left just don’t understand it and you have blogged on it time and time again and simply will not post in it anymore since you have done so too many times already. In fact I think you even made a comment somewhere that Bishop Lawrence gets the “Inside Strategy” by one of his statements to his diocese when no one else seems to have understood it. So ....I am wondering what has happened to the “Inside Strategy” since you are now seeking a “Third Way”.

[93] Posted by TLDillon on 07-28-2009 at 01:20 PM • top

Loose Canon (#51):

Sorry . . . I meant to say “Network left, leaving the third wavers FEELING as if they’d been left high and dry.”  Personally, I admire the ACNA and think that they have simply followed the plan they always had.  Their plan had been to spend some time working on the inside, but that, if it ever became obvious that all hope for TEC was lost, they’d move on.  I don’t think everyone understood that the Network/ACNA folks had always figured there was a limit and then they would execute the “back-up” plan, but that is what they did, and I admire them for it.  I personally didn’t feel left high and dry, but I know lots of insiders who did . . . I think those folks didn’t clearly listen to what was said at Plano in 2003.

Sorry for my hastily typed words . . . didn’t mean to insult anyone.

[94] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-28-2009 at 01:33 PM • top

I think that it was Sarah who said, in a comment, that she could stay in The Episcopal Church because her understanding of salvation and sanctification did not depend on the purity of the church.  [Please forgive the paraphrase.] I agree with her.  I did not leave after most of Holy Trinity Austin walked out, although I understood the rot in TEC. I just figured that the Bishops would do as they pleased and go to Hell, and we would still be there as a parish to pick up the pieces and preach the Gospel as we went forward. Even after Bishop (“Just Call Me”) Andy ordered us to close, I might well have migrated to another TEC parish. No, what did us in was the dishonesty in their dealings with us, which I have recounted elsewhere on this site. I can see that, whenever they can, the Left will subvert our efforts, sneaking a heretic priest into an orthodox parish, who will sow dissension and attract heretics to the church, changing church camps to Young Pioneer or Hitler Jugend facilities, publishing stealth Sunday school literature that is contra Biblical, until the orthodox leave in disgust. It’s fine to dust off our feet and move on, and just say, “It was only money.” The difficulty arises when we continue to pour time and treasure and years of effort into building up what they will eventually steal. Unitarians in funny clothes have stolen the assets of a Trinitarian Christian church. The question is whether we continue to build for them, or to build for the Kingdom.  I see nothing holy in TEC, some institutional connection to a Christ in Whom they do not believe,to keep me coming back for more of their ersatz Christianity.  Furthermore, I can find no real cause to give time and money to the devil. So I have joined an Episcopal Missionary Church parish.

I am aging. Eventually, I shall die. I do not wish to stay in a “church” that is mired in such apostasy that my surviving children and my widow would have to decline to take Communion at my funeral. In the meantime, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

[95] Posted by Michael Adams on 07-28-2009 at 02:00 PM • top

Brer Rabbit (#56):

My point was that Sarah (and more than a few others—probably you included) have been working and continue to work . . . and this has been going on for over six years now.  The critical time is not “now.”  The critical time was “then.”  And, more than a few have responded and continue to respond.

Still . . . there remains a mass of traditionalist minded Episcopalians in the pews, who, for various reasons, refuse to get activated.

Until we get a critical mass of those folks activated and willing to put it all on the line (that includes property, reputation, etc.), we are destined to failure.

I keep hoping that someone (obviously, I’m not the person for this job) will find some goal, strategy, objective, direction or something that will motivate more people to action.  I thought that was what Sarah was asking for in this thread.  I admit that I don’t have the answer, but I’d be willing to try almost anything.

But, everything we’ve tried so far has failed (for the most part) . . . and, I bear no ill will toward anyone in TEC for that.  I’d love to figure out what would motivate that mass of traditionalists that I know are angry about the direction of the church to action rather than just murmurring and observing the battle from the sideline.  But, I just don’t know what that motivation might be.

[96] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-28-2009 at 02:01 PM • top

#79 - a tip of the hat to Coleridge?  wink Nicely said.

[97] Posted by Doogal1234 on 07-28-2009 at 02:06 PM • top

Read Ms. Hey’s missive carefully.  She is not advocating a “third way” that is based on an expectation that political maneuvering will reform TEC from within, or that the covenant will either cause TEC’s reform or expulsion.  She is not advocating a strategy that is dependent on blocking, or even criticizing, the ACNA’s efforts. She is definitely not advocating a strategy that would minimize the gravity of the situation to those in the pews. She acknowledges that many remaining TEC members have to leave to protect their families. 

Her paper was directed only to the faithful that, for one reason or another, are called to remain in TEC for the time being.  It’s not my call, but I can find no reason to contend against it.  I think the type of effort that she describes is complementary to that of the ACNA.

[98] Posted by Going Home on 07-28-2009 at 02:34 PM • top

Eddie, Sarah posts this because the time is “now”, now that the situation is clarified more than ever before. She is right on the mark that the “stayers” have been left behind without an organization to support them (although one commenter above has defended the “TEC Desk” at AAC)

The leavers have little to contribute except to ask “Are you ready to leave yet? What will have to happen to make you ready?”

The Communion Partners are fixated on their strategy to look to Canterbury for their lead; to become self-identified as the faithful church within the heretic church that is TEC. Their strategy is questioned by some, and simply not available to many others.

Now is the time that the stayers can coalesce around what is possible to do in the mess that is left behind. They are free, now, to pursue their interests without distraction. Janet Joplin comes to mind:

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

[99] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-28-2009 at 02:40 PM • top

So the distinguishing feature of the Third Way is that it brackets out Canterbury, Covenant, and Communion, either because these are judged untrustworthy/kaput, or because they are not essential to being an Episcopalian in TEC. The positive agenda is to work for alliances within this stated reality.
I can see how that is decidedly not what ACI or CP is about, as we believe a battle for the preservation of anglicanism in the US requires challenging the hierarchy assumptions of a novel polity being put forth by a ‘national church,’ with the attendant implications for the office of Bishop/diocese within a Communion. A covenant is crucial because the terms of belonging to the Communion, with a catholic identity, can be stipulated and so TEC is offered a choice: to walk along or walk apart. RDW intimates that thus far, he sees a walking apart in the area of human sexuality.
If one discards the context of Covenant and Communion (untrustworthy or non-essential) does this entail a new definition of anglican identity?

[100] Posted by zebra on 07-28-2009 at 02:55 PM • top

Sorry, cut short.
Or, does this mean that a Third Way simply does not wish to clarify any ecclesial identity (catholic, secret counsels, spiritual church, corpus mixtum) as first-order affairs?

[101] Posted by zebra on 07-28-2009 at 02:58 PM • top

Loose Canon (#24)—are you sure you meant GC 76? I thought the AAC wasn’t even around then. Was there any conservative group around at GC’76? Maybe the American Church Union?

[102] Posted by DavidSh on 07-28-2009 at 03:00 PM • top

more than a few others— probably you included have been working and continue to work

Eddie, in response to this part of your post:

Between 2003 and 2006 I was with St. James Newport Beach, which was virtually the tip of the spear on the charge out of TEC and into foreign bishop oversight. I was active in supporting new Anglican house churches and church plants in the heretic Diocese of Los Angeles. While working full time and attending post-graduate classes I nevertheless attended Plano West (four straight days without sleep).

But then I finished my degree, got ordained, and went into missionary work. Since then I have had few opportunities to devote to the machinations of TEC. I am safely outside both it and ACNA, affiliated with a home missionary organization  and an evangelical bishop-led church.

Things may change. Nay, things will change. I may end up planting churches in hostile TEC territory, or even (I hope not) working inside a TEC church. The Lord is not in the habit of giving me advance notice of my future assignments.

In the meantime, I just place one foot in front of the other on the tasks that the Lord has assigned to me.

[103] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-28-2009 at 03:24 PM • top

Isn’t the concept and goal of both the CP and ACNA that ecclesial identity should follow communion?  As opposed to either having no ecclesial identity or letting ecclesial identity force a church out of communion with other churches that but for such identity it could kneel in communion with?

[104] Posted by pendennis88 on 07-28-2009 at 03:27 PM • top

Brer Rabbit (#99):

I can agree with everything you said in that post.  But, that begs the question . . . “What is possible to do in the mess left behind, and that we can coalesce around?”  For me, that means some sort of uniform or consistent strategy and/or tactics that can be customized as necessary at the local and diocesan level with clear goals for exactly what we are trying to achieve both locally and nationally.

I’m basically coming to the realization that there really isn’t very much left to do.  We all agree that TEC is lost.  ACI/CPP is waiting patiently for Canterbury to act . . . and, I agree with them that ecclesial issues should have the first priority.  In a perfect world, I could buy their argument.  But, I also understand that, thus far +++RW has only offered words, and has created and fostered delay after delay, and that is what I expect him to continue to do. So, I don’t really hold out any hope that anything on that front will change . . . and, I’m convinced that any Covenant that comes out will likely be so full of loopholes, even TEC will be able to sign on to it.

Perhaps the difference between the ACI/CPP strategy and the third way should be that third wayers should figure out some way to influence Canterbury and the Communion to take disciplinary action against TEC or at least to influence the Covenant development.  I wouldn’t know how to go about doing that, but, at least that would be a goal.

[105] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-28-2009 at 03:35 PM • top

#100. Seitz-ACI,

we believe a battle for the preservation of Anglicanism in the US requires challenging the hierarchy assumptions of a novel polity being put forth by a ‘national church,’ with the attendant implications for the office of Bishop/diocese within a Communion.

I hope you are able to make your case. It seems to me that this is something that ACI and ACNA could cooperate on. The judge in Fresno just ruled against us saying that TEC is hierarchical. We will appeal the ruling. It is not just a polity issue, it is also a litigation issue.

[106] Posted by Fr. Dale on 07-28-2009 at 03:50 PM • top

There is a hierarchy all right: it runs no further than the Bishop. I am afraid that the arguments are not being engaged at the proper level in these court cases…
Judges operating with two categories only need to be educated.

[107] Posted by zebra on 07-28-2009 at 03:53 PM • top

I agree with them that ecclesial issues should have the first priority.

Eddie, if I were in agreement with that I would not have gone into missionary work. Nor would I have co-pastored a storefront church in Skid Row Los Angeles, nor stood on street corners and in alleys evangelizing heroin addicts. Ecclesial issues, while important, are way down the list for me. It is the job of the church to support these activities, not the other way around.

I don’t know what issues bubble to the top for the Third Way. That is for them to discover. I suspect they need to get together in a forum that is much less public than this one and start discussing that among themselves. I doubt that influencing Canterbury will even be among the list of possible issues to tackle.

And you’re right. If ecclesial issues are your first priority, you’re probably not among the folk for whom Sarah wrote this post.

Keep up your faith. God has a job for you. You just have to discover it.

Rolin

[108] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-28-2009 at 03:59 PM • top

Reading through these comments reminds me why TEC is in the state it is in…simply because there is very little unity between those opposed to the innovations.

While the communion partners have been arguing that the ACNA strategy is all wrong, and the ACNA have been trying to convince the communion partners that their strategy is all wrong, and others have disagreed with both strategies, the liberals have remained united in purpose and defeated the traditionalists at every turn.

Is it possible for the communion partners, and ACNA, and the third way and any other ways all unite on what they agree on, and come up with a common focused strategy?

“May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

Different approaches, but a common purpose. But please work together, because united you are strong, divided you are weak.

[109] Posted by Observing on 07-28-2009 at 04:18 PM • top

MikeSWFL, the time may come when TEC becomes entirely untenable for us (Sarah herself admitted that to me on a T19 thread).  But for some of us that time has not yet come, and it is possible (in God all things are possible) it may never come.  I think that is part of what Sarah means by “contextualized” efforts.  What works for her in Upper South Carolina may not have worked for Cennyd in El Camino Real.  The kind of persecution that Michael Adams felt in Texas has not yet been felt by me in Northern California.  Life for the orthodox is different in Newark than it is in Western Massachusetts, and different there than in Northern Indiana, and different there than in South Carolina.  Some of us still find life in TEC doable, and as Sarah has observed elsewhere there are ways to divert funds so as not to assist 815’s efforts or to build up structures for the revisionists to seize later.

It seems to me the organization that Sarah has proposed would be fundamentally different from previous efforts like the AAC, ACN, or ACI, in that it would not have national political action as a goal (no GC/Lambeth/ACC politicking).  Rather it would focus on facilitating local action, networking people in similar contexts, supporting and resourcing spiritual development within parishes.  A number of years ago the churches of our town decided to band together in an ecumenical effort to assist the needy, combining to form a cooperative organization to coordinate the efforts of existing food closets and to create a new central food bank supported by all the churches, to which they could refer people needing help.  To do this they approached just such an organization back in Texas somewhere (Dallas?), which showed them how it could be done, and initially gave support and instruction on how to get up and running.  Perhaps this is what the orthodox in TEC need, not a PAC to “join”, but an organization to show local communities how its done, to coordinate, facilitate, and open up channels of communication for mutual support.  With no national action plan, revisionist dioceses might not feel as threatened by this.  Meanwhile isolated orthodox communities would have some sense of support and connection.  Just a thought.

[110] Posted by Alta Californian on 07-28-2009 at 04:23 PM • top

109—not if the logic of Third Way is described chiefly by analysing what one regards as faults in CP and ACI, on one side, and ACNA on the other. That is why it is more helpful to learn what the actual positive space Third Way means to occupy. I confess only to be guessing, and even there it is based on negatives (Canterbury will fail, Covenant will fail, Instruments will fail, another way must be found, neither ACI or CP, or ACNA). Fine. But if from the start you are not a First Way, but a Third, then the logic is, ‘we are not that.’

[111] Posted by zebra on 07-28-2009 at 04:25 PM • top

Dr. Seitz,

I can see how that is decidedly not what ACI or CP is about, as we believe a battle for the preservation of anglicanism in the US requires challenging the hierarchy assumptions of a novel polity being put forth by a ‘national church,’ with the attendant implications for the office of Bishop/diocese within a Communion.

I can’t speak for Sarah, but to me it sounds like the goal is to be able to address these sorts of conversations:

(Disgruntled conservative to the vestry):  “We should do something.  When are we going to talk about going over to the ACNA?”

(Revisionist bishop to orthodox priest):  Hmm, you guys are not with the program.  Seems to me like you are a parish in distress

(Reasserter to Reasserter):  “Game over.  I’m outta here.”

..And these conversations happen all the time. 

So, there needs to be a way for orthodox to exist within TEC, without having to tolerate or even support evil, and without having to be transparent so that loon lefties can come in and tip over the apple cart when they feel like it.

[112] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-28-2009 at 04:29 PM • top

#111 I think Sarah would be best placed to respond, but my understanding of the third way is “give the people in the pews something tangible to do”.

It is perhaps unfortunate that it has been framed in the “well I don’t agree with your way” rather than “it is wonderful that CP have united around a top down strategy and we have that front covered” and “it is great that ACNA have established a lifeboat for those who need it”, but we also need to push ahead with a strategy of direct action as that is missing from the overall strategy.

Pressure from 3 fronts is better than pressure from only one front. But each front needs to be supporting the other flank rather than trying to compete with each other.

Ideas for direct action?
How about developing a new type of Alpha program to strengthen Christian formation? That could be used in both ACNA churches, and CP churches?
How about trying to ensure that qualified candidates stand and are elected to leadership posts, and that unqualified candidates are exposed to ensure they are not elected?
How about a conference attended by both ACNA and CP leaders?

[113] Posted by Observing on 07-28-2009 at 05:10 PM • top

Sarah- your piece was thorough as always and certainly solicited a lot of response….not good medicine for someone still decompressing from GC (made somewhat more tolerable by your two evening gatherings. Thanks again for that effort). I, like many of the comments, don’t grasp specifically what you’re proposing. I get the concept…..but I also get the ABC’s concept of a “two tracked” AC. I’m apparently more confident in the CP bishops and rectors then you (probably because I have both)as well as the ACI. I certainly can’t bear the thought of another acronym! I know many grow impatient after 30+ years of this conflict but perhaps in the fullness of time, God’s plan in all this may become clearer. In the meantime, I believe the CP and ACI folks present the best option for those chosing to stay. In the meantime, I will try to get on with the business of the Gospel and the Great Commission+.......

[114] Posted by Doubting Thomas on 07-28-2009 at 05:14 PM • top

Thanks, 112 and 113. Very illuminating. As has been said often, the pressure is felt differently in different places, and we all have different offerings. It is useful to get a glimmer of what kind of positive role 3rd way seeks to have.

As for Alpha type programmes, ACI is producing a major DVD series and it is just about finished, Anglicanism—A Gift in Christ. 11 Contributors: Lord Carey, NT Wright, George Sumner, Philip Turner, Ephraim Radner, Jo Bailey Wells, Edith Humphrey, Bernard Ntahoturi, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Cheryl White, and more. CFL is hard at work on a basic catechetical primer. Much of this came out of CP events. Very uplifting.
Jordan Hylden should be publishing a review of Anglicanism A Gift in Christ in The Living Church soon. I believe this is a superb resource for adult education.

[115] Posted by zebra on 07-28-2009 at 05:27 PM • top

Forgot. Tony Burton—Anglican Worship. The other topics are Anglicanism and… OT, NT, Hymnody, Mission, Simeon and Parish Renewal, Muslims and Christians, Tudor Anglicanism, Instruments of Communion, Reconciliation in Africa, Ethics and the BCP. We plan to augment this further with Evangelism, Biblical Theology, Major Figures and kindred themes.

[116] Posted by zebra on 07-28-2009 at 05:40 PM • top

#116 - excellent!
Sarah, you have your next action item. Get hold of this material, evaluate it, feedback, improve if necessary, then distribute widely using your network - turn this into the next labyrinth story. (The liberals gave TEC the labyrinth and it has been embraced around the country. Now let the conservatives provide the Gospel!)

[117] Posted by Observing on 07-28-2009 at 05:51 PM • top

Great idea. Sorry, but no improvement possible! The material is very good. Suggestions for augmenting? You bet. A 3rd way educational resource, great idea, do be in touch with the marvelous people in CFL, hard at work on this.

[118] Posted by zebra on 07-28-2009 at 06:02 PM • top

Along the lines suggested by Chris Seitz, I find it very reassuring that a number of new efforts are underway by conservative Anglicans in North America to develop new catechetical resources or rehabilitate long forgotten ones.

ACNA is developing a series of position papers on Anglican catechesis.  It is also making plans to develop a broad range of catechetical resources.  An extensive parish survey has just been completed that is informing this work. 

And at Trinity School for Ministry, a LIVELY FAITH project is being launched to provide primary sources in Anglican practical theology, complete with commentary and reader guides that make these gems accessible to clergy and lay leaders.

We hope that all of those involved in these and other projects of this nature will work collaboratively, sharing personnel and resources as needed across institutional boundaries.  It was certainly good to hear what ACI is up to today!  The challenge of raising up a new generation of discipled Anglicans is great, so the more we cooperate the better. 

One last plug—I hope everyone is aware of the Trinity Journal for Theology & Ministry.  If not, go to the Trinity website for further info:  http://www.tsm.edu
The last issue was devoted to the theme, “The Non-Repugnancy of Scripture.”  N. T. Wright and Edith Humphrey are among the contributors.

Lots of encouraging work underway for the sake of Anglican renewal in North America!

[119] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-28-2009 at 06:07 PM • top

Oh, Dr. Seitz #116, that is great.  I hope we get to use the series in our parish. 

“How about a conference attended by both ACNA and CP leaders?”

“Hope and a Future” in Pittsburgh in ‘05 was like that.  Why couldn’t there be another? 

Fact is, we’d all do well to remember that, despite the ecclesial/structural differences, ACNA and ACI/CP have a lot more in common with each other than with revisionists. 

I live in a CP diocese, but if I did not I would be ACNA.  I have no desire to be TEC “under” a Loon Left bishop.  #112 has it right, too—traditional priests in lefty dioceses tend not to last very long, despite the bishops’ denials.

[120] Posted by Passing By on 07-28-2009 at 06:10 PM • top

An ACNA/CP conference would be a great idea.

[121] Posted by Going Home on 07-28-2009 at 06:14 PM • top

PS—Give or take, when will that DVD series be available for purchase?

[122] Posted by Passing By on 07-28-2009 at 06:31 PM • top

I was wondering if there could be an internet website devoted to basic Anglican history and theology. I have some adult forum stuff I did for St. James on Anglican History, the prayerbook, and the liturgy on our website. When the Hebrews rediscovered the Law, there was renewal. Thirty years ago when I was with LCMS, we had a “Life With God” series for the membership which was actually only an adult confirmation class. The renewal after about three cycles of participants was unbelievable. We began a church day school grades 1-8 after that that thrives to this day. I believe the Internet is the key. It is better than DVD’s but could include these too. I realize much of the stuff ACNA and ACI put out is copyrighted but Sarah could gather a “brain trust” of contributors who would donate educational and catechetical material. I think, put in a positive way, the Third Wave could provide educational and networking resources without walls.

[123] Posted by Fr. Dale on 07-28-2009 at 06:49 PM • top

Sarah,

I’m sorry for taking so long to respond to your response to my earlier comment.  I’m in the middle of moving at the moment.  It seems you have missed the point, much as the man in the story.  The point is not that he drowned but that he missed God.

I hope you don’t think you know from what you read in my commnet how secure or insecure I may be in my justification or sanctification.  I assure you my memberhsip in an organization is not the basis for either of these. I am not a cradle Episcopalian.  My salvation was well settled long before I became one, as it will remain settled since I left it.  I’ll not engage in all the reasons for leaving.  After all, that is not the purpose of this thread or this blog. 

