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But I’m Not Dead Yet: Predictions of Demise Somewhat Overdone

Friday, June 15, 2007 • 8:49 am

I think we ought to hold off a bit on the “alphabet soup” rhetoric. The assured tones with which some predict fragmentation and dissolution are overdone and, I believe, unjustified. So far we see a group of provincial jurisdictions cooperating and acting in a somewhat coordinated fashion to achieve a unified end; an end, a goal, that is shared by at least one major domestic orthodox body.


These are strange times.

Several indisputably orthodox primates have stepped forward boldly not only to provide pastoral care for those parishes that have departed heterodox dioceses and sought refuge within their respective jurisdictions, but have also stepped forward with the promise and pledge to step together, to cooperate and to coordinate so that the oft-feared and foretold fragmentation does not occur.

When Archbishop Nzimbi announced plans to consecrate Canon Bill Atwood to the office of bishop, he said:

As a part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces, the ACK will consecrate The Revd Canon Dr. Bill Atwood as Suffragan bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi of the ACK to support the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, including support of Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.

Our goal is to collaborate with faithful Anglicans (including those in North America who are related with other provinces). A North American Anglican Coalition can provide a safe haven for those who maintain historic Anglican faith and practice, and offer a way to live and work together in the furtherance of the Gospel.”


Quickly after this announcement, Archbishop Orombi of Uganda stated:

“The Church of Uganda welcomes the announcement of the consecration of The Revd Canon Dr. Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese in the Anglican Church of Kenya. Canon Atwood is a long time friend and partner of the Church of Uganda. In these difficult days in the Communion, we recognize that measures must be taken to provide for the care of those orthodox Anglicans in America who remain faithful to the Bible.”


And then Archbishop Akinola promised:

“We look forward to working with Archbishop Nzimbi, Bishop-elect Atwood and this new pastoral initiative from the Anglican Church of Kenya. We pledge our ongoing prayers and enthusiastic support and cooperation through CANA – a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria already established in North America .

It should be noted that there are now more than 250 congregations in North America related to Global South provinces through a growing number of missionary and pastoral initiatives.”


Most recently, just last night, Archbishop Gregory Venables said:

“In the painful circumstances of the Anglican Communion I deeply appreciate the bonds which link many primates together. I welcome the prospect of congregations under my care and protection working more closely with those of Kenya and other provinces. In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned. Collaboration among Provinces working in the States and the Network is helping build a unified future for those who share the historic Biblical faith.”


Domestically, subsequent announcements from the Network make, or at least form the basis for making, these primatial promises manifest. 

“Bishop-elect Atwood will be initially supporting Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America . He joins Bishop Bill Cox of the Southern Cone as another domestic bishop cooperating in ministry with the Network, which has strong links with many international congregations under overseas jurisdiction through its International Conference. The Network welcomes Archbishop Nzimbi’s actions which also support its “Biblical, Missionary and Uniting” work….

…As Archbishop Nzimbi said in his announcement, Canon Atwood’s election and consecration is ‘part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces,’ to provide unity and pastoral care for those who have left or been forced out of The Episcopal Church,”

The Anglican Communion Network remains committed to its International Conference representing parishes in relationship with the provinces of Kenya , Uganda , Southern Cone, and Central Africa as it also remains committed to working with its partners in CANA , AMiA and the broader Common Cause Partnerships. Following its mission to be a uniting force in the ongoing Anglican realignment, the Network continues to build relationships among all faithful Anglicans, those that have left the Episcopal Church and those within.”


This Network webpage devoted to the International Conference provides at least a glimpse into the beginnings of this coordinated work:

International Conference
The Network provides for parishes that are not part of The Episcopal Church via its International Conference. Our Common Cause Partners AMiA and CANA are also able to provide episcopal oversight through foreign jurisdictions for American parishes.

Cooperating Bishops
The Rev. Canon Bill Atwood, D. Min. ( Kenya )
Bishop-Elect Bill Atwood had an awakening of faith in 1972 while serving as a pilot in the US Air Force. That led to a vocation to pursue ordained ministry.

The Rt. Rev. Bill Cox (Southern Cone)”


And yet, given all of these promises from trustworthy orthodox leaders, and the visible, though initial, steps toward the fulfillment of these promises domestically, there remain some who are far more eager and willing to trust these words:

“I have to reserve the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion.”


…from the most prominent author and primary presenter of the wholly false and misleading Sub Group report that sought to provide an exonerating veneer of compliance to the rebellious actions of a recklessly and willingly defiant Episcopal Church (a report which the Executive Council has used to good effect), than to the words of orthodox primates and the actions of orthodox leaders.

Of course, there is history; the history of St. Louis, the history of the Continuum; a history of unfulfilled promises and fragmentation. And, on the basis of that history, there is the predictable if irrational “this” is “that” comparison in the face of the obvious reality that “this” is in fact not “that”. The differences between then and now with regard to cause, circumstance, originators, and goals are myriad.

All of the primates involved in the present actions have been abundantly clear in the past and in the present that they do not intend and do not want interventions to be permanent but rather to serve as a temporary measure on the way both to protecting orthodox parishes in heterodox dioceses and to establishing a new viable Anglican structure in North America.

This, along with the quotes and actions noted above would seem to suggest that Kenya’s is not some willy nilly discordant act against “catholicity.”

Just supposing that the words and promises of the primates are true, and this is not a stretch, and just supposing that the end of these actions is to establish a reformed orthodox Anglican structure in North America, let’s think through what steps might be necessary.