My only point in sharing the analogy is that you seem to be seeking another way—a “third way” even after all the other “ways” have failed to produce the desired result, whatever that is for you.  So, what will another “inside” group accomplish that others have not. 

Perhaps, as someone suggeted, the answer is that you are answering the call to martydom.  If that is the call you hear, by all means answer it.  I’m just not sure what, other than martydom, one can expect from remaining in TEC.

By the way, the ideas of starting outreach ministries are great.  Do that.  But what will you do when other Christians are reluctant to join with a group of Episcopalians because they heard TEC is now the “gay church?”  It is hard to evanglise in such a hostile environment.

[124] Posted by Immortalitas Equestris on 07-28-2009 at 06:56 PM • top

#123 Dcn Dale,
How about Theokipedia?

[125] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 07-28-2009 at 06:56 PM • top

#125. UGP,
Theokipedia? I put it in google and your comment came up so I’m still in the dark. Please unpack the word/idea for us.

[126] Posted by Fr. Dale on 07-28-2009 at 07:03 PM • top

Theokipedia: I just made it up, but it would be a web based theology reference. I think it would need editors so as to keep it from being infiltrated by the revisionists, but the possibilities are fascinating.

[127] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 07-28-2009 at 07:07 PM • top

#127. UGP
That’s a bit more expansive than I was envisioning but It sounds good. I wonder what “Her Royal Highness of Fisking” would think about it. I could see her playing the central role in this clearinghouse of edification.

[128] Posted by Fr. Dale on 07-28-2009 at 07:11 PM • top

#109-123, these are all informative and inspiring posts.  Yes, I want all the orthodox to work together in love and common faith, ACI, ACNA, CP, Third Way.  A joint CP/ACNA conference is a great idea, and I look forward to the DVD and Anglican position papers, all of them. I’m very encouraged by reading this thread. Together, each doing the task God allots, we are very strong.

[129] Posted by Paula on 07-28-2009 at 07:13 PM • top

#124 as to other Christians reluctant to join other Episcopalians because of the “gay church” label, I think it depends on where you are.
Here in the L.A. area, that is not a stigma, nor do I think it is a stigma in major metropolitan areas in the Northeast, where I grew up and in fact have gay out of the closet relatives in a close knit Catholic church going family. I don’t know about the midwest.
I guess in an area that is heavily Baptist, such as the south, it could be very hostile.
I think the gay church thing is very overblown and may be a bit of class warfare revenge against pillars of the southern community by the previously looked down upon denominations.

[130] Posted by LA Anglican on 07-28-2009 at 07:22 PM • top

Going further off thread I know, and I will stop here. The Online Catholic Encyclopedia exists, so why not an Anglican version?

[131] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 07-28-2009 at 07:29 PM • top

#131. UGP,
I would include catechetical material, posssible lectures, inquirers class, Sunday mass, perhaps even singles connections, and online clerical training and placement. I’m certain my ideas are rather limited compared to what the possibilities are.

[132] Posted by Fr. Dale on 07-28-2009 at 07:53 PM • top

Pewster & Dale,

Please contact me via Private Message - I may have something that interests both of you.

[133] Posted by Greg Griffith on 07-28-2009 at 08:02 PM • top

Speaking of a failed “differentiation” attempt, can we assume that the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) is now defunct?  I recently went to their website only to be directed to the website of the ACNA.  Does anyone know for certain that it has officially disbanded?

[134] Posted by Nevin on 07-28-2009 at 09:05 PM • top

124,130—I think it depends on the nature of the undertaking and organization.  If you are asking another orthodox church or ecumenical ministry to formally pair with an Episcopal church, it might be a problem in an area such as prison or youth ministry, where it is critical to have a clear message on issues of sexual morality.  This may be the case even though the particular Episcopalians involved disagree with the denomination on this issue. On other areas of social ministry, however, such as feeding the poor, the “Episcopal” label may not be an obstacle to an ecumenical effort.

I don’t think this is limited to the South. One of the byproducts of what has happened to the Episcopal Church is that it has lost its ties to faithful national ecumenical Christian organizations.

[135] Posted by Going Home on 07-28-2009 at 09:23 PM • top

Sarah Hey asks:
What are some of the things that those
Who are remaining in The Episcopal Church can do?
If the answer is nothing, please do not respond.

My answer is simple; I will bear witness.
Without saying anything, I will stand and be counted
Amongst those who see the Truth clearly
As the fulfillment of the Word.

I am an old man in a tiny parish of old people,
Survivors of the vicissitudes of life.
They are too old to sin,
Too old to be concerned with doctrinal quarrels.

What the church does or says is of no concern to them,
So long as they can worship weekly
To seek the eternal life that Jesus promised
And meet with friends who support them in
their last battles.

They know the parish is dying,
Just as they know that they are dying.
They hope the doors will be open long enough
To give them a proper exit.

I am one of them in body, but not in spirit.
I can worship anywhere the gospel is read.
They know where I stand.
They do not ask to discuss our differences.

[136] Posted by profpk on 07-29-2009 at 02:32 AM • top

Folks, regarding educational resources,a good place that is more Protestant than Catholic (but not exclusively Protestant) is ccel.org. Lots of free texts to draw from. It’s a good place to start. Dave

[137] Posted by DavidSh on 07-29-2009 at 08:22 AM • top

Traditional Episcopalians Remaining In TEC Need A Third Way

Just shake the dust from your sandals and do your best to follow Jesus Christ. It is down to a choice: Jesus or Jezebel.

[138] Posted by Sheep75002 on 07-29-2009 at 09:15 AM • top

As a follow-up to the several suggestions above about organizing a conference with ACNA,CP, and “Third Way” participation…

If the emphasis were to be on catechesis & discipleship for a renewal or redirection of the Anglican Way in North America…
—AND—
The keynote speakers were to be pastorally- and mission-minded theologians (lay or ordained) who do not engage in the polemics of associating with any of the three ‘modes’ of Anglican orthodoxy (ACNA, CP, 3rd-Way)...
—AND—
The location was ‘neutral’ in the sense that it did not automatically suggest exclusive ACNA, CP, or 3rd-Way identity…

... then WOULD WE HAVE A VIABLE CONFERENCE PROPOSAL ON THE TABLE—something that a small group of representatives from across the spectrum of orthodox Anglicanism could put together with strong support… all for the sake of the Gospel?

[139] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-29-2009 at 09:39 AM • top

Hi all, I’ve been out attending to various duties, but what a great thread with lots of interaction and exchange.  Fantastic resource ideas from so many of you.  I will need to reserve my responses to Seitz-ACI comments for later on this evening because I must sally forth again—but they are good comments, and I think it can be a helpful exchange.

But for now, just a few responses to a few questions from others:

MikeSWFL:
RE: “I think it is neither helpful nor responsible to suggest that without wholesale “metanoia” within TEC or (most) of the instruments of Anglican unity, that the orthodox remnant will be allowed to remain faithful, as members in good standing, without persecution, within safe dioceses or even parishes.”

I completely agree—I hadn’t noticed anyone at all suggesting that.

Cennydd:
RE: “. . . but my view of the inside strategy is that working for reform from within TEC hasn’t worked . . . “

Agreed—but I’ve never worked for reform of TEC—wasn’t involved in all of that, and did not seek it.  I have understood and accepted since the events of 2003 that reform of TEC was not going to occur.  I do not, however, accept that reform of smaller bodies and institutions within TEC cannot occur.  That has happened—and will continue to happen, God willing.

TLDillon:
RE: “Well….you have been stating over and over again to those who are nt staying in TEc that there is an “Inside Straegy” and that we who have left just don’t understand it . . . So ....I am wondering what has happened to the “Inside Strategy” since you are now seeking a “Third Way”.

No—I’ve stated that those who keep asking the same questions as they’ve asked over the past six years don’t understand it—nor will they, since they are continuing to ask the same questions.  The fact that many of those questioners have left TEC is neither here nor there.  But at any rate, think of my proponence of the Third Way idea as a simple basic acknowledgement that CP/ACI goals and principles, along with ACNA goals and principles, simply are not applicable to many conservatives.  It has little to do with “inside strategy” which as I pointed out above and in my response to Cennydd has differing definitions, one of which at least I never accepted.

Eddie:
RE: “Personally, I admire the ACNA and think that they have simply followed the plan they always had.  Their plan had been to spend some time working on the inside, but that, if it ever became obvious that all hope for TEC was lost, they’d move on.”

Well—those who had decided they were willing to leave TEC simply “followed” their plan. That’s true.  But obviously, 8 bishops and dioceses haven’t “moved on” and “followed the plan” of the Network at all, even though they were in the Network.  No, what happened was that those who were *willing to leave TEC* had control of the Network, which caused immense tension with those who were in the Network but who were *not willing to leave TEC*.  Hopefully no such mixed organization will ever come into being again and gain traction.  I think those who are not leaving TEC learned that lesson pretty well.

RE: “I’d love to figure out what would motivate that mass of traditionalists that I know are angry about the direction of the church to action rather than just murmurring and observing the battle from the sideline.”

I can’t say that I have the answer.  But you and I both know that most Episcopalians are at heart congregationalists.  So they may be repulsed by the actions of the national entity and the General Convention and even their diocese.  But their local congregation they don’t feel is threatened.  I will say that I think people becoming activated depends on three things [in this order]: 1) a personal friendship with an activated person who is willing to sit down with them over coffee numerous times to explain the issues and answer questions in a calm, non-intense fashion, 2) a sense that there is something that can be done in a small way—little steps—that could aid and help in resistance, and 3) a fellowship to do it with. 

RE: “For me, that means some sort of uniform or consistent strategy and/or tactics that can be customized as necessary at the local and diocesan level with clear goals for exactly what we are trying to achieve both locally and nationally.”

But I get the sense that the larger issue for you—and maybe I’m wrong, so let me know—is that you don’t know what to do locally, and so you are hoping for something that is a “uniform or consistent strategy and/or tactics” at a higher level to guide you.  But isn’t the real issue or challenge in your case to decide “what is possible here in this TEC context”? 

RE: “Perhaps the difference between the ACI/CPP strategy and the third way should be that third wayers should figure out some way to influence Canterbury and the Communion to take disciplinary action against TEC or at least to influence the Covenant development.”

From my perspective that throws weight back onto allowing an outside force or group or person to guide your response—which is one of the traps that the stated principles of the CP/ACI seems to fall into.  I simply do not wish to think about or work towards anything that depends on a person in another country to stroke his beard and ponder his next stratagems, much less the likes of a Kenneth Kearon.  That puts people back into waiting and ineffectual bleating and attempting to control or manipulate or something a person and entity—the ACO—that will have none of it.  Once one decides that one must “wait on Canterbury and the Instruments” the average layperson that I know is completely demotivated—and some decide, as I’ve pointed out endlessly before—to wait on Canterbury in that nice PCA church down the street. 

Doubting Thomas:
Good to meet you in Anaheim.  “So we meet again, my fellow ruffians.”  ; > )

RE: “I, like many of the comments, don’t grasp specifically what you’re proposing. . . . In the meantime, I believe the CP and ACI folks present the best option for those chosing to stay.”

Keep in mind that I have not proposed anything at all.  All that I have pointed out is that for folks like me remaining in TEC—who simply do not accept some of the founding principles and goals of ACI/CP [although acknowledging and valuing the good things they have done—see other posts] and don’t wish to be involved with ACNA—we need a third way.  I am absolutely happy and thrilled for people to go to ACNA if that is what their conscience and mind dictates.  The same for CP.  But that is not where mine dictate—either one.  And judging by my private email box in response to this article alone, others believe the same way.

[140] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 09:46 AM • top

Immortalitas Equestris:
RE: “It seems you have missed the point, much as the man in the story.  The point is not that he drowned but that he missed God.”

No, I did not miss the point at all—in fact I responded to your point which was that somehow my staying in TEC would cause me to “miss God.”  The metaphor is meaningless and irrelevant.  I am not “drowning.”  I am not only not “missing God” but am rather hopefully growing closer [thanks be to Him who does all things well] to God and learning more.  I am not in a “flood.”  I am not perched on my roof waiting on anything at all, much less calling out for any sort of rescue.  The fact that people keep hitting me on the leg with their methods of “assistance” is somewhat battering—but I’ve learned that those things toughen you up, so even that is okay.

Your metaphor has as much meaningfulness to me as this one right here which I will now offer to you.

This reminds me of the story about the woman who was fox hunting through the green fields and dales of Southwestern Virginia.  She cantered along, behind the hounds and the whipper-in, joyful in the bugling in front of her, and the sight of the waving flow of dog and horse tails in front of her.  The skies were blue, the air fresh, the birds trilling.  Sure there were occasional stumbles as the horse jumped the fences—and the rider inexpertly balanced on the horse’s back.  And there was some mud, and an occasional rainstorm.  There were some forests to walk through, and the rider had to bend under the occasional limb. 

By and by, a man came along in a row boat.  It was tough to get it down the stream, and the man had to occasionally just carry the rowboat.  But he made steadfast progress towards the woman on a horse.  Upon reaching her, as she stood in the green fields allowing her horse to munch on the grass for a few moments, the man slammed into her with the row boat causing the horse to shy and almost bolt.  She remonstrated with him, but instead, the man—muscular indeed—placed the rowboat on top of his head and began pummelling the woman on the horse with the rowboat.  Thankfully the horse did bolt, she kept her seat, and they galloped away.

A larger boat—this time carried by many people who assured the woman that they were focused on mission and ministry—approached her several hours later.  As they saw her, they began churning their legs and trotting, then running, to get up a good head of steam to ram her from the side.  The horse was wiser this time and jumped a fence.


Finally, just as she had caught up with the fox hunting group and they were heading in from the field to breakfast, a helicopter hovered overhead, and a man speaking through a loud speaker called down to the entire group, bellowing . . . “THIS REMINDS ME OF THE STORY ABOUT THE MAN WHO WAS CAUGHT IN A RAPIDLY RISING FLOOD . . . ”

Later, as they were all at breakfast, the woman—somewhat battered and muddy but very happy with the fox chase—saw a vision.  In the vision, St. Peter asked her “What were those guys doing there with their boats in the middle of the field?”  The woman replied, “They were surely not fox hunting.  And I was hard-pressed to reach the group which had run a fox to ground.  In fact, I missed the ceremonial “release.”  To which St. Peter replied, “Well, be that as it may, there are many other foxes out there for you to hunt.  Enjoy your breakfast.”

There.

I’m sure that was an immensely convicting and highly relevant and meaningful metaphor for you and that you will now be convinced to leave ACNA and begin fox hunting.

; > )

[141] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 09:47 AM • top
[142] Posted by zebra on 07-29-2009 at 09:48 AM • top

[142] Posted by Seitz-ACI on 07-29-2009 at 10:48 AM

I don’t know about must read, but interesting. It never fails to amaze me the way revisionists will go crazy over what RW says when they know from past experience there will be no followup.

[143] Posted by Rocks on 07-29-2009 at 10:10 AM • top

Oh, I think Harris sees very clearly that a covenant that intensifies relationships (viz., one in which the view of marriage articulated by the ABC is assumed) is one that TEC would not sign, but that late Anaheim signers are now scrambling to get behind…people that want RDW to ‘throw out’ TEC simply misunderstand the core dynamics. Oddly enough, resolutions which sought to obscure or contain more than they logically could, have had the effect of enhancing the Diocesans. If then the covenant makes provision for signing sub-provincially, people like Harris are caught. They want a strict hierarchy, but one contained within the justice-for-all Land of US, and one that goes no further. If the hierarchy exists at the level of the Diocese, and signing the covenant is open, the rival model (a novel one it is) will be in jeopardy. Harris sees this and attacks the ABC as meddling, a Pope, etc. But no such hierarchy exists, because Bishops are not in a synodical hierarchy under the ABC. The See does not function this way. But Harris can do little more than theorize about an anglicanism in the US that has never been until the sixties, and then claim it is the way the chuch catholic as well has always been, back into the pages of the NT! This is US denominational anglo-methodism writ large, and said to be the only truth about Church (the others being dreams and ideas, including the entire Roman and Orthodox bodies). Here we see the justice denominationalism of the sixties rearing its head and not just wanting its way, but insisting in its largesse that its ways is the way the church has always been, everywhere and at all times.

[144] Posted by zebra on 07-29-2009 at 10:23 AM • top

I liken this to a market, like the stock market.  What we are dealing with is, not only our company’s (TEC) going through a steep decline, but it is doing so inside a stock market (Mainline Prot. churches) going downhill on a greased sled as well.

We are witnessing a not so slow-mo collapse.  We can talk about why our company stock is declining, but we must do so in relation to all the others that are tanking as well.

[145] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 07-29-2009 at 10:24 AM • top

Thanks, Dr. Seitz (#142), for the link and for calling attention to Mark Harris’ important protest against the ABoC’s letter.  Rocks (#143) is right; it’s remarkable that Harris is so upset, even furious, given how ++RW bent over backwards to be conciliatory and given that he has actually aided and abetted TEC so often in this whole vexed conflict.  Wise fool!

Now Mark Harris+ is an intelligent man, but his caustic over-reaction on his Preludium blog, stooping to open mockery of the ABoC at times, seems to me like a form of madness.  He and the Executive Council on which he sits (including the nefarious PB and the no more trustworhty President of the HoD) are so intoxicated with the heady wine of their triumphs at Gen Con that they are blind to their danger, driving TEC under the influence of the insanity of their perverse imaginings that they are being prophetic and advancing the cause of justice.

I suggest that Mark Harris’ blast be given a thread of its own.  It provides a valuable window that allows us to see how an influential member of TEC’s inner circle really thinks.  And while it’s appalling, it’s also enlightening.  I think I’ll wait to make substantive comments on Harris’ revealing response until such a thread is started.

David Handy+

[146] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 07-29-2009 at 10:32 AM • top

The issue as to what is a “public Rite” is still debated, but even C056 does not go so far as to name the end result of the study it recommends. In fact it suggests precisely the theological study that the Archbishop will later call for in this letter.

That quote from Harris is the one I find most interesting and telling as to his interpretation of RW’s letter. His take on doing the theology is to find a way to make it work. Rather than to determine if it should be done at all.
Is there anyone who thinks the end result of this study will be there should be no public rite?

[147] Posted by Rocks on 07-29-2009 at 10:39 AM • top

OK, maybe I’ll venture a hint or preview of coming attractions if and when that new thread is created featuring this peevish article by Mark Harris.  And I do that because Dr. Seitz is presently monitoring this thread.

Let me focus on a key part of where Harris does, on sections 18 and 19 in Cantaur’s letter.

In #18, ++RW wrote that acceptance of TEC’s agenda “would be to re-conceive the Anglican Communion as essentially a loose federation of local churches with a cultural history in common, rather than a theologically coherent ‘community of Christian communities.’”  And Mark Harris insists that this is exactly what the AC is and should be, apart from the word “loose.”

Now, of course, it’s been the burden of the ACI team to argue vigorously and persistnetly to the contrary, that the AC should become a true Communion, and not degenerate into a mere federation of national or regional churches (like say the LWF the Lutherans have).  In particular, Turner and Radner’s fine book, <b>The Fate of Communion>/b> makes that case quite eloquently and convincingly.  I appreciate their hard work on that score.

Only I don’t think they go nearly far enough.  I’ll save my arguments why for later, but I’ll at least hint at the direction of it with my next point.

In #19, ++RW notes that many in the AC, not least the deluded leaders of TEC and the ACoC, are taking as axiomatic the virtually unquestioned assumption that,
”(the) Risks of centralization and authortarianism are the most worrying.”

That this is the assumption of the overwhelimingly majority of Anglican leaders around the world (and all along the theological specturm) is undeniable.  But I also think that it’s plainly wrong.  Manifestly and totally wrong.  It’s time to question the previously unquestionable, and start thinking the unthinkable.  It’s high time for the AC to mutate into a true worldwide Church (singular).

So I argue exactly the opposite of Mark Harris (and contrary to ++RW as well).  The real danger we face in Anglicanism (at the international level) is not Roman style tyranny and authroitarianism, but rather Protestant style anarchy and lawlessness.  And the Covenant is completely inadequate to deal with that threat.

Rather, as I’ve said over and over at SF and T19, we must again become a truly confessional Church, that explicitly names and clearly and unambiguously rejects the deadly heresies of our time: the theological relativism and moral antinomianism that are rampant amongst us.  The FCA is leading the way, and rightly so, in helping Anglicanism to become a truly confessional tradition once again. 

bt along with that must go radical structural reform, so that the newly clarified confessional basis can be effectively enforced, across provincial boundaries as well as within them.  It’s high time to clip the wings of wayward provinces like TEC that have lost their way by IMPOSING dis ciscipline on them.  Calls for voluntary abstention from participation from the international councils of Anglicanism, or representation on our ecumenical idalogues and so forth are not nearly stern enough.  Much tougher medicine is required.

The current Instruments have failed.  Much stronger ones will have to be developed.  And yes, that specifically incluees international bodies with bionding, tranprovincial, disciplinary powers.  Nothing less will do.  And I do mean that literally.

The New Reformation, as I conceive of it, is indeed in part a Counter-Reformation.  Explicitly and openly so.

David Handy+

[148] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 07-29-2009 at 11:07 AM • top

Sorry for all the typo’s in my #148.  Like Paul in Galatians, I wrote with white-hot fury and passion, and not with sufficient carefulness.  But I stand by the substance of my bold claims.  And like my heroes from the Reformation era, Martin Luther, as well as Robert Bellarmine say, I am NOT very open to compromise.

David Handy+

[149] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 07-29-2009 at 11:14 AM • top

I suggest that Mark Harris’ blast be given a thread of its own.

Seconded. 

The reason I would like to see a thread on Harris’ latest rant is so that this thread won’t irrevocably metastasize off-topic.  Not browbeating, as I have erred plenty of times myself, but it’s just that this thread’s topic is just really really really important to me. 

Really.

[150] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-29-2009 at 11:25 AM • top

I really appreciate David Handy’s comments, but I also really wish we could get back on thread.  Can someone—Sarah?—start a separate thread re. Harris?

There are so few opportunities in SF circles to put constructive proposals together for coordinated action (within ACNA/CP/3rd-Way or across the spectrum).  I was grateful that Sarah created a thread with this in mind, at least with regard to the 3rd-Way.  The three paths share at least one common concern—the (re)education of the laity (and, yes, clergy) regarding mere Christianity and the Anglican Way in a stormy sea, within the Church and beyond.  Can this continue to be a lively topic of discussion on this thread?

[151] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-29-2009 at 11:29 AM • top

Everybody sit tight about the Harris thread. I have some comments on it I’d like to make, so if everybody could return to the topic for this thread, I’ll get something going on Harris’ piece this afternoon.

[152] Posted by Greg Griffith on 07-29-2009 at 11:31 AM • top

NRA wrote: “The real danger we face in Anglicanism (at the international level) is not Roman style tyranny and authroitarianism, but rather Protestant style anarchy and lawlessness.  And the Covenant is completely inadequate to deal with that threat.”

Bulls Eye, David Handy+.

The sly shell games in Jamaica, slipping in the Continuing Indaba Project under the cover of the debate over the covenant, pushing the covenant into the laps of revisionists and the usurpation of power by KJS while posing as a primate are fine examples of lawlessness. 

However, this sort of underhanded dealing has gone on since the very first Lambeth meeting.  The AC has been run by politics from the beginning and it could be argued this is the way it has been from the time of separation from the Roman Catholic (not that the Roman church didn’t have its own brand of skullduggery and bloody hands).

As a wise poster named Russell put forth today regarding bishops:  “We need to be careful to limit the power of bishops in the new ACNA, because while the initial batch seem to be uniformly godly men, there is no guarantee that it will remain so forever, and the combination power combined with lifetime appointment and human ambition has always had a tendency to corrupt.”
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/24429#388650

Reading the Anglican Curmudgeon post today reminds us of Fr. Al Kimel’s question, is Anglicanism Catholic?  Kimel+ says:
“Catholic Anglicans, more so, I think, than our fellow Anglican brothers and sisters, have lived on a dream of what Anglicanism might be, a dream of what Anglicanism, by the grace of God, should be, would be, will be.”
and he asks another question that is very pertinent:
“What does it mean for the Episcopal Church to claim to be a branch of the Church catholic when it has departed so significantly from catholic norms in faith, morals, and order?”
http://pontifications.wordpress.com/anglicanism/

Good question…good reminder.

[153] Posted by Theodora on 07-29-2009 at 11:44 AM • top

I would be interested, sorry if it’s off topic, who you think bishops are accountable to? To my thinking, they’re accountable to us! But many of us, and me, have been virtually silent. Those who have left have spoken with their feet. Those of us left in TEC need to find our voice - have we been too afraid? For me, in a sense, yes. Sounds like a bad movie title though: ‘How TEC conservatives found their voice’.

[154] Posted by FredH on 07-29-2009 at 11:53 AM • top

“We need to be careful to limit the power of bishops

We seem to be pointing the way to congregationalism with this line of reasoning.

[155] Posted by oscewicee on 07-29-2009 at 12:10 PM • top

Fr. Handy and John3v3 are dead right when they point out that the main threat we face is not Roman-type centralization, but Protestant anarchy.  And yes, Oscewicee, all of this grumbling about too much power accruing to the bishops does point the way to the threat of congregationalism that is very, very real within many parishes coming together in ACNA.  It is certainly very strong within my own parish.  Consider at GenCon who were the more rabidly revisionist - the HOB or HOD?  Granted, both were dreadful, but the HOD took the cake, so why the inordinate fear of Episcopal power?  After all, Anglican polity relies on governance by bishops, not to mention the little matter (not at all “little” to we Anglo-Catholics) of Apostolic succession.

[156] Posted by evan miller on 07-29-2009 at 01:21 PM • top

Eddie and Sarah, one of the keys to a third way is to get traditional Episcopalians motivated about anything at all.  I think the key to this is to build strong parishes and support other clergy who are building strong parishes. 
Part of this will mean that we have to put certain national issues on the back burner with a number of people for a time.  It will do no good to have people upset about the national issues if they are not very much convinced that Jesus is Lord not only to the world to come, but of this world as well.  We cannot ignore the national issues altogether, but you don’t make Christians by telling people what we are against. 
If, on the other hand, we start to build healthy, vibrant, growning, Christian parishes and the attrition in the rest of the church continues on its current pace…can you see any hope for the future? 
Focusing on a new political movement will further impale us on the spikes.  Focusing on creating strong parishes will build up the body of Christ.  I used to think this strategy would take generations.  Now I think it could take no more than a couple of decades.  I am acutally more hopeful following General Convention than I was before.

[157] Posted by revrj on 07-29-2009 at 01:23 PM • top

RE: “Part of this will mean that we have to put certain national issues on the back burner with a number of people for a time.”

I agree with that—some folks simply aren’t ready for action or strategery.  But on the other hand, I believe in working steadily to help people become ready.

RE: “but you don’t make Christians by telling people what we are against. . . . “

I agree.  Non-believers, and undiscipled Christians are not ready to deal with a national church or diocese gone off the rails.

RE: “If, on the other hand, we start to build healthy, vibrant, growning, Christian parishes and the attrition in the rest of the church continues on its current pace…can you see any hope for the future? 
Focusing on a new political movement will further impale us on the spikes.  Focusing on creating strong parishes will build up the body of Christ.”

Here is where I disagree strongly.

Part of the “strategy” of the Renewal Movement of the 70s, 80s, and yes, even 90s was to “outgrow the heretics.”  Of course . . . we see where that got them!

Further, they eschewed “church politics” in a very gnostic and pietistic way.  And . . . we see where that got them!

Then, they were some of the first to trot away, once they got their clocks cleaned thoroughly by people who actually liked church politics.

All in all, I think the idea of “outgrowing the heretics” is disastrous.

The compromise that I would suggest is “focusing on a [third way] political movement” with some groups, and focusing on growing healthy churches in general.  Certainly the two things can work hand in hand.  But one without the other to me spells further, and continuing catastrophe.

[158] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 01:48 PM • top

Sarah: can you frame you response in such a way that ACI, CP, ACNA etc are left out? Be courageous and call your initiative First Way and let everyone know what this is about, not vis-a-vis, but straight up. ACNA is about a new province. CP and ACI are about working to get the instruments/covenant to support the Communion as it now comes of age in Christ, with positive results for anglicanism here and in Communion. How does your initiative gain its principled identity, and how is its character to be described, positively. You are always very energetic in evaluating things. Move from evaluation to description of what you are endeavoring, actually, without all the vis-a-vis and why this or that is wrong. We know all that already. You’ve stated it repeatedly and often at exasperation for having to do so.

[159] Posted by zebra on 07-29-2009 at 01:52 PM • top

RE: “Sarah: can you frame you response in such a way that ACI, CP, ACNA etc are left out?”

Hi Seitz-ACI—as soon as I can—and it will have to be this evening late, I’ll work on responding to your earlier comments.  But again, I don’t grant that I have any need at all to “leave out” my and other objections to ACNA, ACI, and CP principles.

In fact, that is how the group of Episcopalians with which I hang out know that we need a third way.  We look at ACI and CP principles and we say “wow—I disagree.”  And we look at ACNA and we say “wow—I disagree.”

I do not think it my responsibility—nor my right—to attempt to come up with anything at all.

I merely point out that the people with whom I hang out . . . need a third way.  That point has received quite a nice response I should add, and I am gratified.

Understand—ACI and CP are fantastic for people who like and are a part of ACI and CP.  ; > )  There is no need for them to have any sort of third way at all.  They’re set.  All is well with them.

RE: “CP and ACI are about working to get the instruments/covenant to support the Communion as it now comes of age in Christ, with positive results for anglicanism here and in Communion.”

I completely understand—good for you!  That is certainly in keeping with ACI and CP’s vision and goals and principles.  I certainly wouldn’t have it otherwise for members of ACI and CP.

RE: “Move from evaluation to description of what you are endeavoring . . . “

I am not “endeavoring” anything, Seitz-ACI other than to say: “People like Sarah and those with whom she hangs out need a third way.”

Although I will certainly be responding to earlier comments, let me reiterate with clarity my original—and currently only endeavor.

Episcopalians like me need a third way.

With that being established as my framework—and my alpha and omega points—I’ll get back to your earlier comments sometime hopefully late [really late] tonight.

Just as a reminder . . .

In case anyone forgets . . .

Or doesn’t quite grasp what I am thinking . . .

Or if I have not been quite clear . . .

Episcopalians like Sarah need a third way.

; > )

[160] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 02:04 PM • top

What chance is there to build a healthy church within TEC

Many parishes have experienced interference of every kind from a hostile revisionist bishop from the selection of a rector to the seminaries candidates for ministry may attend as well as the discernment/ordination process, the infiltration of agendites, demands for money by the Bishop and the PB, radical canonical changes, power grabbing, demands for money, property and endowments. 

Those in power have got multiple mechanisms to prevent healthy Scriptural parishes from existing much less flourishing and their intentional cherished heterodoxy being resisted or reversed.

[161] Posted by Theodora on 07-29-2009 at 02:04 PM • top

Third way is, I take it, a vis-a-vis idea: not CP and not ACNA. But what CP are you referring to? You have never attended a meeting, never interviewed a Rector who is a part of this, never referred to anything about its goals, educational aims, plans for work with individual rectors/parishes. Zip, nada. Please, simply be a First Way and quit defining yourself over against what are largely impressions anyway—or dated texts from pre-ACNA contexts. Turn off the evaluator batteries (they are hot) and simply forge ahead on a positive note, describing what you wish to accomplish. ACNA has its goals. ACI and CP have theirs. The reason they disagree is that they have different end-games and different perceptions of principled ways forward, not because they spawned each other by considering the vis-a-vis or the ‘deficiences.’ Third ways have a strange propensity for becoming 4th and 5th ways, until two people under a beach umbrella are all that is left. I doubt that is really what you have in view, so be bold and let us see a First Way.

[162] Posted by zebra on 07-29-2009 at 02:20 PM • top

As resident of a diocese that considers CP schismatic heretics, where the closest remotely orthodox church is across an international border, the closest in the US is 120 miles away (AMiA), and the closest CP parish or diocese a 4 hour drive, I think, if nothing else, there needs to be “a way” for Anglicans for whom the CP and the ACNA just do not exist for practical purposes. I may not agree with Sarah on a variety of issues, but that neither CP nor ACNA can fulfill the needs of a great number of US Anglicans seems pretty clear.  ACNA is still organizing, and has not yet truly unified, and CP recognizes diocesan borders, and is therefore non-existent outside of its dioceses and parishes.

CP will last only as long as the tenure of its current diocesan bishops.  CP parishes outside those dioceses only so long as their diocesans allow them to function in CP.  CP as a whole can be dismembered at the whim of the PB.

++Rowan Williams, +Mark Lawrence, Ephriam Radner+ and +Bob Duncan have absolutely zero authority or influence within 100 miles of where I am sitting as I write this.  None, zero, zip, nada.  Here, the PB is considered moderately conservative, and the likes of +Tom Breidenthal are decried for defying the will of the Holy Spirit.  And, while this is the most off the wall diocese of an off the wall church, I suspect that my situation is hardly unique.  I am luckier than most- in that I travel fairly frequently to places where the Church still exists in some form I can recognize.  And, well, sometimes it is a good thing to not really care a whole lot about what your local church thinks about you.

[163] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-29-2009 at 02:38 PM • top

150—If ACNA was just about a new Anglican Province within the AC, I doubt it would have many members. That is a goal, but is not the measure of its success. Of more immediate importance is to provide a viable Anglican expression that is not unencumbered by TEC’s denominational policies and the heresies of its leaders.  The ACNA’s growth will depend less on what happens in Canterbury than it will on its ability to attract good young preachers and to communicate effectively.  If it can do that, everything else will be easy.

[164] Posted by Going Home on 07-29-2009 at 02:45 PM • top

Outstanding. I gather what you want is a way to associate with others. Fine. Leave off prognostications about CP. The idea of the PB dismembering CP is risible.

[165] Posted by zebra on 07-29-2009 at 02:45 PM • top

Sorry, 165 is addressed to 163. I remain hopeful that one can speak of the goals and distinctive contributions of a 3rd way without need to predicting CP’s demise, or ACNA’s bottleneck over WO, or whatever. These are things one cannot know. What one can know is what a 3rd way wishes to be. I have heard a fellowship, a way to disseminate educational resources, a way to involve laity, etc., free of work on Instruments, covenant, etc. Great. Let’s hear more.

[166] Posted by zebra on 07-29-2009 at 02:49 PM • top

... prodding each other for ever more refined differentiation (tactical or otherwise) is one thing…  it seems to be a specialty, if not passion, for some folks.  In these troubled times, it seems meet and right so to do.

And thinking through our common need to grow and sustain healthy Anglican parishes, effective catechesis, and strong disciples who can serve in the Anglican Way as agents of change or, at least, witnesses to the Cross, in church and society can also be topics of interest herein.

[167] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-29-2009 at 02:52 PM • top

Sarah,

You’ve convinced me that you wish to be left alone to pursue whatever it is you wish to pursue.  Please forgive me for commenting, since my comments are “meaningless and irrelevant.”  By the way, I did not mean to say that YOU missed God. . . but if I have to explain it, the point is lost anyway. I get it that whatever I may have to say is “meaningless and irrelevant” to you, so it is time for me to give it up and shut up!!!  Good luck with your third way.

[168] Posted by Immortalitas Equestris on 07-29-2009 at 03:44 PM • top

Dr. Seitz,
With all due respect, at one time, maybe 3 or 4 years ago, the idea that the PB could depose a bishop by “accepting his renunciation of orders” based on a letter to his diocese, or the idea that the PB could or would depose in that manner a bishop consecrated by the Church of England, would have been risible.  I pray that the PB and 815 do not turn on the CP bishops.  Perhaps, at this point, even TEC is beginning to see that deposition and destruction of parishes and dioceses is a losing strategy in the long run.

[169] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-29-2009 at 04:02 PM • top

Let’s hear more.

I’m eager to hear more too, Dr. Seitz.  However, perhaps you and I are getting ahead of ourselves. 

Going back to earlier comments (#19, #37), it seems to me that “the other” option (ACNA=“the this”;  ACI/CP=“the that” .. haha) needs to have sophisticated communication protocols already in place - something that benefits from internet technologies, but doesn’t have any of the drawbacks (e.g., ‘Reply to all’) of the way they are presently used.  I’m wondering if it is wise, assuming that the political objectives of the proposed 3rd Way are yet unstated, to reveal them publically. 

On a side note, we need an acronym.  A honest to goodness old fashioned one, that condenses to a three-letter word.  Any ideas?

I propose Sarah’s Third WAY (STWAY).

[170] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-29-2009 at 04:09 PM • top

Okay, so that wasn’t three letters.

[171] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-29-2009 at 04:12 PM • top

I think, if nothing else, there needs to be “a way” for Anglicans for whom the CP and the ACNA just do not exist for practical purposes.

This is something no one seems to address. Those of us who are outside the umbrella of either CP or ACNA - there is no “way” for us.

[172] Posted by oscewicee on 07-29-2009 at 04:27 PM • top

Moot, just so we don’t stway from the course.

[173] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-29-2009 at 04:35 PM • top

It would certainly stway from Commrade Katy’s goal to turn Mootette into a classy guest on the Jerry Springer show.  wink

[174] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-29-2009 at 05:17 PM • top

Sarah (#140):

Your comments to me helped me think through some issues.  The only place where I disagree with you is our recollections of the history of ACN and its plans and the result of some staying and some leaving.  I will not comment further on that disagreement now because it is not appropriate for this thread.  (I do not want to cause this thread to steer further from your original intent, as defining some sort of “third way” really is very important.)

Regarding my need for “uniform and consistent strategy” and “what is possible in my local TEC context,” I do have something to say that may very well play into the interchange between you and Dr. Seitz.

Basically, I do need to see the development of some sort of overall big picture goal (perhaps a “national” goal for lack of a better term).  Like you in #158, I have major problems with a strategy that simply focuses on strengthening local parishes.  Certainly, that will need to be a huge part of any bigger picture strategy, but focusing on the local level alone is frought with all the problems you mention, plus, I have serious concerns about evangelism outreach from even orthodox local Episcopal parishes.

I do not believe it is wise or even fair to bring new Christians into the mess that is TEC.  No matter how orthodox the local ministry, there will be no way to protect the new Christians from the inevitable confusion that will come from the conflicting messages they will recieve in such a situation.  It’s simply too risky.  Local evangelism efforts need to place new Christians in safe environments, and no TEC local parish is truly safe at this point.

Beyond that, I don’t see how most traditionalists in the pews would actually be motivated by any strategy to strengthen their local parishes.  Just like most of them are in denial about the state of the national church, they are in denial about the state of their local parish and refuse to think that it could ever close or die.  If traditionalists in the pews could be motivated by local parish growth ideas, then we would have most TEC parishes in the state where there is around 50 ASA and average age comperable to that of the dirt in the memorial garden.  It’s not that they don’t care about their local parish . . . they just can’t conceive of the potential danger when it is staring them in the face.

That said, I think Dr. Seitz’ suggestions to focus on positive messages is very wise.  I have concerns about the ecclesiology of ACNA, and, like TJ #163 above, I really don’t have that as an option due to geographic constraints.  I’m also completely unprepared to go the way of ACI/CPP “patient and enduring witness” alone while waiting for the ABC and the AC to fix things.

So . . . like you, I see a need for a “third way.”

However, I have great respect for both the ACNA and the ACI/CPP because they have clearly articulated goals and strategies and they both seem willing to stick to their game plans to work their strategies out.  I may not want to buy into either set of goals, but good on ‘em for having goals; clearly articulating them and moving forward toward them.

I also think that everything both of those groups are doing will in some way assist in the development of (or perhaps revival of) a vibrant form of North American Anglicanism.  I think both strategies alone will likely fall short, which is why we need a third way . . . but one that can be complimentary to and supportive of the other two ways.

Most important . . . yes . . . what I need are clearly articulated goals and strategies (big picture) for any potential “third way.”  The local parish option alone is not enough because I need to know that whatever efforts I am putting forth will have an impact on the bigger picture . . . at least that my efforts are supportive of and/or complimentary to the concerted efforts of comrades in other parts of the church.

I don’t think that is too much to ask of a group of orthodox Christians who proclaim to be part of the “One, Holy, catholic and Apostolic Church.”

If any “third wave” is to be born and thrive, it will need to have clearly articulated goals, back-up plans and a vision for what victory looks like.  Just as important, there needs to be a definition of what defeat will look like so that we will know when it is time to abandon or alter one strategy and move to the next.  That is how the Network was able to transition into the ACNA . . . and that is how the ACI/CPP plan was born.

Regarding my crazy suggestion that perhaps we work on the pressuring Canterbury angle . . . I don’t want to advocate too strongly for that as a possible goal, cause I have no idea of how to get there.  However, it does not need to be solely dependent upon the actions of the outside influence (Canterbury).  That is where back-up plans come to play.

For the ACNA (and, I assume the Global South), if they ever determine for themselves that Canterbury based Anglicanism is beyond reform, they will go the “we don’t need to go through Canterbury to get to Jesus” option.  And, I’m betting their not afraid to pull that trigger if they have to.  For ACI/CPP, I’m betting that if the Canterbury/Covenant strategy backfires on them, they are still prepared to continue in “patient and enduring witness.”

However, there may be a way for us “third wayers” to develop a set of goals and objectives that are supportive of trying to influence the Covenant and/or Canterbury so that all three groups get what they want.  And, if we fail at that strategy, we need to be prepared to fall back on a contingency plan so that we don’t self-destruct.

For now though, a set of goals would be very motivational and focusing.  If we can’t find a set of goals that we think are reachable and that are different from but complimentary to ACNA and ACI/CPP, then we may need to just come to the conclusion that the two choices now before us are the only two choices that exist . . . and, then we’d need to be prepared to choose.

I’m just ready to move on to something positive, and something that some decent size group actually feels like we have hope of winning (and is willing to work toward). And, I think many folks in the “third way” feel the same way.

Perhaps the two options we have before us is really all there is . . . but, perhaps there is something different we can do.  I’m willing to try and try hard, but if we don’t develop a vision for the future states we desire, I will simply have to move on to option #1, leaving TEC for something less than satisfying.  That will still be better than my current state.

[175] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-29-2009 at 05:35 PM • top

Eddie,

I do not believe it is wise or even fair to bring new Christians into the mess that is TEC.

Just a quick note - then I’m off to a birthday party.  Folks at my own parish are acquainted with a Church of Christ parish that is both orthodox and thriving.  They’ve worked out a system for small group ministries whereby groups of Christians mentor new believers or even unbelievers.  There are several principals to these ministries (e.g., meeting every 1-2 weeks, and nondisclosure, etc) that make them effective. 

I used to think as you do that TEC is no place for baby Christians, but I have changed in that conviction somewhat.  It is definitely inappropriate to mentor baby Christians in TEC, without a framework for mentoring them.  But with the framework?

I’m not suggesting the exact framework worked out by our CoC friends;  indeed, there’s a daunting startup timeline (if the concept of timeline even applies) for that… but different things would work for different places. 

With no such system, then absolutely - youngsters should be incubated at a nice OPC or PCA down the street (I’d say Rome, but then again, we might not get them back!).  wink

[176] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-29-2009 at 05:48 PM • top

Immortalitas Equestris:

RE: “You’ve convinced me that you wish to be left alone to pursue whatever it is you wish to pursue.”

Wait—does this mean my metaphor—my little story—did not convince you to leave ACNA and come hunt foxes?  ; > )

RE: “Please forgive me for commenting, since my comments are “meaningless and irrelevant.”

Not certain why you say that.  Of course, I did not say it.  And I did not see anyone else say it.  But if you believed that about your comments, then why did you comment? 

. . . Ees a mystery . . .

. . . Oh wait . . . perhaps you were merely referring to this statement of mine . . . “The metaphor is meaningless and irrelevant” . . . and calmly, placidly misquoting it. 

Because it’s just not quite as dramatic—nor does it have that touch of meanness that you needed in my comment to say . . . “Please forgive me for commenting, since my metaphor is “meaningless and irrelevant.”

RE: “Good luck with your third way.”

And likewise with your ACNA!  Blessings to you and your family and allies.

[177] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 10:12 PM • top

Eddie:

Just a few thoughts.  You mention “back-up plans” . . . and again I have to say that no group that wishes to remain within TEC is going to have any sort of meaningful back-up plan as a group.  I am sorry—but that is the way that it is.

I personally have some things that I intend to do if my own plan A fails.  And I will certainly mention it to local and regional folks when that time comes, and if they want to try the same thing, that’s fine.  But all of us have different theologies and values.  That’s just living with reality.  Some people’s “back-up plan”—even if they have labored in the trenches with me for 15 years—will be to go to Rome.  But that cannot be my back-up plan—I don’t believe Rome’s claims about itself. 

As far as a “vision for what victory looks like”—anybody can come up with a vision—pick one out of a hundred!!!  To my mind, a third way works even if people cannot agree on “what victory looks like.”  Take it from me—some of the people I’ve worked with count winning their parish back and hunkering in to watch their diocese die as “what victory looks like.”  I can *try* to make them broaden their horizons, but no amount of my jumping up and down will make them do that.  They think it is a grand vision!

I understand that *you* may need to see a big vision in order for you to do whatever you notice or imagine in your own regional context.  But I still wonder if that is because you are wondering what to do in your own regional context.  But if some Magic Figurehead of the Third Way popped up and said “our vision for what victory looks like is a chastened kicked-out TEC, and a growing, connected, networked, strategic group of us still in the AC in every single diocese .  . . ” how would 1) he get anyone to accept that and 2) he get people to stop laughing and 3) you have any more ideas as to what to do in your region and context?  And finally, why must those words be said—or whatever words said—for Eddie to decide what he himself wants and to plod steadily towards it.

Regarding “a definition of what defeat will look like”—I need only bring up the Network.  One rather large group within the Network didn’t see the “definition of defeat” that four dioceses saw.  No amount of jumping up and down makes them see that. Which brings me to this statement: “that is how the Network was able to transition into the ACNA . . . ” Eddie, the Network did not “transition.”  The Network closed up shop and four dioceses did one thing and 8 dioceses did another.

As far as influencing Canterbury and the Covenant—why not leave that in the capable hands of the ACI and CP?  That is clearly a part of their vision.

RE: “If we can’t find a set of goals that we think are reachable and that are different from but complimentary to ACNA and ACI/CPP . . .”

That’s just it.  I have.  I’ve been working my set of goals for years now.  They are certainly different from ACNA and ACI/CPP.  Others have been working their set of goals for years now.  They are certainly different from ACNA and ACI/CPP.

It’d be nice, however, to have a larger group to work ‘em in—and a leader.

We need a third way.

[178] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 10:37 PM • top

More thoughts on communications in STWay..

- Sarah is right that as few people as possible should have targets painted on them;
- The internet is needed, no doubt about it.  Even the smallest people-network is going to need it. 
- The internet poses the problem of information leakeage due to hackers, communication mishaps, etc
- Perhaps it is possible to combine the strengths of the internet with lessons learned from resistance organizations during warfare.  If communication between people-networks were handled with a courier, or restricted to one person in each network;  perhaps this would offer additional security;
- Likewise, “membership” rolls could be retained (if they were at all desired) in forms which are relatively irretrievable.  Basically, this means nothing sensitive is stored electronically;  though records could be kept using other media. 
- The “other media” require protocols of their own.
- What I’m thinking is that below the steering committee, there should be a Director of Communications, or a network of folks that handles communications and protocols related to same.

[179] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-29-2009 at 10:41 PM • top

Seitz-ACI:

On to your comments.

First a few larger principles just to put them out front.  1) The ACNA and the ACI/CP principles and practices are perfect for those for whom they are perfect.  I don’t even see them as having “faults” for the people who agree with their principles and visions.  2) I don’t have any desire for either to cease doing what they believe is right and helpful.  3) My stating that people like Sarah need a third way should not be seen in any way as wishing that either of the other ways should somehow “make room” for third way.  In fact, quite the opposite.  4) ACNA and ACI/CP have both done some excellent and wonderful things.  I have mentioned those things many times in other essays.  To show my good faith and since I am speaking with an ACI/CP person I will name three things that I have also mentioned in the past.  1) The strategery and actions of the bishops in the HOB meeting that engaged with depositions of Duncan and others was excellent and courageous.  2) The actions of the laity in the HOD at General Convention were courageous and disciplined.  3) The legal and historic case that ACI in particular has made for the diocese being the main unit of TEC and from which General Convention has been formed [and not the other way around] along with challenging the authority of the PB has been, to my mind, one of the most helpful strategeries and arguments made, politically speaking. I could and have named more, but will stop there.

RE: “So the distinguishing feature of the Third Way is that it brackets out Canterbury, Covenant, and Communion, either because these are judged untrustworthy/kaput, or because they are not essential to being an Episcopalian in TEC.”

Not at all.  In fact, I believe that Canterbury and Communion *are* essential to being an Anglican within the Anglican Communion, and indeed I believe that the Anglican Communion is the only place that will hold the centrifugal power that will keep the disparate parts of being Anglican from flying apart.  That is one of the many reasons why, were I to leave TEC, it would be a signal of a surrender of Anglicanism.  I would recognize that at least for my forseeable future any kind of coherent, functional Anglicanism within the US would be over.  I cannot see any other “out” for me.

On the other hand, I’ve recognized that the current holder of the see of Canterbury will do nothing that will help us over in TEC.  He will say many wonderful and truthful things.  He will provide some excellent summings up.  But he will do nothing.  I say that with no bitterness at all.  He is what he is, and he is the current holder of the see of Canterbury.  I have no excitement or hope when I read his words regarding the situation in the Anglican Communion—he has convinced me that he is truly and indeed powerless.

This is fine, as far as it goes.

Further, the *rest of the* Instruments of Communion are now in far far worse shape than they were six years ago.  Less congruent.  Less unified.  Less hopeful.  Less functional.  Less.  If it is possible to do so, I have even less excitement or hope when I read a Primates statement or an ACC statement or [perish the thought] the Reflections Document of the Lambeth Conference—the only document to come from the assembled bishops, I might add. What a silly pathetic childish finger-painting travesty that was.

You said regarding the covenant that “a covenant is crucial because the terms of belonging to the Communion, with a catholic identity, can be stipulated and so TEC is offered a choice: to walk along or walk apart.”  But the Covenant has not offered any “stipulated” terms.  Nor consequences for violating any supposed [but invisibly ambiguous and vague] terms.  And whatever is supposed to happen if someone violates the supposed [but invisibly ambiguous and vague] terms is being adjudicated by a fraudulently corrupt body that deconstructed further the “response” [sic] of the New Orleans HOB meeting in order to claim “compliance” and to boot that body also has Jefferts Schori and Ian Douglas sitting on it.

None of what I have said above “brackets out” those things.  Certainly it’d be nice to have a great Covenant with real stipulations [I mean actually visible and definable] and real consequences and a real adjudicating body [rather than a group of heretical deconstructionists].  It’d be nice to have functional Instruments of Communion.  Maybe someday, long into the future, after this crisis is past, we will have those. If so it would be wonderful and helpful to have such marvels.

But I have simply articulated reality as I see it—and incidentally as hundreds at least see it [please check out the open thread that asked for predictions on actions post-GC to see my above comments fairly represented by *Episcopalians*.]

With that reality acknowledged and stated, though, there rises a new and wonderful freedom.

Once one has “cut the chains” of trying to hope for or depend on any action outside of TEC, a person who has “taken the blue pill” then recognizes that he or she—along with a few allies—is on their own.  It’s as if one is in a war zone and all communication and supply lines have been cut.  You are out there in the fields and woods, with no connection to the outside world.  All that you can depend on is your unit. 

For many Episcopalians that is what has happened.  Nobody is coming to rescue them or take them away or lower a god or machine to help out.  And the people who *do* make the mistake of simply sitting on a hillside gazing out over the horizon waiting on the supply trains or the radio signals from the outside world pine away, and eventually starve to death.

I came to these conclusions some years ago, and that allowed me to view all “Communion events” and missives with a huge degree of equanimity.  What they say had no effect—none at all—on what I have chosen to involve myself with—my own personal goals in various contexts and regions.

If a vacuous letter comes from “out there”—I have things to do.  If a nice-sounding letter comes from “out there”—I have things to do.

Another parallel might be Matt’s Four Naked Drunken Uncles and the Enabling Mother.  Once one has recognized that the Enabling Mother and the Four Naked Drunken Uncles are going to be about for the rest of the foreseeable future, one says “how may I go about having a nicer supper in a better and more peaceful place while continuing on with some little goals for the family in general.”

So—to close with my response to your #100 I have no need at all for a “new definition of Anglican identity.”  I acknowledge that Mothers and Fathers are necessary to families.  But I also am bright enough to know that abusive Fathers and enabling Mothers will never provide the safe family that siblings need.  I completely acknowledge the necessity and rightness of the See of Canterbury and the other three instruments of communion while recognizing that for this generation the holders of that see and other instruments will not provide what was needed.  I also acknowledge that ecclesial identity is a first-order affair.  If a Roman Catholic believes that the See of Peter is necessary to their ecclesial identity—acknowledging that a particular holder of the See of Peter is an appallingly wicked man does not in any way make that ecclesial identity different or not a first-order affair.

RE: “That is why it is more helpful to learn what the actual positive space Third Way means to occupy.”

Third way may not “mean to occupy” any space at all.  All I have done is to cry out that it is needed.

RE: “As for Alpha type programmes, ACI is producing a major DVD series and it is just about finished, Anglicanism—A Gift in Christ. 11 Contributors: Lord Carey, NT Wright, George Sumner, Philip Turner, Ephraim Radner, Jo Bailey Wells, Edith Humphrey, Bernard Ntahoturi, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Cheryl White, and more.”

This sounds like the Bees Knees—I’m excited about this and am sure it will be a massive gift and useful discipleship tool.  In fact, most likely Russell, Kaeton, Schori, and Harris will cobble together an “Episcopal alternative” as they did with the failed “Via Media” counter to Alpha.  ; > )

RE: “But what CP are you referring to? You have never attended a meeting, never interviewed a Rector who is a part of this, never referred to anything about its goals, educational aims, plans for work with individual rectors/parishes.”

Well I have never attended an Integrity meeting either—but I certainly have read their goals and visions and values, and take them at their word.  Indeed you have stated on this thread repeatedly the goals and values of ACI/CP that I pointed out in my little essay.  So I take ACI/CP at their words as well.  I believe that you believe what you write as your goals, practices, visions, and principles, just as I believe what Integrity writes about itself.

I have also spoken extensively with CP rectors—indeed I am friends with some of them.  ; > )

And yes, I have referred to goals and plans and aims for work—for I have critiqued them!

RE: “The reason they disagree is that they have different end-games and different perceptions of principled ways forward, not because they spawned each other by considering the vis-a-vis or the ‘deficiences.’”

I am afraid I disagree—human psychology played itself out quite well with the ACNA and ACI/CP and yes, there is no doubt in my mind that “contrast,” “distinctive” and “difference” was a big big part of development.  One has only to look at Ephraim Radner’s letter of resignation from the Network to recognize just one small sample of that.  And it was, incidentally a letter that I defended, that I thought was right, that I understood, and that I thought had incredible integrity.  And yes, Dr. Radner defined himself over against the ACN.  And rightly so.

[180] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 11:58 PM • top

As to a “positive” vision, I think I will simply select a few relevant quotes from the above comments and comments left elsewhere in blogland and via email that I found at least interesting and perhaps positive.

Groups of laypeople in multiple dioceses and parishes working from the grass roots and

. . . focusing on opportunities for contextualized reform, renewal, resistance, and strengthening rather than international or national activities, while watching closely for the next holder of the See of Canterbury and the political shifts in the COE.

Therefore, two strategies need to be pursued. The first is to strengthen the orthodox dioceses and make arrangements to insure that they remain orthodox. The other is to shelter those are isolated in the storm of heterodoxy.

The picture of Sarah’s group I’m getting is the French underground resistance movement after Paris fell to the Germans.

It perhaps should be more like the French resistance during WWII. The Vichy government capitulated and France was occupied. I also want to be careful that we do not strain the war-time analogy too much either. But the Resistance built up an impressive network that supported their work right under the noses of the revisionists, er, sympathizers. There were leaders of course who were dogged constantly, but the cell arrangement made it much more difficult to control the effects. Now obviously this in no way is meant to be an admonition to try and politically undermine the progressive power structure. It IS meant to provide an example of how to help one another by ground-level networking, sharing resources, combining prayer trees, mapping diocesan behaviors in revisionist diocese and so on. With a distributed network a lot of support can be generated with little political liability.

is it time for ‘us’ to connect. I think there are more of us than we realize.

it would not have national political action as a goal (no GC/Lambeth/ACC politicking).  Rather it would focus on facilitating local action, networking people in similar contexts, supporting and resourcing spiritual development within parishes.  A number of years ago the churches of our town decided to band together in an ecumenical effort to assist the needy, combining to form a cooperative organization to coordinate the efforts of existing food closets and to create a new central food bank supported by all the churches, to which they could refer people needing help.  To do this they approached just such an organization back in Texas somewhere (Dallas?), which showed them how it could be done, and initially gave support and instruction on how to get up and running.  Perhaps this is what the orthodox in TEC need, not a PAC to “join”, but an organization to show local communities how its done, to coordinate, facilitate, and open up channels of communication for mutual support.  With no national action plan, revisionist dioceses might not feel as threatened by this.  Meanwhile isolated orthodox communities would have some sense of support and connection.

Carefully constructed “networking and connection” groups, region by region, diocese by diocese, with a master initial cell group which connects via a private listserve, while allowing those dioceses/regions to maintain and organize their own regional cells, all designed to where necessary reform, strengthen, renew, and/or resist in a strategic and unified manner.

The ‘leaderless group’ that Sarah describes, in need of a ‘third way’ is a strategy used by organizations that choose resistance to the stated authority.  It is a common tactic known as “cell groups” so that individual cells work on the strategy that works best for them.  Once a leader is appointed and a structure set up, the entire group becomes vulnerable to the authorities actions.  Think of the Maquis in France during WWII (or the Bajorans in Deep Space Nine).

I read Sarah’s broad idea as being a kind of underground resistance in hostile, enemy-occupied territory, as brought out by her medieval fiefdom metaphor.  The purpose of such actions in the actual Middle Ages and now in TEC is not to execute some master plan of which the details have been carefully laid out in advance by a formal organization.  Rather, it seems to be to provide survival and safe haven for individuals (such a heretic I am per -KJS   ) and small groups of conservative guerillas, as it were.  Saving individual souls right under KJS’s nose surely must be faithful to God’s will, no?  Guerilla-type resistance in small cells can be very hard to stamp out and eventually can attract and convert many to its cause if the cause be truly worthy or compelling.

[181] Posted by Sarah on 07-29-2009 at 11:59 PM • top

Sarah—you’ll need an orthodox seminary or two or three if you want a reliable supply of clergy in this resistance movement.  Trinity School for Ministry, Nashotah House, and Wycliffe-Toronto will continue to be of service even as they continue to serve CP and ACNA entities. 

I think these schools have been in resistance-movement mode for quite some time actually.  Since I teach at Trinity, I can speak with greater certainty about its sense of mission.  John Rogers, Les Fairfield and other great orthodox pillars of resistance have produced several generations of individuals who now serve in ACNA and CP dioceses (even as bishops!), as well as numerous rectors in non-CP dioceses.  Over the past thirty years, and even before the ACN, it was doing the sort of work a resistance movement does:  “ground-level networking, sharing resources, combining prayer trees, mapping diocesan behaviors in revisionist diocese and so on.”  Trinity continues to do this kind of work on a global scale… and, again, it does so without alligning itself exclusively with ACNA or CP. It sees the two (or three) modes of resistance in BOTH/AND not EITHER/OR terms.  That is, of course, partly due to its educational mission, but it also has something to do with its evangelical and missional ethos.

What I would strongly urge you to consider is that the three orthodox Anglican seminaries in North America will continue to do the sort of work you describe as 3rd-Way for years to come and that you have much to learn from their varied experiences in the trenches.  Each of the schools provides distinctive resources and perspectives, but they are still united in the task of producing faithful Anglican shepherds to flocks across the spectrum. 

I should mention that there is a tremendously important case-study to consider along these lines from outside of contemporary Anglicanism.  In the United Methodist Church (USA) a significant resurgence of orthodox and evangelical witness has occurred over the past decade that, with support from its over-seas conferences (especially in Africa), has nearly reached the point of turning the entire denomination in a more orthodox direction.  That would not have been possible without the strong support of Asbury Theological Seminary—a bastion of orthodox renewal and, yes, REFORM within that mainline denomination.  Asbury has been a crucial institutional mainstay in a resistance movement that, after many years of sacrifice and struggle, is now bearing fruit—thanks be to God.

I hope this is helpful.  I certainly don’t mean it to sound like special pleading for my venerable instituion.  I would expect Christ Seitz or Robert Munday to speak just as passionately about their very fine schools—they certainly have good reason to do so.  It is more a matter of assuring you, Sarah (as if you need!), that the 3rd-Way is a viable path, and there are already some supply depots waiting to serve the cause.  Thanks be to God.

[182] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-30-2009 at 07:07 AM • top

Great response. Thank you, Dr. Seitz, for drawing Sarah out. Her second post is quite helpful in understanding her position and her goals.

[183] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-30-2009 at 07:08 AM • top

Let us also recall that in terms of actually winning the war, the Resistance did not matter very much.  100(+-) American divisions landing in Italy and France, and 200 or so Soviet divisions in the East are what won the war.

If TEC is the Church built on this Rock against which the gates of Hell shall not prevail, you can safely assume that God will supply those foreign divisions.  But first you must assume that TEC is in fact that Church.

[184] Posted by Ed the Roman on 07-30-2009 at 07:34 AM • top

[184] Ed the Roman

Two points:

1.  The partisans in the Soviet Union had a significant impact on the war (as opposed to the resistance in France), but your point is still well taken.  Ultimately, a resistance movement is powerless to displace that which is in power.

2.  TEC is a church, and not the Church.  Physical organizations with their buildings and bishops and hymnals and catechisms and confessions are not the Body of Christ.  The sum total of the Elect constitutes the Body of Christ.  Within the church called TEC there still exists a remnant of the Church.  It’s an important differentiation.

carl

[185] Posted by carl on 07-30-2009 at 07:46 AM • top

Resistance movements in WWII served to:
1. Provide intelligence necessary to establish a safe beachhead and neutralisation of enemy emplacements;
2. Tie up logistics and movement of enemy reinforcements;
3. Prove to the allies that there is still someone in the country worth fighting and perhaps making a sacrifice for.
4. Testify to the truth and be a beacon of hope in a dark time.

[186] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 07-30-2009 at 07:52 AM • top

#184-186. The Western Allies had (maybe) 100 divisions at peak after 1942. That includes the Brits, the Commonwealth, the US, the Poles, Italians and Free French. The Soviets had a whole lot more, both in manpower and divisions.

The Yugoslavs liberated themselves. No foreign soldiers needed. On the other hand the Danes had a relatively comfortable war.

If we adopt the military model for evangelism (and it is an excellent model), then our motto needs to be ‘audace, toujours l’audace”. Our strategy must be one of continuous and constant attack. And we must never lose track of the fact that the war will be fought and won on the individual level. Our goal is souls, not territory. And we desire not the death or subjugation of our opponents but their conversion and liberation.

[187] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-30-2009 at 08:06 AM • top

RE: “But first you must assume that TEC is in fact that Church.”

Heh—no man-made organization is the “Church.”  And I consider all denominations man-made organizations.  And [drum roll] I consider the Roman Catholics, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Lutherans—all are denominations.

Which would be one of many reasons why I am not “Sarah the Roman.”  ; > )

RE: “Ultimately, a resistance movement is powerless to displace that which is in power.”

I agree.  Howsomever [to channel Huck Finn] I believe that there are other forces [and no, it’s not all the groups that we have discussed earlier] that can lead to displacement of those who are in power.

Those forces, coupled with resistance movements, can do some interesting work.

[188] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 08:10 AM • top

I am so not going to post what images ‘Sarah the Roman’ put into my head. Let’s leave it at some people really should not have watched bad historical action movies in their childhood. wink

I always liked C S Lewis’s take on the Church in the Screwtape letters. There’s the man made institutions that are somewhat comical and then there’s the supernatural entity that scares the willies out of the powers of evil.

[189] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 07-30-2009 at 08:13 AM • top

Re: warfare…. Al Reis and Jack Trout wrote a book called Guerilla Marketing where they posit, based on guerilla warfare, that the best way to infiltrate an existing system/battle/product is through as narrow a front as possible. Breach the system/battle front/product dominance, then expand. Has worked through generations. A tactic the libs have found quite successful. How we can we do this in return? What’s a battle focus?

[190] Posted by FredH on 07-30-2009 at 08:27 AM • top

Thanks. I thought there was a fresh initiative here, with some kind of marching orders and plans. I believe I have seen much of the earlier blogging commentary, as recycled above. I look forward to learning more about your efforts as this moves forward.
ACI will be publishing a long commentary by NT Wright, which we worked on with him, and which provides our own best sense of where we now are. We obviously have a rather different view of what has been accomplished in the last weeks and what RDW’s letter implies for our Communion future.
All that notwithstanding, the lay movement you describe above (from earlier blogging) is very important. CP has focused on rectors and bishops because one must start somewhere and build from that, and also this is where the pressure is felt keenly, and applied keenly in turn. None of us have the kind of money-raising and adminstrative base that something like the AAC or even Network sought, and all of us have full time jobs. grace and peace.

[191] Posted by zebra on 07-30-2009 at 08:46 AM • top

2. TEC is a church, and not the Church. Physical organizations with their
buildings and bishops and hymnals and catechisms and confessions are not
the Body of Christ. The sum total of the Elect constitutes the Body of
Christ. Within the church called TEC there still exists a remnant of the
Church. It’s an important differentiation.

carl

Amen. Amen. Amen.
Thank you Carl

[192] Posted by TLDillon on 07-30-2009 at 08:51 AM • top

RE: “I thought there was a fresh initiative here, with some kind of marching orders and plans.”

Lol. 

No you didn’t. 

I was quite clear—and you well understood what I said both initially and throughout the entire thread, Seitz-ACI.  The purpose of this article was to simply and clearly point out that there is a need for a third way for people like myself—a need for people who don’t hold with the repeated and oft-stated claims, principles, and processes of ACNA or ACI/CP . 

RE: “I believe I have seen much of the earlier blogging commentary, as recycled above.”

Well you’ve certainly seen *similar* commentary for a positive vision, although all of the quotes above but one were taken from the past few days, and almost all of them from *other concerned Episcopalians like me*.  But let’s just draw this out a bit more. In other words, your “questions” about what I meant and what “positive vision” a third way might have were in fact no “questions” at all.  You were merely pretending to be confused and not knowing what was meant.  You already knew the answers because you’d read them in the past.

But why the pretense?  The answer is fairly simple.  What you didn’t like about this article—as you have now made clear—and the offense that you took from it is my pointing out with great clarity that neither the ACI/CP nor the ACNA is a possible way forward in practices, principles and vision for Episcopalians like me.  You simply didn’t like someone pointing that out.

And I’ll keep saying it and pointing it out clearly.

RE: “I look forward to learning more about your efforts as this moves forward.”

No you don’t.  You look forward to people not pointing out—clearly and pointedly—that CP/ACI is not for them. 

RE: “We obviously have a rather different view of what has been accomplished in the last weeks and what RDW’s letter implies for our Communion future.”

Oh yes indeed.  But we already knew that—from the principles that I laid out in the above article which ACI/CP believes and which I do not.

Let me repeat just a few of those distinctions for the benefit of the thread.

Reading the Archbishop of Canterbury’s missive reminds me all over again why the lack of an organization for this strategic group is a significant gap.

Back two years ago, many persons of average intellect pointed out repeatedly that such a process would not work itself through the system for many years—most likely 2015, if then. That point was repeatedly and vociferously denied by various Anglicans who are committed to “instruments of Communion” working the TEC issues out for the Communion, most likely because they need to live in that alternate reality which they and the ABC have constructed for as long as possible.

But the fact is that there is a large group of conservatives within TEC who:

—have recognized for some years now that the Instruments of Unity have failed and will not provide relief or establish any sort of common order ever
—wish to “engage in strategic, thoughtful action within TEC,” not to “reform TEC” but to work within various local contexts for numerous possible goals and outcomes
—have no interest in “patient and enduring witness” only without massive differentiation and strategic action
—wish to be differentiated from the national structures of TEC in a more significant and apparent and compelling and communicative way than simply affirming the three Windsor moratoria
—do not believe that an “Anglican Covenant” based on the corrupt Joint Standing Committee and zero spelled-out consequences will be at all effective in reigning in future chaos and division
—do not believe that the Instruments of Communion are “the effective means of ordering the common life of the Communion”—they are not effective and they do not order anything at all, much less “common life of the Communion”
—recognize that the current Archbishop of Canterbury will not do what he needs to do in order to solve the chaos and disorder that is in the Anglican Communion—this necessarily means that action must take place within TEC and among traditional Episcopalians to differentiate and “bring about desired future states” through other arenas and channels

Seitz-ACI—it’s clear you haven’t been participating in this thread in good faith at all, but merely engaging in pretense, underneath which was simple anger at my having the audacity to point out that Episcopalians like me don’t accept the founding precepts of ACI/CP.

What a silly thing for a grown man to do.

Obviously further “questions” from you—designed to cover your anger at the simple thesis of this post—will be treated as they deserve.

We need a third way.

Even more than I had realized one day ago . . . taking into consideration the behavior of one of the leaders of CP/ACI on this thread . . .

We need a third way.

[193] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 09:12 AM • top

TEC is a church, and not the Church.
Physical organizations with their buildings and bishops and hymnals and Catechisms and confessions are not the Body of Christ. The sum total of the Elect constitutes the Body of Christ. Within the church called TEC there still exists a remnant of the Church.

It’s an important differentiation.

Carl,
Yet another time we are complete agreement.  Thank you.

[194] Posted by Bo on 07-30-2009 at 09:23 AM • top

<i>RE: “As for Alpha type programmes, ACI is producing a major DVD series and it is just about finished, Anglicanism—A Gift in Christ. 11 Contributors: Lord Carey, NT Wright, George Sumner, Philip Turner, Ephraim Radner, Jo Bailey Wells, Edith Humphrey, Bernard Ntahoturi, Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Cheryl White, and more.”<i>

I am so glad to read this!

And also think it is about time that lay Episcopalians network and attempt to nurture each other and go about the business of building the body of Christ in any way that we can. It is unfortunate, but many of us are in positions where we can’t look to leadership from clergy or the diocese.

[195] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 09:37 AM • top

You know, Carl—I don’t know that “TEC” is a church even.

One would have to define what is meant by “church.”

And then what is meant by “TEC.”

Is “TEC” General Convention?

Is it the HOB and HOD?

Is it 815?

If so, then obviously it’s not a “church.”

I’m not confident that one can define “TEC,” though, as merely 815 or the HOB or the HOD or General Convention.  All of that—those accoutrements of organizations—is also solely “national.”

My goodness—even if one takes this down to the local level—is a parish vestry a “church”?

I’m not so sure about that.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what is the “church” part of TEC.  I have a lot more to do.

[196] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 09:38 AM • top

Sarah,
As you think about ‘what is church’ remember the letters of the Spirit to the Angles of the Churches.

Each of the Churches was a single city (perhaps a single parish, perhaps a tiny diocese?), each had reprobates in it, some of them had reprobates for leadership (think Thyratira), yet they, through God’s Grace remained ‘the church at…’.

I have nothing to add that might help you find your answer to ‘what is TEC’.

[197] Posted by Bo on 07-30-2009 at 09:45 AM • top

ACI will be publishing a long commentary by NT Wright, which we worked on with him, and which provides our own best sense of where we now are. We obviously have a rather different view of what has been accomplished in the last weeks and what RDW’s letter implies for our Communion future.”

I really appreciate Wright’s works. However, prior to his most recent response (to the GC actions) he has seemed out of touch with the political realities of the US situation.

[198] Posted by Going Home on 07-30-2009 at 09:46 AM • top

Angels not Angles.  (but y’all knew that).

[199] Posted by Bo on 07-30-2009 at 09:49 AM • top

oscewicee—this is a good point: “It is unfortunate, but many of us are in positions where we can’t look to leadership from clergy or the diocese.”

That is true often even for people in parishes with orthodox rectors.

Sometimes traditional laypeople get irked with their traditional rectors for not engaging in the sort of strategery that summary comment #181 refers to.  But the truth is, that’s not really the rector’s job.

What that means is that it’s the laity’s job to do that sort of thing.  On a sheerly practical level, for instance, just to flesh this out a bit more . . . no rector can really network into other parishes to find other like-minded laypeople.  That’s up to laity.

And further, it’s doubtful that rectors can really send out email newsletters summarizing catastrophic actions by TEC to groups of their laity.

And further . . .let’s face it.  Many traditional rectors don’t want the kind of pressure that informed, active, networked groups of laity in their parishes end up bringing about. 

Think of it this way.  A traditional rector is trying to get the gospel out to parishioners and the lost.  If he’s got a core group of committed informed networked parishioners informing and educating other laity .  . . that brings with it a passle of problems.

So in fact, many of the groups [not all but many] of clergy that spring up in dioceses or TEC in general are hoping to *delay or hinder* that kind of activity in their own parishes or dioceses.

That’s pretty significant.  To have an informed networked active group of laity essentially *working around* the rector—however traditional he is—is immensely threatening to *some clergy*.  And often what happens is that they throw up their hands and say “oh okay, I’ll do something—see I’ve joined this group here” in order to try to get their informed traditional laity off their backs.

My experience in many parishes is that its simply best to support the rector—while at the same time vigorously “moving on” with establishing one’s own network of laity.  That’s what I’ve seen work time and time again.  When the rector is confronted by angry revisionists over the laity group, he can quite truthfully say that he has no involvement with it whatsoever.

That’s why I think in a third way option that clergy and bishops honestly need to be on the fringes of activity and strategy, simply because they can’t afford to engage in a lot of the activity and openness that laity can.  This sort of reverses some of the group dynamics that may be seen down through the past decades.  Rather than a priest or bishop-centered strategic core, there is a lay strategic core busy about their business, while clergy and bishops do other things, some of which are helpful and some of which are not.

[200] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 09:49 AM • top

#200 Sarah,

Very wisely brings in clergy dynamics into the picture. Substitute “revisionist” clergy into the picture and you have another dynamic.

[201] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 07-30-2009 at 10:04 AM • top

Sarah—
As I read your list of seven defining features/commitments of the emerging 3rd-Way, two are phrased positively:

—wish to “engage in strategic, thoughtful action within TEC,” not to “reform TEC” but to work within various local contexts for numerous possible goals and outcomes
—wish to be differentiated from the national structures of TEC in a more significant and apparent and compelling and communicative way than simply affirming the three Windsor moratoria

So, in keeping with the original intentions of your thread, may we can focus on these.  Again, for purposes of disclosure, I am an Anglican seminary professor who serves students from all three fronts (ACNA, CP, 3rd-Way)—in that role, I want to know how best to serve my students and their various ecclesial constituencies. So, I ask, in good faith: how do the existing orthodox Anglican seminaries (Trinity, Nashotah House, Wycliffe-Toronoto) fit into your picture?  How can they help you? 

Perhaps you’d rather turn the table and ask me, Chris Seitz, Robert Munday, et al. if we have any thoughts on the matter.  It’s your blog, so you can do that. 

I press again on this issue only because I know how critical seminaries are to the future of the Church, to renewal/reform/resistance movements within the Church, and to congregational health, effective catechesis, and disciple-making at grassroots levels.  Seminaries often serve as the hub of resistance networks—that’s certainly what has happened in the Methodist case I noted above.  Seminaries have the resources to host conferences, but also find ways to serve constituencies in their mission contexts. I know that Christ Seitz and Wycliffe, for example, do a superb job of this, apart from the ACI association.

Seminaries face their own challenges today, and they certainly are not equipped to address many of the needs of the emerging 3rd-Way. I would also add that my own school, Trinity School for Ministry, was founded with many of your 3rd-Way commitments in mind… yet, in certain respects, failed to see them realized, or at least sustained.  So I’m not trying to suggest that seminaries are the most important thing for you to consider.

Your thoughts?

[202] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-30-2009 at 10:08 AM • top

Think of it this way.  A traditional rector is trying to get the gospel out to parishioners and the lost.

My parish hasn’t had a “traditional rector” in 6 years or more. :-(

That’s why I think in a third way option that clergy and bishops honestly need to be on the fringes of activity and strategy, simply because they can’t afford to engage in a lot of the activity and openness that laity can.

And I think there is much good sense in that. I’m not sure how TEC could get at an activist laity. In addition to benefiting ourselves, we might take some of the heat away from orthodox clergy.

[203] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 10:17 AM • top

Sarah—just read your #200.  Very helpful.  This shifts the focus to lay activism.  That is important to know… and reminds me of what John Wesley did, in part, as he raised-up lay preachers/teachers/catechists in the English revival.  You probably don’t want to go that far, but it does suggest certain possibilities.

It does seem to disturb the customary expression of the local church with its shepherd-and-flock.  Do you know of any other historical instances where clergy (shepherds)are marginal to the resistance movement of the laity (the flock)?

[204] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-30-2009 at 10:23 AM • top

Are we looking at GenCon12 to implement “discipline” with teeth in it to be brought to bear on the laity, or will that take them until GenCon15? Not that such a thing would make Sarah’s goals impossible—just trickier.

[205] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-30-2009 at 10:27 AM • top

Phil—having painstakingly answered a passive-agressive commenter on this thread who was merely asking me for “further clarification” of a “positive vision” [one which he already had read over the years and well knew] simply because he was angry over my main thesis, you’ll pardon me if I simply refer you to comment #181 and leave it at that.

People are doing just fine with articulating positive visions right here in the comments.

Anyone with an average IQ may easily transform the list in the original post into “positive words” if they wish.

[206] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 10:29 AM • top

On another part of your comment, I will try to respond to your question about seminaries later on today.

[207] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 10:35 AM • top

Phil, I imagine shepherds get marginalized from the flock anytime they stop feeding their sheep. If, by the grace of God, they haven’t led the sheep into the wolf’s den already.

[208] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 10:35 AM • top

Seitz-ACI—it’s clear you haven’t been participating in this thread in good faith at all, but merely engaging in pretense, underneath which was simple anger at my having the audacity to point out that Episcopalians like me don’t accept the founding precepts of ACI/CP.

Sarah,
although my own disagreement with Dr. Seitz is evident in the thread above, I will say that your accusation that Dr. Seitz is acting in other than good faith is unfair (perhaps, to use his rejoinder to me- “risible”).  ACI is doing its best to hold some ground for orthodox dioceses in the US, and that is a commendable thing.
One of the issues that orthodox need to deal with, and the sooner the better, is the co-ordination of ministry- or at least, not allowing our ministries to cancel each other.  Organizing a “third way” right now in, say, Diocese of South Carolina would be, under any catholic understanding of the Church and bishops, counterproductive.  As would a major push to organize CANA parishes there.  As we saw from NT Wright’s reaction to FCA in England, the promotion of alternative structures in orthodox jurisdictions only brings antagonism from the local orthodox clergy.  For many of us, this is no longer a matter of trying to overturn what is happening in TEC (which does not mean we won’t fight for a little stone bridge now and again), but trying to establish some sort of relationship to an orthodox bishop.  ACNA, CP, whatever.  I am personally much more interested in discovering a way to do that, than I am in organizing some kind of “French Resistance” to TEC.

[209] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-30-2009 at 10:41 AM • top

What could TEC actually do to laity - if you’re not on the vestry? Can they sue parishioners for their beliefs? In the church that says it’s OK to believe anything except orthodox Christianity?

[210] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 10:41 AM • top

Obviously I’m not helping matters—and certainly not meeting Sarah’s expectations. Perhaps there will be another time/place where we can have a more constructive exchange. If anyone else wants to follow-up on any points raised in my posts, I’d be happy to respond in separate e-mail.  I have students that are likely to serve in the emerging 3rd-Way, so your input is helpful.

[211] Posted by Phil Harrold on 07-30-2009 at 10:43 AM • top

Oscewicee, I suspect that certain TEC bishops are wistfully looking at the Roman capability to excommunicate those who are inconvenient to them. I do recall that there was certain language put forward along laity “discipline” lines that did not make the cut in final resolutions before GenCon—and that might have been GenCon06.

[212] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 07-30-2009 at 10:47 AM • top

Sad fact is, you cannot “unbreak” a glass.  The leadership of TEC has clearly shown the direction it intends to take this church.  Like putting a rebuilt Ford engine in a Chevrolet.  Change out all the parts you want to keep it running, and you’ll end up with some wierd hybrid.  It might run, but it will never be a true Chevrolet.

[213] Posted by The Templar on 07-30-2009 at 10:47 AM • top

RE: “For many of us, this is no longer a matter of trying to overturn what is happening in TEC (which does not mean we won’t fight for a little stone bridge now and again), but trying to establish some sort of relationship to an orthodox bishop.  ACNA, CP, whatever.”

That seems like a job for CP!  ; > )

RE: “ACI is doing its best to hold some ground for orthodox dioceses in the US, and that is a commendable thing.”

Absolutely, TJ.  But Seitz-ACI’s participation on this thread has nothing to do with ACI’s efforts in TEC.  His last comment on this thread made that very clear.

His questions and pretense of ignorance of a “positive vision” were faux blinds for his irritation over the thesis of the original article in the first place.  I am disappointed.  But I’ve moved on.  Perhaps he is simply unable to participate in these sorts of thirdway discussions here at SF and I’m fine with that.  Either way he and I both wasted our time engaged in discussion on it.

[214] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 10:48 AM • top

RE: “Organizing a “third way” right now in, say, Diocese of South Carolina would be, under any catholic understanding of the Church and bishops, counterproductive.  As would a major push to organize CANA parishes there.”

TJ—I agree with you on this.

[215] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 10:51 AM • top

We don’t as much need a “third way,” as much as we need to get more in tune with “THE WAY.” red face

[216] Posted by frdemetrius on 07-30-2009 at 10:52 AM • top

Struggles, struggles everywhere,
Too much generation of ecclesial hot air!
No 3rd way, or 4th way, it’s a “fifth” that I need!
Get back to The Way—The One we’re all agreed—
Who’ll lead us out of our darkest hour,
No PB, no TEC, corners love and the power
To resolve many issues we now face, today,
We must listen to God, then trust and obey.

But we think we know always what is best,
We’re too divisive, often fail on His test;
And just exactly what might that test be?
My sisters and brothers, it’s simple, you see:
Just love God and creation with all of your might,
Spread the Good News and keep Christ in your sight.

But we know all of that, so how do we do it?
Current structures and authorities? They already blew it.
So don’t get bogged down in such trivial pursuits,
Know The Bible, know Jesus, get back to our roots!

We’ve glorified “organizations” and “processes” too much,
We no longer reach many with our Anglican touch.
We’re unrecognizable as “Christ’s bridge” for all,
Are we headed for Humpty Dumpty’s great fall?

The answer is: NO.  We’ll get over this hump,
God revealed in Christ gets us out of our slump;
If it’s “News” that we have—we must make sure we know it!
If it’s “Good,” like we claim, we gotta go show it!

Stay hungry, my friends, and a little thirsty, too,
Delivering real food and drink, there’s much work to do;
Our journey in faith leads to God through the Son,
Our reward is Creator’s: “My servant, well done!”
smile

[217] Posted by frdemetrius on 07-30-2009 at 10:56 AM • top

TJ, I would be more in favor of that too, but - how can it be done. The great Satan of Boundary Crossing rears it’s head. How does a parish in isolation hook up to an orthodox rector or bishop?

[218] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 10:56 AM • top

I’ve followed this whole thread with great interest, and I must say I don’t see any anger or irritation evident in any of Dr. Seitz’s comments.  Quite the contrary.  It doesn’t happen often, but I disagree with Sarah on this. 
On another note, I can’t wait to get my hands on the DVD series on Anglicanism Dr. Seitz mentioned.  Lots of folks in my parish are new Anglicans and this could be a great educational resource.

[219] Posted by evan miller on 07-30-2009 at 11:06 AM • top

Hi Evan—than perhaps you can come up with another reason why Seitz-ACI would pretend as if he didn’t understand and needed further clarification about a “positive vision”—not to mention also repeatedly pretending as if this were going to be a “fresh initiative”—despite being repeatedly informed to the contrary that the post implied no such thing—“with some kind of marching orders and plans.”  There was no reason for him to behave as he did that I can see—and to repeatedly insist that nobody say what they disagreed with in ACI/CP and implying that when people did it was because they didn’t have any kind of “positive vision”—other than the reason I’ve put forward.

No, I’m sorry—and believe me I’m disappointed with his pretenses here.  Feel free to email me your private thoughts on that if you like—but I’d prefer no more discussion about Seitz-ACI here.

[220] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 11:16 AM • top

1) The ACNA and the ACI/CP principles and practices are perfect for those for whom they are perfect.  I don’t even see them as having “faults” for the people who agree with their principles and visions.

Gee, that’s almost a step away from saying “815 and Integrity are perfect for those whom they are perfect.”  grin

[221] Posted by AndrewA on 07-30-2009 at 11:22 AM • top

RE: “How does a parish in isolation hook up to an orthodox rector or bishop?”

oscewicee, I think that CP has articulated their desire for that.  But the problem is that in hostile dioceses—dioceses with ravingly heretical bishops—I would assume that parishes could not connect to orthodox bishops in a meaningful way other than perhaps holding some kind of conference or something at which the bishop does not celebrate or whatever.  And even then I don’t see many bishops being willing to enter a diocese and preach at a parish without permission from the diocesan.

Another option might be “Depo”—sometimes adequate for *a few* parishes in a few dioceses.  But honestly DEPO was sort of a fig leaf for some and didn’t do a lot of things that were needed such as deal with succession.

[222] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 11:23 AM • top

Well, that’s what I thought - there’s still no real option for an isolated parish.

[223] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 11:33 AM • top

RE: “Gee, that’s almost a step away from saying “815 and Integrity are perfect for those whom they are perfect.”

Now wait a minute . . . ; > )

Seriously—traditional bishops *do* need to get together.  I can see that for sure.  So that is what I meant by “perfect for those for whom they are perfect.”  CP perfectly meets some specific needs—but does not meet the needs of folks like, say, me and oscewicee!

Which makes me want to flesh out a bit about what oscewicee has brought up.

So far, oscewicee has pointed out that he or she is in a parish with a revisionist rector and a moderate/revisionist bishop.

So it seems to me that one major need for oscewicee is a fellowship 1) within his or her parish and 2) outside his or her parish of other Episcopalians of like mind within the diocese.

Then one starts asking oneself “what next.”

Were I in oscewicee’s shoes I might ask myself why?  Why does my parish have a revisionist rector?  What happened in that process?

Was the search committee made up of a bunch of raving revisionists?  Why?  Was the vestry made up of a bunch of raving revisionists?  Why? 

Was the search committee actually made up conservatives?  Then what happened next?

How did a bunch of conservatives call a revisionist rector?

And so on and so on.  The answers to these sorts of questions than shed some illumination on “what next.”

[224] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 11:44 AM • top

I am bemused by all of this.  As an ACNA member, I could argue all day why the best approach is for all who can to join an ACNA church.  Clearly, the CP apologists could do the same for their path. But Ms. Hey clearly speaking of individuals who do not agree with these strategies/accomidations, or in the case of the ACNA arent in an area where it is a viable option. Go for it.

[225] Posted by Going Home on 07-30-2009 at 11:54 AM • top

Um, none of the above, Sarah…....

[226] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 12:03 PM • top

[196] Sarah

I don’t know that “TEC” is a church even.

My understanding. 

1.  The Church is Body of Christ and is composed of all the Elect thru time.

2.  A church proper in the biblical sense is a local organization of individuals under the authority of local elders.

3.  A true church is a church that possesses the marks of a true church: the true Gospel, the Sacraments, and discipline.

4.  A denomination (for lack of a better biblical word) is an collection of churches organized according to a common authority or structure. Here we have departed from clear biblical guidance, for there is no unambiguous Scriptural statement regarding how (or whether) churches are to organize themselves above the level of the individual local church.

I think people use ‘church’ to describe TEC, when in fact TEC is not technically a church but a heirarchical organization of churches.  And yet people use the term in this way all the time.  To me, the term ‘church’ is a neutral term, and applies technically only to the local combination of elders and a congregation under their authority.  The critical word is thus not ‘church’ but ‘false’ or ‘true.’  TEC as an organization is clearly an apostate organization driven by apostate objectives.  It is composed of false churches and true churches. 

Not very Anglican of me, I know.  But the exegetical arguments that equate the offices of episcopos and presbyteros are overwhelming.

carl

[227] Posted by carl on 07-30-2009 at 12:25 PM • top

Sarah:

[comments edited without prejudice]

Certainly, the reason that ACI/CPP set the goals they set has to do with protecting and strengthening orthodox dioceses.  So, they are working at that level.

It is obvious to all by now that you are concerned with laity and more concerned with “third wayers” being able to provide emotional support, counsel and advice to one another whilst they work in their “own local contexts.”  That whole concept that you hold dear and understand so fully is very difficult for some (me included) to really grasp.

Personally, i am much more in line with TJ (#209) when he says:

For many of us, this is no longer a matter of trying to overturn what is happening in TEC (which does not mean we won’t fight for a little stone bridge now and again), but trying to establish some sort of relationship to an orthodox bishop.  ACNA, CP, whatever.  I am personally much more interested in discovering a way to do that, than I am in organizing some kind of “French Resistance” to TEC.

Your response (in #210) to TJ (in #214) is . . .

That seems like a job for CP!  ; > )

I think you made that comment somewhat toungue-in-cheek, but perhaps you really thought that ACI might be willing to persue such a strategy.  Regardless, your comment definitely implies that you have no interest in persuing that strategy as part of your proposed “third way.”

Therein may lie the disconnect.  ACI (and apparently, TJ as well as me for that matter) are terribly concerned with the authority structure of the church. At least for me, I am much more comfortable in my own discernment if I know that I can appeal to the ecclesial authority for guidance, counsel, etc.  That is why I am so uncomfortable (for my own self) with your vision of a third way that relies so much on self-appointed activist acting in their own local contexts.

That may work for you (heck . . . it might even be the answer for the entire Communion and all of Christendom), but it is a radically different concept for people like me, and I think for folks in ACI (or ACNA for that matter).

If your answer to TJ was serious (about ACI taking on the task of helping isolated orthodox folk get connected to orthodox bishops) . . . Fine . . . but I can’t imagine that ACI has any interest persuing that strategy either.  I seriously doubt they would find it helpful to their cause for them to provoke the power structures of 815 (which would also likely provoke the ire of Canterbury and a significant chunk of the AC too).  Essentially, they’d be treading on the dreaded “border crossing” ground from within TEC.  Personally, I think it would be great if they’d take on that sort of a project and I’d love to see that happen, but it just doesn’t seem to fit in with anything else that they’ve been saying and doing . . . so, I didn’t think your answer to TJ was all that serious.

All that said . . . I think that the misunderstanding (for that is what I think it was) between you and Dr. Seitz had more to do with each of you having different understandings of what is crucial; definitions of terms, etc.  With that in mind, I also wonder . . . how many of the folks that you say are like you in discerning a need for a “third way,” are fully on board with the whole need for action in the “local context” stuff.

I wonder if there aren’t more people like TJ and me (and, sorry if I mispeak for you TJ, but . . . ) who would like to find a way to put ourselves (and our comrades) under orthodox bishops within TEC and/or ACNA so that, when and if the time ever comes that TEC is disciplined, there would be a way to make room for us in whatever structure emerges at that time.

I’m the one screaming for a big picture goal, and I can tell you that would be a goal I’d be interested in persuing.  Obviously, not so for you.  That’s fine . . . but, if I’m right, then I think that this whole idea of a “third way” might have at least two very different expressions and/or sets of concerns.

What I’m saying is that the group of people who are “like Sarah” may very well include one or more sets of people that aren’t as much “like Sarah” as originally thought.  That doesn’t have to be a disaster, but it would make any attempt to identify a “third way” strategy that much more difficult.

[228] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-30-2009 at 12:28 PM • top

I wonder if there aren’t more people like TJ and me (and, sorry if I mispeak for you TJ, but . . . ) who would like to find a way to put ourselves (and our comrades) under orthodox bishops within TEC and/or ACNA so that, when and if the time ever comes that TEC is disciplined, there would be a way to make room for us in whatever structure emerges at that time.

For myself, definitely, Eddie Swain. But how to survive in the meantime, since it looks like that ship isn’t coming over the horizon anytime soon?

[229] Posted by oscewicee on 07-30-2009 at 12:38 PM • top

RE: “That is why I am so uncomfortable (for my own self) with your vision of a third way that relies so much on self-appointed activist acting in their own local contexts.”

Eddie—you raise some good points and I’ll try to quickly address a few.  I wonder if you have thought of pursuing a spiritual director to help with guidance for you.  I really really was serious—and maybe people didn’t recognize that—in my Tudor Roses essay when I pointed out that for Anglicans within TEC, we are in a time of great chaos and lack of authority—and as such if we are going to be a part of that in an ongoing way, we’re going to have to depend on limited bands of brothers.  I understand if people don’t buy into that—it’s an awfully frightening and sad one.  But given the state of chaos and disorder—and given that the bishops and rectors in TEC that were at one time depended on by laity have allowed this state to arrive—it honestly now is a different landscape on which there is terrible confusion and fragmentation.  I don’t like it—but I do acknowledge and accept it and choose to work within that reality.

RE: “Personally, I think it would be great if they’d take on that sort of a project and I’d love to see that happen . . . “

Well as I recall CP has offered to help set up DEPO type structures.  You know what I think of DEPO so . . .

RE: “I wonder if there aren’t more people like TJ and me (and, sorry if I mispeak for you TJ, but . . . ) who would like to find a way to put ourselves (and our comrades) under orthodox bishops within TEC and/or ACNA so that, when and if the time ever comes that TEC is disciplined, there would be a way to make room for us in whatever structure emerges at that time.”

I honestly think that that latter would be quite simple [not easy, mind you, but simple].  All one would need to do is simply announce the founding of an Anglican non-TEC parish and move towards engaging with ACNA for episcopal oversight and seeing if someone would accept you with that.

The former—oversight from a TEC bishop—would seem, to me, to be almost impossible.  If one did so, one would then have one’s TEC bishop deposed for boundary crossing and there you are again.

The only other thing I can think of creative is that you could simply transfer your membership to a parish within a TEC diocese that has an orthodox bishop, making certain to pledge and attend twice a year [or whatever their bylaws need for consideration as a member.]

But other than those ideas, it is hard for me to figure out a way for you to be under an orthodox bishop unless you move.

That gets me back to my chant, however.  And that is that, Eddie, unless you switch denominations, you and others like you are on your own.

It’s awful.  It’s frightful.  As a person who very much appreciates hierarchy and clear lines of authority, I don’t enjoy it.  But it is what it is.

For me, I have decided to work within that reality as best I can, rather than try to pretend that such a reality does not exist [and I’m not accusing you of doing that].

Regarding whether people are “like Sarah”—I recognize that nobody would want to be *entirely* like Sarah.  ; > )  What I meant was like me in seeking some sort of third way.

But if you could see the contents of my email box right now, you would see both laity and clergy raising their hands and waving them wildly.

Problem is . . . I don’t know to whom to raise *my* hand!

I’m glad I’ve raised the issues I did in this post.  It was time—and they certainly resonated.

But raising the issues is a far cry from figuring out what the heck to do about those issues.

[230] Posted by Sarah on 07-30-2009 at 01:18 PM • top

Sarah,

Problem is . . . I don’t know to whom to raise *my* hand!

He or she would have to:
- be a layperson from an orthodox diocese (e.g., SC),
- have good business skills,
- have good theological training,
- have good speaking skills / charisma,
- have thick skin,
- to be willing to spend time away from family and friends,
- be dragged (more or less) kicking and screaming, into the role. 

On a different note, please check your PM.  I have a suggestion.

[231] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-30-2009 at 04:14 PM • top

Carl,

4.  A denomination (for lack of a better biblical word) is an collection of churches organized according to a common authority or structure. Here we have departed from clear biblical guidance, for there is no unambiguous Scriptural statement regarding how (or whether) churches are to organize themselves above the level of the individual local church.

Okay, so as I suspected (and not that I know anything at all about you), you either are a full-blooded Congregationalist, or not entirely convincted re regional church models.  That’s fine. 

Please realize however, that others here are not congregationalists;  and like it or not, find plenty of Scriptural warrant for the concept of the regional church (‘diocese’, or ‘presbytery’ , if you will).  Sometimes they call themselves, “Presbyterian.”  Other times they call themselves, “Episcopalians.”  Sometimes those in the latter group also refer to themselves as “Anglicans.” 

I think it would be a good debate for you to delve into, whether Scripture endorses the regional model, or the congregational model.  I would suggest however that perhaps this is not the appropriate thread to wrestle with these issues.

That’s because the primary issue on this thread is the need for people like me and Sarah to have a third way, in our present set of circumstances. 

If the shoe were on the other foot, and the thread was about praying for one of your loved ones, suffering (e.g.,) from a chronic illness, I wouldn’t trudge onto the thread, insisting on discussing whether the CAT scan machine used metric or English fasteners. 

Please, one commenter to another, do not do so here.

[232] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-30-2009 at 04:31 PM • top

Further, they eschewed “church politics” in a very gnostic and pietistic way.  And . . . we see where that got them!

Silly question:  What do you mean by pietistic?  I looked in up on the All Knowing Wiki, and got that pietism was a movement that combined Lutheranism with a Reformed emphasis on individual piety and a vigorous Christian life.  Supposedly it also influenced the Methodists and the Brethren movemenents.

[233] Posted by AndrewA on 07-30-2009 at 08:35 PM • top

I’ve read all the comments on this thread, some of them several times, and I’m still not entirely sure where it is that Sarah wants a ‘third way’ to. Since the two ways rejected, CP and ACNA, are both ways of maintaining communion with other Anglicans, perhaps that’s the answer. If so, and if you are serious about remaining an Episcopalian, the Archbishop of Canterbury has just given you the only possible third way in his ‘Reflections’—you can stay in communion but on the ‘second tier’ which it seems inevitable that PECUSA will eventually occupy. It’s true that he talked about ‘some elements in a province’ remaining in the first tier even if the province as a whole is in the second, but that’s the CP/AAC model that you have declined. I think second tier is going to have to be an acceptable third way for many of us after the next Lambeth Council; I can’t see we have any choice, no matter how much we may want one.

The other thing you have mentioned two or three times is differentiation, presumably from the unbiblical direction that the Episcopal Church is taking. If you reject the CP and ACNA models (as I have) I see no other way of differentiating ourselves from the current trend than the painful one of saying so publicly in Vestry meetings, Diocesan Conventions, Clergy conferences (if applicable) and so on. The one thing that I think would help make such a differentiation easier would be a revival of the old organisations by which Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals maintained their place in the church. Charismatics only came on the Episcopal scene as many of these organisations were being taken over by revisionists, so don’t have a history to appeal to, but have an example of something that works in New Wine, the C of E charismatic network (http://www.new-wine.org/about_us/Our Vision.htm).

Some Evangelicals who feel the same way as you do have already started to regroup, as I mentioned a few hundred posts ago—http://canterburytrail.wordpress.com/ for more info on that. No public posturing, no politicking, just mutual encouragement in obedience to the Word written. Even though I’m a dyed in the wool Evangelical, I’d be delighted to see anglo-Catholics and Charismatics doing the same thing. What’s needed is faithful ministry in the local church, or in a Bible study in someone’s home, or on your knees alone if there really is no one with whom you can get together even once a month.

Some people have a reluctance to consider this because of the emphasis on working together that’s been such a part of all organisations in PECUSA in recent decades, but we have paid a high price for that approach: we have become defined by what we are against (ordination of homosexuals, blessings of gay relationships etc) instead of what we are for. The witness of all three groups has been weakened because of the need to get along with the others. I think we’d be better off with the three different tracks each going all out for what they believe regardless of what others are doing. In the military terms that some have used in this thread, it would be a three pronged attack on revisionism rather than a frontal assault, which clearly hasn’t worked.

I’m sure every contributor to and reader of this debate has a natural home in one of these traditions, and I urge everyone to start seeking out the like-minded and encourage each other. Don’t search for some leader to whom you can ‘raise your hand’, just keep telling the truth in your own church, even to your revisionist rector, and don’t worry about the results. Plant those seeds day in day out, trust that someone else will water, and be sure that God will give the growth.

[234] Posted by Philip Wainwright on 07-30-2009 at 09:00 PM • top

Wow, what an odd assortment of comments by Seitz-ACI. He’s a brilliant guy. Too bad to see him behaving this way.

[235] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 07-30-2009 at 09:48 PM • top

Wow! What a thread!  The sound of panic.

No allegory does this situation justice.

When Sarah writes, “you are on your own” I wince for you all.  Is that what it has come down to, every man for himself?

[comment edited/deleted—off topic]

[236] Posted by Sarah Hey has a hidden agenda on 07-30-2009 at 10:31 PM • top

[trolling comment deleted—final warning was issued earlier; commenter banned]

[237] Posted by 2 Cor. 6:14 on 07-31-2009 at 03:27 AM • top

On your own? ON YOUR OWN? Obviously, I misunderstand.

I saw a church billboard that reads, “If God is your co-pilot, then switch seats!”

Never, EVER forget to look for signs of God’s presence and action in the midst of crisis.

When we are surrounded by evil, the devil makes us think that we’re on our own. But, we’re not.

[238] Posted by Ralph on 07-31-2009 at 06:55 AM • top

Sarah (#230):

. . . Eddie, unless you switch denominations, you and others like you are on your own. 
It’s awful.  It’s frightful.  As a person who very much appreciates hierarchy and clear lines of authority, I don’t enjoy it.  But it is what it is.  For me, I have decided to work within that reality as best I can, rather than try to pretend that such a reality does not exist.

Exactly my point, Sarah.  This is your basic “chant” because this is the definition of the problem we all face.  This is the description of the “current state.”  I have no problem either facing this reality or working within it.

However, if one of the primary differences between the “third way” and “first way,” the leavers (ACNA or other denominations) is that we want to maintain a genuine connection to official Anglican structures . . . and the one of the main differences between the “third way” and the “second way,” (ACI/CPP—patient and enduring witness without strategies/tactics . . . ) is that we “third wayers” desire a concerted mechanism to develop and execute strategies and tactics to bring about “desired future states” . . . then the definition of the current state is simply the definition of the problem.

What the “third way” needs to be about is developing strategies and tactics to bring about a change in the current state . . . i.e. “desired future states.”  And, since we all agree that reform of TEC is now beyond the realm of possibility, the “desired future states” need to be for the orthodox remnant remaining in TEC.

If the current state, (the problem) is that we are “on our own” with none of the “hierarchy and clear lines of authority” so many of us so obviously desire . . . then, it seems to me that a proper course of action would be to get together and try to figure out a way to fix that problem . . . at least for those of us in what has become the true Anglican diaspora (not affiliated with orthodox dioceses).

We are the group that is not being served by ACI/CPP or ACNA, so, if anyone is going to fix the REAL problem that I think most of us are really talking about, then I think we have to do more than accept the problem as the current reality and choose to live within it, each of us “on our own” and uncoordinated, but only able to provide one another with emotional support.  I think we need to set goals to change the current reality into the “desired future state.”

It just seems to me that, so many of the comments are in some way addressing this as the lamentable current situation . . . either vaguely or directly.  And, it seems to me that we have now pretty well defined the problem.  The next step is to set the goals/strategies.  Like you, I don’t pretend to have the answer, but, then again, I couldn’t even define the problem on my own without all of the rest of this discussion.

Some suggestions along those lines of goals and strategies have been made in this thread.  So . . . I think we may be on to somehthing here, and, if we can get there . . . this post and the thread of discussion may prove to be a true watershed event.  That is my prayer anyway.

[239] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-31-2009 at 08:01 AM • top

We are the group that is not being served by ACI/CPP or ACNA, so, if anyone is going to fix the REAL problem that I think most of us are really talking about, then I think we have to do more than accept the problem as the current reality and choose to live within it, each of us “on our own” and uncoordinated, but only able to provide one another with emotional support.  I think we need to set goals to change the current reality into the “desired future state.”

Eddie, thank you for framing it this way. Yes, how can we fix this problem, not just endure it?

[240] Posted by oscewicee on 07-31-2009 at 08:54 AM • top

#240. Oscewicee,
The stark statement by Sarah, “..you are on your own.” is chilling indeed. For those of you in that situation, it is imperative that you see yourself as a part of the church in some fashion. You are certainly part of the church universal and timeless. As Anglicans you have a deep sense of the corporate aspect to your faith. One thing that would be useful is private and or public study of Scripture and church history. Also the daily office is quite useful. Think of this time as a desert experience. The BCP is a wonderful personal resource. Also know that those of us who are in a safer place, pray for your welfare and continuing sanctification.

[241] Posted by Fr. Dale on 07-31-2009 at 09:14 AM • top

[comment deleted—this is a final warning]

[242] Posted by Sarah Hey has a hidden agenda on 07-31-2009 at 09:30 AM • top

AnglicanCatholicPriest—you have a number of times brought up some parish in Atlanta—on multiple threads now.  Please don’t.  Further, this thread is not about other Anglican entities.  It is about traditional Episcopalians remaining in TEC needing a third way.

Thanks.

[243] Posted by Sarah on 07-31-2009 at 09:33 AM • top

[comment deleted; commenter banned for continual violations of commenting policy; my agenda is *overt* and clearly stated—it is the title of this thread—I have no idea what you are talking about when you continually bring up some parish in Atlanta that is failing on multiple threads but thankfully that is now over]

[244] Posted by Sarah Hey has a hidden agenda on 07-31-2009 at 09:39 AM • top

RE: “Obviously, I misunderstand.”

Yes—or no.  ; > )  As a Christian I recognize that the Holy Spirit resides within me and that I am never separated from God.

But yes—from an Anglican perspective—and as I’ve been saying for some years now—nobody in the Anglican Communion is going to parachute in and save us from our situations and contexts within TEC.

[245] Posted by Sarah on 07-31-2009 at 09:41 AM • top

Hi Deacon Dale . . . re: “You are certainly part of the church universal and timeless.”

Believe me I recognize and revel in that fact.

And I feel good about it.  The recognition that I am in the Church as an adopted and redeemed child of God makes me think about my membership in particular organizations with equanimity.

AnglicanCatholicPriest perceived “the sound of panic” here—and certainly that may have reflected a fond hope—but on this thread I have seen no such thing.

I’ve seen calm, reasoned, objective acknowledgements of reality and a wrestling with what to do in that reality.  And one reason why we are able to remain calm and reasoned and hopeful is that the main thing—God’s redemption of our souls through Jesus Christ—is already settled and taken care of.

[246] Posted by Sarah on 07-31-2009 at 09:50 AM • top

John+, I think Sarah has been quite open about her agenda.

[247] Posted by oscewicee on 07-31-2009 at 09:52 AM • top

Question: How much freedom do dioceses and parishes have within TEC to ignore its policies? May orthodox bishops refuse to ordain clergy candidates they find unsuitable? May a diocese install a bishop the national leadership doesn’t approve of? Must dioceses and parishes contribute funds to causes they disagree with?

[248] Posted by ExPagan on 07-31-2009 at 09:53 AM • top

Hi Philip,

I actually agree with you that a clear identity is an important aspect of better networking and labor together.  One of my favorite people in the world—and dear ally—is in another diocese and an AngloCatholic priest. 

In response to your question about the third way—I’m seeking a third way of resistance, reform, renewal and strengthening.  Obviously ACNA and CP/ACI have chosen *a way* but I think there are more than two ways.  I’m not too worried about maintaining communion with other Anglicans—I’m in the Anglican Communion and God willing am hopeful to remain so.  If *ever* two tracks take place, and there is a means of being within the Anglican Communion for someone like me, then obviously I hope to take it.

Regarding differentiation from national TEC actions . . . I personally think that I am fairly well differentiated.  ; > )  But I have a little more imagination then to think that the *only* way to differentiate oneself is to join a group.

[249] Posted by Sarah on 07-31-2009 at 09:57 AM • top

Hey Oscewicee . .. I’d love to return to your cryptic answer above . . . “Um, none of the above, Sarah…....”

Are you able to share any further about how your parish came to acquire a revisionist rector?  Or is it something that you cannot speak of publicly?

[250] Posted by Sarah on 07-31-2009 at 09:59 AM • top

subscribe

[251] Posted by kyounge1956 on 07-31-2009 at 10:02 AM • top

Not publicly, Sarah. Sorry.

[252] Posted by oscewicee on 07-31-2009 at 10:06 AM • top

If your answer to TJ was serious (about ACI taking on the task of helping isolated orthodox folk get connected to orthodox bishops) . . . Fine . . . but I can’t imagine that ACI has any interest persuing that strategy either.

Like many of Sarah’s comments, I took this one as double edged.  Which is to say, it is serious and humorous at the same time.  I think that any orthodox bishop sees helping isolated Christians as part of his task. ACI already gives us enormous support in issuing papers that support our position so at least we know we are within the bounds of mainline thought and not a bunch of right wing nuts as we are so often portrayed in local parishes and dioceses.  ACI is NOT an official arm of the Communion- they have no authority, and are doing what they do out of a love for Christ and His Church.  The CP bishops have committed to working within the canons of TEC, and therefore, in the immediate sense, this is difficult for them to accomplish.  But this does not mean they are not actively seeking ways to do this.  Their primary duty, however, is the oversight of the faithful of their own dioceses. 
Sarah’s point, as I took it anyway, is that it is clearly not in Sarah’s power (or mine, for that matter) to provide ecclesial connections between yours truly and an orthodox see.  That is a matter for bishops to figure out, while Sarah does what Sarah can do within the confines of her place in the church.  And Sarah does a great deal, including her work on SF and other places, that provide us with the news and communications that are needed in order to solve the other issues.
From my own point of view, support is more likely to come from ACNA via FiF than through TEC bishops.  And quite possibly, that is only a matter of time, as FiF seems quite committed to supporting Anglo Catholics throughout the US.
We do need to be realistic, no one is going to send a priest to be rector of a parish with ASA of 3- no matter how orthodox and devoted those 3 are.  So, we will need to make connections with parishes at a distance, and provide for ourselves for long stretches of time, or alternately, invest the time and energy in an effort to gather a congregation in our local areas.

[253] Posted by tjmcmahon on 07-31-2009 at 10:23 AM • top

no one is going to send a priest to be rector of a parish with ASA of 3- no matter how orthodox and devoted those 3 are.  So, we will need to make connections with parishes at a distance, and provide for ourselves for long stretches of time, or alternately, invest the time and energy in an effort to gather a congregation in our local areas.

I think the challenge for some of us is going to be identifying where like-minded folks are. But perhaps you have set an example of how it may be done, being something of a lightning rod in your diocese? I think laymen will find the easiest to be outspoken in revisionist dioceses. Vestry members, like clergy, are easy targets for TEC.

[254] Posted by oscewicee on 07-31-2009 at 10:42 AM • top

Oscewicee (#254)

I think the challenge for some of us is going to be identifying where like-minded folks are.

Perhaps that challenge wouldn’t be so challenging, say, if the like-minded folks were temporarily in the same location?

[255] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-31-2009 at 11:07 AM • top

Perhaps that challenge wouldn’t be so challenging, say, if the like-minded folks were temporarily in the same location?

Perhaps someone can, like, organize a conference of conservative Episcopalians.  wink

[256] Posted by AndrewA on 07-31-2009 at 11:09 AM • top

Hookay and I understand, oscewicee.

Eddie—thanks for interpreting my “on your own” comment accurately.  It looks as if you were the only one.  ; > (

RE: “What the “third way” needs to be about is developing strategies and tactics to bring about a change in the current state . . . i.e. “desired future states.”

I agree—but I think where we differ is that I think the desired future states are local and contextualized, rather than national and universal.  I don’t see how one can get all third wayers who are within their own unique contexts to agree on a universal goal unless it is vague and Really Really Large.

You may be misreading one thing I said and that you quoted: “For me, I have decided to work within that reality as best I can . . . “

What I mean by that is that 1) given that no god or machine will fall out of the sky to save me [ABC, Instruments of Communion, etc], 2) I must focus on what I can accomplish with groups of friends and allies around TEC.  It’s not that I don’t have goals—I have masses of them.  But my part of “working within that reality” is to set those personal individual goals for various contexts and regions and to begin trundling towards them.  So I don’t see my acknowledgement of the problem as solely descriptive but also prescriptive.  Once someone says “wow, we’re alone together—what can I do now?” then that moves beyond description of the problem.

But setting that semantic quibble aside, I agree with this paragraph:

However, if one of the primary differences between the “third way” and “first way,” the leavers (ACNA or other denominations) is that we want to maintain a genuine connection to official Anglican structures . . . and the one of the main differences between the “third way” and the “second way,” (ACI/CPP—patient and enduring witness without strategies/tactics . . . ) is that we “third wayers” desire a concerted mechanism to develop and execute strategies and tactics to bring about “desired future states” . . . then the definition of the current state is simply the definition of the problem.

I think that is masterfully stated.

But when you say “it seems to me that a proper course of action would be to get together and try to figure out a way to fix that problem [ie, adding back in the “hierarchy and clear lines of authority””] that sounds to me like some knights [or worse yet some peasants] deciding that they are going to figure out a way to fix the War of the Roses, or the 100 Years War.  From my perspective, the “lack of hierarchy and clear lines of authority” that has rendered the Anglican Communion a smoldering land of chaos and fragmentation and confusion is a long-term symptom of even larger and more difficult to resolve problems within a global context.  So it seems to me to be sort of like Daniel and his three friends saying “look—we need to get together and solve our real problem—which is that Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel and poked out the eyes of our king and dragged us all over to his country behind his chariots.  Overthrow him, stir up a revolt, beat back the Babylonians, and head on back to our own country—and our problems are solved!”

[257] Posted by Sarah on 07-31-2009 at 11:11 AM • top

Perhaps that challenge wouldn’t be so challenging, say, if the like-minded folks were temporarily in the same location?

Maybe I didn’t express that clearly - in this diocese, it’s been hard to figure out just who is like-minded.

[258] Posted by oscewicee on 07-31-2009 at 11:16 AM • top

RE: “We do need to be realistic, no one is going to send a priest to be rector of a parish with ASA of 3- no matter how orthodox and devoted those 3 are.”

Some people are simply not customer-service minded at all.  What a travesty.

. . .

. . .

[Just Kidding—don’t send me any emails!]

[259] Posted by Sarah on 07-31-2009 at 11:19 AM • top

oscewicee (#258)

Maybe I didn’t express that clearly - in this diocese, it’s been hard to figure out just who is like-minded.

You expressed it clearly enough. 

I am in a similar situation, though for the moment my parish is “safe.”  I am afraid however that I am the only one at my parish who remotely understands what Sarah is talking about. 

You see, a while ago, I attempted to start a ministry amongst my cohorts that would be consistent with the goals of this third way.  I was prepared to be lambasted by the liberals and the moderates at my parish.  What I wasn’t prepared for was to be blindsided by one person (with a lot of influence, I might add) on my own team. 

What I’ve learned from the experience is that the ministry I tried to start is still needed, but I can’t recruit people for it from my own parish.  I need to outsource. 

Gee, with the internet, and human networks, do you think it would be an easy thing to “outsource.”

We need to start thinking outside the box, my friend.  It is apparent to me that the box ain’t (to borrow the analogy back from the Enemy) as small as we thought it. 

There needs to be a meeting. 

There needs to be an organizer.

There needs to be a group of people willing to facilitate the meeting.

Soon.

[260] Posted by J Eppinga on 07-31-2009 at 11:30 AM • top

Sarah (#257):

I think that is masterfully stated.

Whew!!!  Finally, I got something right!!  ;>)

Regarding the continuing analogies to various wars (French Resistance; War of the Roses; even the Biblical exodus in Babylon) . . . I think that there is a huge difference in our situation and those (thank God!).  The difference is that our fight is not about a nation or even the Church.  Our fight is about one tiny little Province in a barely significant (population wise) sect of Christ’s One, Holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

What I mean is that, in the French resistance of WWII, French citizens who loved and cherished their freedom had no choice but to fight for the French nation.  And, the saddest thing is that, no matter how hard they fought; no matter how dedicated they were; if the allies had not come to their rescue, they would have been exterminated.  Not that the work they did was worthless, but, they couldn’t win without outside help.

In our situation, this is not the case.  We are not talking about our nation or even our Church (the One, Holy, catholic and apostolic).  We are talking about an errant province.  Better yet, this errant province is in the good ole USA where we have constitutionally protected freedom of assembly.

The point is that, yes, we have no hope to restore legitimate hierarchy and clear lines of authority (at least not as they existed before this mess started).  But, if we decide that this is the problem that we in the true diaspora (stuck in non-orthodox dioceses with no option for assistance from ACI/CPP and no desire or no option to leave or join up with ACNA) have, then that is the problem we should at least attempt to address.

We can still go about trying to establish something of structure, even if it is designed to be temporary and only to be used during this current “state of emergency.”  It could be completely new . . . it might even be “invisible.”  We might find allies in the CPP Bishop ranks who are willing to work with us in secret (similar to how the Pope recognizes Chinese cardinals “in his heart”).

But the purpose would be to serve as a platform to keep us “third wayers” organized, and, more importantly, focused.  If we are united, organized and focused, we might have an impace.  And, hopefully, that will lead to us being at least HEARD by those gods and machines of the Communion that certainly aren’t going to rescue us (or even care about us for that matter) if they don’t even know we exist.  (I think I just channelled the mayor of Whoville in Horton’s dust speck, didn’t I?)

For me, now that I think I at least recognize the problem, my position will be that, if we in the “third way” can’t figure out a way to solve that problem, I will see that as the definition of “we lost.”  At that point, my reality will be to recognize that I have only two options . . . leave or ACI/CPP.  And, since ACI/CPP has no interest in assisting individual lay people with no connection to an orthodox diocese or member priest (no fault on them for that . . . that’s just the reality), then I suppose I’d really only have one option.

I’m willing to work to solve the problem that we in the diaspora face.  But, if collectively we determine that the problem simply can’t be solved (and that may in fact be the case), I have no interest in participating in French Resistance style movement within TEC or even the Anglican Communion when my primary loyalty is not to either of those two structures, but to Jesus and His Church.  There are plenty of options out there to live out my true citizenship in the One, Holy, catholic and apostolic Church without worrying about TEC or the Communion.  The French (and the English peasants during the Wars of the Roses and the exiled in Babylon) did not have any such options.  Thank God, I do.

[261] Posted by Eddie Swain on 07-31-2009 at 12:42 PM • top

“We do need to be realistic, no one is going to send a priest to be rector of a parish with ASA of 3- no matter how orthodox and devoted those 3 are.”

KJV:
Mt. 18:20 : For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

I think the two or three will get instructions if they wait on Him who is in the midst of them—with or without a priest.  The instructions will most likely be in the form: go into the world preaching the gospel, go into the road and compel them to come in, go out two-by-two, etc.  Why would orthodox, devoted people sit around being realistic and lamenting that no one will send them a priest?

[262] Posted by CanaAnglican on 08-01-2009 at 09:55 AM • top

Did Jesus call us to be realistic?  This is a serious question.  I may need an adjustment in my thinking about faith.

[263] Posted by CanaAnglican on 08-01-2009 at 09:58 AM • top

RE: “But, if collectively we determine that the problem simply can’t be solved (and that may in fact be the case), I have no interest in participating in French Resistance style movement within TEC or even the Anglican Communion when my primary loyalty is not to either of those two structures, but to Jesus and His Church.”

I’m not certain that those things follow, Eddie.  My primary loyalty is to Jesus and His Church too.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t hold a job, or have friends, or work in a particular part of an organization for particular goals.  I can understand your not having an interest in doing the kind of work I’m advocating for.  But I don’t see how that connects to having a primary loyalty to Jesus and His Church. 

RE: “There are plenty of options out there to live out my true citizenship in the One, Holy, catholic and apostolic Church without worrying about TEC or the Communion.”

That is correct.  But I was basing this thread on those who are remaining in TEC needing a third way.  Listen—I completely understand folks leaving TEC.  I’ve seen plenty of people—friends—do so. 

RE: “The French (and the English peasants during the Wars of the Roses and the exiled in Babylon) did not have any such options.”

Eddie, this is inaccurate.  They had lots of options—and we know this because Christians in both of those contexts *chose different activities and work and responses*.

My goodness, even people in concentration camps had *choices* about how to respond and what to do.  One of my favorite recent movies is The Counterfeiters, which explored just two of those choices and their inherent conflicts.

Christians in one of the most oppressive regimes in the 21st century—China—have different choices and carry them through too.  Some choose to serve and worship in house churches, separating themselves from the State.  Others actually choose to serve in the Chinese government and attend state-registered churches.  And there are a thousand choices in between.  Many French citizens—who loved and cherished their freedom—chose to live in Switzerland during the war.  Or America.  Many in France chose to collaborate with the Vichy government.  Many chose to try to make money.  Many chose to sit on their duffs and complain.

RE: “But the purpose would be to serve as a platform to keep us “third wayers” organized, and, more importantly, focused.  If we are united, organized and focused, we might have an impace.  And, hopefully, that will lead to us being at least HEARD by those gods and machines of the Communion that certainly aren’t going to rescue us (or even care about us for that matter) if they don’t even know we exist.  (I think I just channelled the mayor of Whoville in Horton’s dust speck, didn’t I?)”

If you are looking for a platform to stay organized and focused, then why not simply:

—to strengthen already traditional dioceses, parishes, and other entities
—to renew and reform moderate dioceses, parishes, and other entities
—to publicly resist and weaken the agenda of revisionist dioceses, parishes, and other entities
—while in all three contexts working to evangelize, disciple, and strategically train for action non-believers, the new Christians, and the informed, traditional Christians
—so that we will form cohesive, strong bodies in every diocese of the Episcopal Church
—such that when or if we are given options for remaining within the Anglican Communion we will actually have cohesive strong bodies with which to do so.

Were we to do that, Eddie—just those things, through grass-roots parachurch organizations of lay Episcopalians—I could definitely see our having an impact.  And I think this would happen too: Such groups would be . . . “HEARD by those gods and machines of the Communion that certainly aren’t going to rescue us (or even care about us for that matter) if they don’t even know we exist.  (I think I just channelled the mayor of Whoville in Horton’s dust speck, didn’t I?)”  ; > )

[264] Posted by Sarah on 08-02-2009 at 01:30 PM • top

Going Dark For A While:

I have whittled my primary email box down from nearly 800 emails two weeks ago to, at the beginning of today nearly 500.  That is not acceptable. 

Plus, I am submerged with work, personal obligations, and numerous projects that I have not completed though I have worked hard to do so.  Many many duties are all clamoring for attention.  Making money would be a good thing too.

So I’ll need to cut back on some interaction for another week or so, while I try to dig myself out further from the backlog.

Three years ago it took me a month to recover—with work, and in a variety of other ways—from GC.  I predicted that it would be the same this time around, and I’m right on schedule.

Closing down the thread:

It’s taking ages to load and it’s been a great thread.  But at some point before 300 I’ll go ahead and close comments.  Get your final digs—or notes of despair—in right speedily.

It has truly been an awesome thread.

[265] Posted by Sarah on 08-02-2009 at 01:43 PM • top

You do a super job Sarah - thank you for all you do.

God bless.

PM

[266] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 08-02-2009 at 03:28 PM • top

#48 and others.  I have a friend who has left TEC and wandered down to the local Methodist church and sits in back, does his thing and is also left alone.  I have slowly found my soul mates in our church and we are gathering together and helping each other.  A good number of them are older, have been here so long and really have no other place to go. We seek each other out now, and are growing and will try and influence others to join us
Roman

[267] Posted by Roman on 08-02-2009 at 04:06 PM • top

Sarah,
I am glad i don’t face your troubles.

Remember the Church at Thyatira.

[268] Posted by Bo on 08-02-2009 at 04:30 PM • top

Sarah,
I add my thanks for all you do.  Keep up the good work in your church.  I know you must be a blessing to many there, just as you are to the participants in these dialogs.
—Stan

[269] Posted by CanaAnglican on 08-02-2009 at 06:36 PM • top

Of course conservatives are welcome in TEC, and welcome to express their opinions. After all, “there are no outcasts” to quote former PB Browning. However, that does not mean we empower them to interfere with the rights of others under canon law.

[270] Posted by DesertDavid on 08-03-2009 at 02:49 PM • top

Desert Dave,
Under canon law, one no longer has the right to a real bishop, priest or deacon. 

Sad.

[271] Posted by Bo on 08-03-2009 at 02:53 PM • top

Not to be a wise acre, but what is a Traditional Episcopalian these days? No one answered this question on another thread.
I am in TEC in the darkest of the darkest dioceses but I think I’m a bit more center than a lot of folks here. I’m not in favor of SSB but I have a feeling my political leanings and beliefs will run afoul of some folks who believe that it’s a Christian’s job to change the government and/or the country.
This may disqualify me even though I’m theologically conservative, bible-believing and all that. I’m also low church evangelical and charasmatic which may run afoul of some Anglo Catholics. But I can get along.
I’ve read what an evangelical Anglican is by the TESM. I’m down with that. but that’s only one outta three. I belong to an international healing order, so that’s two outta three.
But I still have a sneaking suspicion I won’t cut the mustard. I need some guidance.
I bet I’m not the only one as we have a tendency to throw around labels that don’t mean much.
I mean, when I became an Episcopalian, a tradiitonalist was one who held to the ‘28 BCP.

[272] Posted by LA Anglican on 08-04-2009 at 01:58 AM • top

272, cont’d.
Oh yea, I’m a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and we don’t accept the Apocrypha as the Word of God. Another Anglo Catholic belief. So how’s 2 outta three?

[273] Posted by LA Anglican on 08-04-2009 at 02:03 AM • top

Every blessing, Sarah. You have an excellent brain, you can cut through the undergrowth if you just stick at it.

[274] Posted by Dr. Priscilla Turner on 08-04-2009 at 02:48 AM • top

No one answered this question on another thread.

Untrue.  You were answered at least twice by my reckoning.  Once, with someone telling you to look in the mirror, another time, with someone differentiating Episcopal moderate from Episcopal traditionalist.  Instead of asking for clarrification, you offered up a flip remark.  Now, you’re still talking about Anglo Catholics, 144-Hour Creationism, etc.  It’s apparent to me that you’re not going to accept any other definition than the one that you think (aptly) is already obsolete, so have at it. 

In the meantime, should you see any Anglo-Catholics talking about themselves as “Traditional Episcopalians,” and evangelicals of various stripes referring to themselves the same way, (as if they’re watching an accelerating train wreck, from within the train itself, and asking why lots of people in the train are at ease), just smile to yourself, because they’re using that definition the wrong way;  and you’re the only one who uses it properly.

[275] Posted by J Eppinga on 08-04-2009 at 06:12 AM • top

Did Jesus call us to be realistic?  This is a serious question.  I may need an adjustment in my thinking about faith.

“Be wise as serpents.”

[276] Posted by Ed the Roman on 08-04-2009 at 07:01 AM • top

I am not an expert, but the traditional Episcopalians I have known were not whiners.

[277] Posted by Just a Baptist on 08-04-2009 at 07:15 AM • top

Even more so the Anglicans I have known.

Pip, pip. Cheerio. Stiff upper lip. There’s a good fellow.

I guess I just never met any of the dolphin-like among them.

[278] Posted by Just a Baptist on 08-04-2009 at 07:22 AM • top

A THIRD WAY? A MORE EXCELLENT WAY? Why is no one PROTESTING??? Why are there no rallies in front of 815? Some of us go to Washington for Pro Life rallies but no one pickets the Episcopal Church headquarters. Are we too polite? Would somebody in the group say something that would be twisted against us? I don’t know. But Mrs. Schori has become something of a slaveholder who either wants the slaves to stay on the plantation or will give them their freedom if they leave absolutely everything behind. At the beginning of the orthodox split a few years ago I did enjoy traveling to rallies in Virginia (Martyn Minns) and Pittsburgh and did feel that we were making a statement. If we could have a worship service in NYC and <it>then and only then</it> go picket 815 or Trinity Church I think it would make a difference. It would certainly make the newspapers. Maybe we could be the Orthodox Anglican Anti-Defamation League. Otherwise it is divide and conquer, 40 lashes and back to the “plantation.” And my apologies to African-Americans whose ancestors had to endure more than we can ever comprehend, including having their wife and children sold away from them.

[279] Posted by Adam 12 on 08-04-2009 at 07:28 AM • top

why is no one PROTESTING??? Why are there no rallies in front of 815?

There is an easy answer to that Adam.  No one is picketing 815 because the people who think it would be a good idea are waiting for someone else to organize it.

Likewise, the reason that people usually know little about the candidates for bishop is that they are waiting for someone else to investigate and pass along the information.

For myself, often my “contribution” is blogging and complaining that the ABoC is not doing anything.

If you want to picket 815, picket 815.  If you want others to picket 815 with you, organize it. Do not wait for someone else to picket 815 for you.

[280] Posted by tjmcmahon on 08-04-2009 at 07:39 AM • top

Of course conservatives are welcome in TEC, and welcome to express their opinions. After all, “there are no outcasts” to quote former PB Browning. However, that does not mean we empower them to interfere with the rights of others under canon law.

DesertDavid, I don’t know you well enough to know if this was intended as sarcasm? If not, isn’t this just what the problem for gays in the church was, according to TEC? They weren’t “empowered”? How is one not an “outcast” if one is dis-empowered?

[281] Posted by oscewicee on 08-04-2009 at 07:58 AM • top

Everyone is always welcome in the Episcopal Church. You are welcome to sit quietly and fulfill your part in the listening process and the personal narratives by listening to our personal narratives. Just keep your nasty bigoted opinions to yourselves, you neanderthals.

That about sums it up.

[282] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 08-04-2009 at 08:08 AM • top

A THIRD WAY? A MORE EXCELLENT WAY? Why is no one PROTESTING??? Why are there no rallies in front of 815?

I think you missed the little part about how the “Third Way” people like Sarah consider 815 to be a lost cause.  Protests in front of 815 would be a distraction from the type of work she wants to accomplish, which, if I understand correctly, is to work at the local level of parish and diocese.

[283] Posted by AndrewA on 08-04-2009 at 08:27 AM • top

Thank you very much, Dr. Turner—from you that is a real compliment and I appreciate it.

[284] Posted by Sarah on 08-04-2009 at 08:41 AM • top

Sarah:

I know that you have “gone dark,” but I’m hoping you will at least read this, as I think my message was not at all clear.

RE: “The French (and the English peasants during the Wars of the Roses and the exiled in Babylon) did not have any such options.”

Eddie, this is inaccurate.  They had lots of options—and we know this because Christians in both of those contexts *chose different activities and work and responses*.

My comment about those historical folks “not having a choice” was to have been read within the context of the first sentence in the second paragraph of that same post:

What I mean is that, in the French resistance of WWII, French citizens who loved and cherished their freedom had no choice but to fight for the French nation.

What I mean is that if one was a French citizen during the Nazi occupation of WWII, one might in fact have multiple choices with regards to specific strategies and tactics . . . but, one only had two choices with regards to big overall goals . . . either support Vichey or support the Resistance (or, I suppose one could choose to ignore the situation altogether).

That is because, with patriotic concerns, the highest level is the NATION.  During WWII, those citizens of France who cherished the French nation and their French citizenship and all the rights and privileges that came with French citizenship really only had the one choice of participating in the French Resistance.  Once a French citizen came to that realization, that person would, in fact, have multiple options as to exactly how to respond . . . and, different people had different roles and tasks.

However, our fight is very different.  At one point, I was fighting to reform TEC.  But, I was always fully prepared to let go of TEC since I always knew that my true “spiritual citizenship” is in something much higher than TEC or even the Anglican Communion.

Certainly, if some of us want to continue fighting from within TEC, that is fine, probably even noble, and I did not mean to imply otherwise.  But, if we, in the “third way” are not fighting for the reform of TEC (and, I think we all acknowledge that TEC is lost), then exactly what are we fighting for?  And, more importantly, what do we need to envision as a description of “desired future states?”  And, most important of all . . . what strategies and tactics should we employ to bring about those “desired future states?”

Your list of suggestions I think is helpful in that discussion at least as a starting point.  My thoughts (FWIW) on your list as it currently stands are as follows:

—to strengthen already traditional dioceses, parishes, and other entities

Fine for those who have this option, but ACI/CPP claims to be handling this.

—to renew and reform moderate dioceses, parishes, and other entities

Perhaps . . . I have my doubts, but I’d be willing to explore strategies and tactics, but they’d have to be different and more aggressive than what we’ve been doing over the past six years since, for the most part, that hasn’t really worked (except possibly in W. Louisiana and a few other dioceses).  This sort of goal might work at the parish level and it would be interesting to try to figure out how many parishes have been moved from “moderate” to “strongly orthodox” over the past six years.  There are likely several success stories there.

—to publicly resist and weaken the agenda of revisionist dioceses, parishes, and other entities

Again, perhaps . . . but, at least as for me, I have no interest in anything that appears at all “destructive.”  TEC has made its choice, and I’m perfectly willing to let them live with that choice.  I really want to focus on positive strategies to build up orthodox Anglicanism in North America rather than tear down TEC.  That’s probably not what you meant, but that is what it will look like to just about everyone else.

—while in all three contexts working to evangelize, disciple, and strategically train for action non-believers, the new Christians, and the informed, traditional Christians

Well, this is the primary purpose of all Christians, and I have to believe that most of us in the “movement” have participated in this sort of effort at some level for a while now.  I don’t see how this strategy differentiates anything “Anglican” much less a “third way.”

—so that we will form cohesive, strong bodies in every diocese of the Episcopal Church
—such that when or if we are given options for remaining within the Anglican Communion we will actually have cohesive strong bodies with which to do so.

This is where you get the heart of the matter for me.  I can certainly get behind any strategy or tactic that has this as its long term goal.  I can certainly see where your second strategy above moves us toward that goal, and where that strategy is not being done by ACI/CPP or the “leavers” (either ACNA or other denominations).  And, of course, your fourth strategy above contributes towards this goal as well, but that one should go without saying since that is simply part of the general Christian calling.

So, the question for some of us has to be . . . is your second strategy above realistic, or (assuming that one is not already in an ACI/CPP parish/dicoese) does ACNA have at least as good a shot of accomplishing the big picture goals as any “third way” strategy?  And, which of those choices (ACNA or “third way) would allow us to better accomplish your fourth strategy above (the evangelize the lost and disciple new Christians strategy).

Since past performance is the best predictor of the future, I think we have to look at what we have done and accomplished over the past six years to determine how we should change the specifics of our strategies for the future to achieve more success.

[285] Posted by Eddie Swain on 08-04-2009 at 08:53 AM • top

Eddie,

I’m no prophet, so I don’t know what will happen to the Anglican Communion 5, 10, and 50 years from now.  Maybe ACNA will take off while Canterbury-led Anglicanism dries up.  Maybe Canterbury will get its act together, ACNA will re-merge with Canterbury, and everything will be honky dory.  Maybe everything will fall apart, and our kids will have to decide whether to go ancient, or with a Protestant denomination, or wander around in Protestantism. 

Here’s the thing - if you believe that TEC will wither and die over the next few generations, and that there will be something left that is viable for orthodox Christians… then imho there is warrant for you to stay in TEC.  Not justification, but warrant.  If you believe that TEC will wither and that there will be nothing left of it, but you want to join an Alamo-type crusade, then there would be warrant for you to stay. 

If you believe that 20-60 years from now there will be something left over of TEC that God can use, but you don’t want to wait until you’re cold in the grave for God to breath life back into TEC, then you should locate the nearest exit, find a safe place to land, jump, and count to ten. 

If you believe that this is like the Alamo, but you don’t want to be in that kind of situation, then you should locate the nearest exit…

If you’d like to leave, but an ACNA parish isn’t in driving distance, then you should assume that the ACNA calvary ain’t coming to save the day, look for a denomination that is least objectionable, and leave TEC

But everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - who sees and feels the train wreck, has to do SOMETHING.  Doing nothing is no longer an option. 

Stay in TEC and fight;  or leave it.  Those are your options.  It sucks, but that’s the way it is.

[286] Posted by J Eppinga on 08-04-2009 at 11:20 AM • top

Sarah, I confess that I haven’t read all of the 285 comments before me, only about 100 of them, but your 3rd way sounds like a 5th column within TEC.  I support the idea wholeheartedly, but I would caution against making public lists with identified leaders.  This will only give TEC what it needs to find reasons to remove these people from clerical positions. 

The battle for the leadership of TEC is sadly lost.  We are already seeing that being a member of the GLTG group, or at least a vocal sympathizer, is a prerequisite if not for being elected bishop in TEC, then at least for having your election approved by HOB.  Orthodox bishops have been regularly deposed.

The only 3rd way that has so far been successful is that reported in the LA diocese by <a
>John One Five</a>, where they have their cake and eat it too by splitting their congregation among TEC, ACNA, and RC members who come together for mass on Sunday.

[287] Posted by RicardoCR on 08-04-2009 at 11:21 AM • top

Sorry the html for the link didn’t take. It is:
http://johnonefive.blogspot.com/2009/07/blessed-sacrament-decides.html

[288] Posted by RicardoCR on 08-04-2009 at 11:23 AM • top

#275, Moot,
before you call me a liar, I would suggest you’d ponder whether those are serious answers. I was being polite to Dcn Dan. He doesn’t know me or my reflection. I was being flippant to you because you issued a challenge off line and you answered in your way.
As someone who came out of Gresham Machen’s church I was expecting something of a 5 fundamentals. but I received bricks on a foot at a BBQ.
I’ve always enjoyed your posts. I expected more.
More to come…

[289] Posted by LA Anglican on 08-04-2009 at 02:05 PM • top

Moot #286:

I am fully aware of everything you say in your post.  My actual prediction (not that I’m a prophet either or anything) is that TEC will likely shrink for a time and successfully transition to some sort of “high church” unitarian type organization.  They may or may not continue to call themselves “Christian;” they may or may not end up working through some sort of partnership with the real unitarians.  They will likely be smaller but will figure out how to live on less money and they will have lots of endowment to prop up the enterprise while they learn how to live within the small niche market they carve out for themselves.  However, I don’t think that TEC will whither and die . . . not anytime soon, probably not ever (until Jesus returns, anyway).

The question for me is, “what will the Anglican Communion do about this?”

I hate to think that there is nothing at all that the orthodox remnant can do to impact the decision that the Anglican Communion will need to make.

With that in mind, I am fully aware of the fact that I have to make the choice between staying and fighting or leaving for ACNA or some other denomination.  I am trying to make that decision in as informed capacity as possible.  Getting informed means trying to truly understand not just the strategies of the “third way,” but also the goals and purposes.

Perhaps the “third way” has been explained as best as can be done, and if so, it doesn’t seem to me to be much of a strategic plan, and therefore, I think it needs some more thought and discussion.  I don’t want to give up on any “third way” too early, but I also don’t want to find myself six years from now still stuck in a failing strategy with little or nothing to show for lots of work and with more and more of my allies leaving (or giving up out of exhaustion) in a slow trickle every day.  That is the result I got from my decision to stay and fight six years ago, and I don’t want to repeat that mistake.

I’m not blaming anyone but myself . . . and perhaps I have all the information I’m ever going to get . . . but, I’m just trying to figure out what the purpose of the “third way” is and also try to figure out if it will have a better chance to succeed than what has been tried up until this point.

I know I have a difficult decision to make (we all do) . . . and, through prayer and discussion with other faithful allies, I am praying that God will help me discern the way forward that He wants me to follow.  I’m just not “there” yet . . . and, I think that this forum was good as a starting point for discussion . . . but real strategizing will probably require a different forum.

If it turns out that all I was doing in this thread was working out my own issues in a public forum, I am terribly sorry.  But, I’m hopeful that my comments, like so many others were helpful to more than just myself.

[290] Posted by Eddie Swain on 08-04-2009 at 03:22 PM • top

before you call me a liar,

I didn’t.  I said (referring to your statement) that it was untrue. 

I would suggest you’d ponder whether those are serious answers.

I would also suggest that you, Los Angeles, ponder whether those are serious answers.  For in fact, they are. 

I was being flippant to you because you issued a challenge off line and you answered in your way.

I issued you a challenge?  Ah, no I did not.  I was involved in some offline correspondance with a number of folks, but it was not a challenge.  Did you read it, or toss it in the trash?

As someone who came out of Gresham Machen’s church I was expecting something of a 5 fundamentals.

I’ve attended OPC’s for a while, and heard such terms as, “the Creature / Creator Distinction,” and “Postmillenialism,” and “Theonomy,” and “Klinean,” and “Postmodernism,” and “Barthian,” and “WCF,” and “GA,” but I confess I’ve never heard of the 5 fundamentals.  Are you referring to the five spiritual laws?  If so, that’s not a term that floats around the OPC. 

but I received bricks on a foot at a BBQ.


Nope.  You neither “recieved” the bricks, nor “got” the analogy.  Nor did you ask for clariffication. 

I’ve always enjoyed your posts. I expected more.

I know the feeling.

[291] Posted by J Eppinga on 08-04-2009 at 04:18 PM • top

Moot and any others.

The reason I keep asking the qualifications of a traditional Episcopalian is because I have some God-given talent to bring to the table.

Any Third Way needs counter programming from the official TEC line. Blogs are nice. Don’t know much about Anglican TV. I don’t watch it.

I am in Hollywood. I was fortunate enough to graduate at the top of my class from an elite film/TV school where I am an honored grad. There is an entire generation of film students/grads who state what I started helped them get into the business including 2 A list actors. I syndicated my own programming. I have pitched programming to Sony TV. I made documentaries years ago before they were vogue. I have been developing religious programming against the usual suspects you see on the History Channel, ie., Jesus seminar, etc. for a number of years. I have been studying religious tv and radio programming for 25 years.  On top of this I finished Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and am a trained “Soldier for Christ”. I have other educational credentials not relevant here.

But due to a potentially fatal illness five years ago, I haven‘t been much of a filmmaker or Soldier for Christ. I put this all on the back burner - still researching and screenwriting- and turned to other pursuits, like other family businesses. I was miraculously cured but then an equally serious illness befell a close family member. So I have been waiting and waiting.

I know like minded Christians in Hollywood both Anglican/Episcopal and not.

That being stated, I’m not a troll, I’m not being difficult. I need to know. Maybe there is no answer.

But I have wanted to produce and syndicate religious - preferably Anglican programming for 25 years. TEC had a piece of a cable network that went belly up awhile back but that was a network.

All I know about Moot is that he was once OPC, Sarah would go to EPC and Matt is ACNA.

Most others are in ACNA where I may find myself if my rector is forced to perform SSBs.

I’m not into protesting Gay Pride parades, abortion clinics or 815. Others can do that.

I offered my talent to the Brotherhood of St. Andrews 10 years ago when I was a national director and diocesan director here. They looked at me like I had 6 heads. Apparently they didn’t even appear at GC ‘09. I’m not stating I could’ve stopped that but they had no clue on how to get their message out.

People here seems to be a lot more media savvy.

GC ‘09 is over, I’m biting at the bit and will do something starting now, whether Third Way TEC, ACNA or non-denominational for St. Bartholomew’s, my ministry to the New Age/Pagan world.

Anyone can send me a private e-mail

[292] Posted by LA Anglican on 08-04-2009 at 04:21 PM • top

Moot,
These are the 5 fundamentals:

Inerrancy of the Scriptures
The virgin birth and the deity of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14)
The doctrine of substitutionary atonement by God’s grace and through human faith (Hebrews 9)
The bodily resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 28)
The authenticity of Christ’s miracles (or, alternatively, his pre-millennial second coming)[4]

There was also a series of articles put together in a 2 volumne set called The Fundamentals.

It’s where Fundamentalism comes from.
It basically involved in-fighting among the Presbyterians, along liberal-conservative lines like in our church.
Machen split off and started OPC although he didn’t want to be known as a fundamentalist.

I got your analogy.
re: challenge.
Anyone who says “let’s meet for a weekend and hash out ideas” is telling me, “talk is cheap” let’s get on a plane and do something.
that’s a challenge.
We seem to be talking past each other and arguing over words.

[293] Posted by LA Anglican on 08-04-2009 at 04:52 PM • top

#291, Moot
looking back, my post #292 could be read as a challenge although I didn’t intend it to be one although I’m asking for action.

[294] Posted by LA Anglican on 08-04-2009 at 05:22 PM • top

These are the 5 fundamentals:

I see where you’re coming from now.  Any OPC’r would latch onto those too
(‘cept the premil thingee)  wink

“talk is cheap” let’s get on a plane and do something.  that’s a challenge.

I prefer “humble suggestion, from the nobody over there,” but if you prefer to call it a challenge, that’s cool. 

looking back, my post #292 could be read as a challenge although I didn’t intend it to be one although I’m asking for action.

I apologize for my hotheadedness.  To clarify things a bit - my friend Episcopalianated is as Anglo-Catholic as the day is long, and knows that I’m fairly Reformed (though it’s doubtful that I’d ever be asked to serve as a deacon or elder, if I ever had to return to the OPC - going Episcopalian pretty much takes away one’s “Truly Reformed” card);  yet he and I both not only don’t care, but spur one another on in the need for work to be done within TEC

So, a ‘traditional’ Episcopalian (in the sense that Sarah uses) is one who is conservative when it comes to the creeds, and in their understanding of God’s requirement of Christians to be like their Savior.  Lots of moderates are like this as well (including Evangelicals and AC-types).  What sets the traditionalists apart from the moderates is that the latter don’t acknowledge that (1) they are in hostile territory, and (2) they need to do something about it. 

Traditionalists, do. 

So stuff like 144-hour Creationism, (the verboten subject), Anglo-Catholicism, Calvinism, etc kind of gets swept aside in order to address the evils of the day. 

So, you’re a traditionalist, I’m a traditionalist, etc.

[295] Posted by J Eppinga on 08-04-2009 at 06:25 PM • top

Moot,
I apologize too.
And thanks so much, that’s what I’m looking for! We’re on the same team.

[296] Posted by LA Anglican on 08-04-2009 at 06:29 PM • top

OK, you guys, now that peace and reconciliation have broken out all over the place, I’d like to apologize too.

Even though I haven’t contributed anything at all to this thread - but maybe that’s why I should apologize.

Anyway, if apologizing is good enough for Moot, it’s good enough for me, and I like to get in on things.

And LA Anglican, I still don’t think I know what you do for a living, but thanks for clearing it up that you’re not a really, really mean insult comic, because that was my best guess.

I’m a bit partial to Triumph the Dog anyway, but the next time you say something insulting, at least I’ll know it’s being done in an amateurish sort of way without the kind of professional effort that should make my blood run cold.  What a relief, and I can still laugh.

Oh, and Moot - you’re not being ignored elsewhere, but I am taking a lot of time to do justice (hopefully) to . . . you know . . . things.  I’ll get back to you one of these days.

To sum up, let there be peace on earth and all inhabited planets, and please continue to practice random acts of mindless benevolence that require little or no cognitive ability, especially in cyberspace.

That’s all I have, gentlemen, making it in under the wire before we hit the 300 mark and enter the vast wasteland of archived internet oblivion.  cool smile

[297] Posted by episcopalienated on 08-04-2009 at 07:17 PM • top

Sorry about my late two bits worth here:

Traditional Epsicopalian, Definition:

1: Someone who was not worried about “evangelical” or “Anglo-Catholic”, but knew “high church” and “low church” when he saw it, and had strong preferences one way or the other.

2: Someone who never, never raised his hands above his head in church.

3: Someone who would hang out at the coffee and donuts after services for at least five minutes, but would nevertheless, occasionally volunteer for church activities.

4: Someone who was relatively faithful in attending church, but rarely spoke of religion outside the church.

5: Someone who would never, never inquire as to another Episcopalian’s theological beliefs.

Sorry that’s so un-reconstructed, but my impression of an “traditional Episcopalian” was fully ingrained before the 60’s rolled around.

[298] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 08-04-2009 at 08:06 PM • top

Br-er Rabbit, does knowing what type of wine to serve with the fish fit in that list somewhere, or does that go without saying? 

I’m starting to think I wouldn’t fit in even with the Traditional Episcopalians.

[299] Posted by AndrewA on 08-04-2009 at 08:17 PM • top

AndrewA, I guess I would say that you can’t go home again, and if you could, you wouldn’t like it there.
I have grown. I am not the same person who attended the Episcopal church for forty years. Been there, done that. God wants something better.

[300] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 08-05-2009 at 02:18 AM • top

Br_er Rabbit (#300):

Whew!  That last comment of yours really sums up a lot.  I bet most all us are in that boat, and your succint definition really helped at least me to think about those issues . . . I have grown in this conflict.  I know that I can’t go back.  Been a “traditional” Episcopalian and know that that was part of what allowed the whole conflict to happen, so, yes, God definitely wants something better . . . from the Church, and from me.

Thanks for putting this so well.

[301] Posted by Eddie Swain on 08-05-2009 at 08:56 AM • top

Moot, #295—thanks for an excellent quick summary/thumbnail of “traditional Episcopalian” for LA Anglican.

And thanks to all for the participation.

[302] Posted by Sarah on 08-05-2009 at 09:03 AM • top

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