First step would be to consecrate North American bishops specifically to serve North American parishes that lie within the jurisdictions of each province. This not only provides for the pastoral care of those parishes, but ensures that they will begin life beyond the Episcopal Church connected to and nourished by an already ordered, established, episcopal structure.

The second step would be to transplant or transfer the sort of cooperation and friendship that exists between various global south provinces to their North American bodies. Since the bishops of these North American bodies are under orders, efforts at cross polinization can be enforced and pushed at the provincial level. In other words, it is not left up to Bishop “Smith” from Kenya to decide whether or not to cooperate with Bishop “Jones” from Nigeria. Both bishops are given the mandate to cooperate and coordinate by their primates. This is the benefit of retaining, for a time, provincial connections. This cross-pollination between North American bishops of differing provincial authority ensures that the provincial boundaries extant in North America do not become solidified to the point that they inhibit an eventual unification.

Third (actually simultaneously) domestic orthodox bishops within the Episcopal Church and/or beyond would begin to form personal and working relationships with the various provincial bodies and bishops so that an organic relational foundation for any future domestic provincial framework might be established.

It is interesting to note at this point that if there were some master plan like the one envisioned above then steps one through three have already been taken and are in place. Again, be sure to take a look at the International Conference page, linked above, where you can see this coming together.

Step four would be to establish a college of bishops (as per the Pastoral Scheme), under provincial oversight, incorporating all of these jurisdictions under one umbrella body.

Step five (again, in keeping with the Pastoral Scheme) would be to have the college select a leader or, perhaps, “moderator” to serve as “primate” or something like a primate for the whole and invite him to attend and participate in various primatial councils in that capacity.

Once we arrive at step five, there would need to be a graduated relinquishing of extra-jurisdiction authority and a corresponding assumption of unified institutional authority domestically centered on the college and the Moderator.

And soon, perhaps within a decade, there might be a functional and functioning orthodox Anglican province with or without the approval of Canterbury.

Again, I have no idea whether this is in fact what is happening. I hope it is and I believe that the recent primatial moves point to something like it. At the very least, since steps one through three seem to have been taken, I think we ought to hold off a bit on the “alphabet soup” rhetoric. The assured tones with which some predict fragmentation and dissolution are overdone and, I believe, unjustified.

So far we see a group of provincial jurisdictions cooperating and acting in a somewhat coordinated fashion to achieve a unified end; an end, a goal, that is shared by at least one major domestic orthodox body, the Network.

Rather than hinder this work or curse it, a wiser course might be to pray for its success. Perhaps this is God’s doing?


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Comments:

Fr. Matt,

Some excellent prognostication here.  I’ve got a question for you:  what do you foresee (or foresee as being necessary) in regard to geographic boundaries in a Common Cause-based North American province?  For example, CANA now has congregations not only in VA, but sprinkled across the U.S., including in such far-flung places as Wyoming.  Will diocesan boundaries be a thing of the past, or do you see parishes transferring from one bishop to another once things settle down (assuming, of course, that they settle down)?

[1] Posted by Jeff in VA on 06-15-2007 at 09:57 AM • top

Jeff,

I think in the short term, and of course this is just speculating, it will be a bit of a jumble…non-geographical boundaries and such. But in the long run…around step 5 or so if this is the direction things take…as the provincial boundaries begin to fade gradually, I can see either new dioceses being formed or some trading of parishes so that the boundaries become a little less chaotic…but again, this is just speculation.

[2] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-15-2007 at 10:03 AM • top

Spinfree comment: Shouldn’t it be “bishop-to-be” rather than “bishop-elect”?

Comment with spin: Calling Atwood bishop-elect sounds Orwellian to me, and should serve as a reminder of the alternative polity on offer. Regarding cross-pollinization, here come the Africanized bee-shops! ACK!

[3] Posted by John B. Chilton on 06-15-2007 at 10:12 AM • top

This essay gets me all tingly! No, really, this “plan” can happen. There is hope for orthodox Anglicans in America!

[4] Posted by robroy on 06-15-2007 at 10:13 AM • top

It’s clear that this is a coordinated effort of those who are seeking a unified new province.  It’s an “alphabet soup” of forces joining together to reinvade North America for Christ and for orthodox Anglicanism.

And that’s why +Atwood was chosen.  He has excellent long-standing relationships with a number of primates and bodies.

[5] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 06-15-2007 at 10:17 AM • top

A further complication in all of this relates to those of us who live to the north of most of the USA, i.e., in Canada. For better or for worse we do not have the infrastructure that has already appeared in the US.  But talk of a North American province or whatever has to include Canadian parishes and dioceses.
Anything on a North American level also needs to recognise the much more decentralised nature of the Anglican Church of Canada which is actually closer to a federation of independent dioceses. The fragmentation has already begun here as the diocese of Fredericton has served notice that any action by General Synod will “cause a tear in the fabric of our relationship with General Synod”.
For those of us in liberal dioceses the choices are very difficult especially as it all relates to property issues which here in Ontario are very complex due to the history of the Anglican Church in Upper Canada.
Please remember to pray that General Synod steps back from the brink when it meets from 19th to 26th June.

[6] Posted by Cdn Anglican on 06-15-2007 at 10:24 AM • top

Nice work, Fr. Matt.  My only disagreement is with your suggested timeframe of perhaps a decade.  I’m thinking more like 6 months.

[7] Posted by James Manley on 06-15-2007 at 10:47 AM • top

Matt,

May what you prognosticate come true!  Based on what I saw at Bishop Jecko’s memorial service on Wednesday, I think it has a chance.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

[8] Posted by Philip Snyder on 06-15-2007 at 10:57 AM • top

On the subject of coordination, there have been some interesting comments here and on T19 this morning.

First, Hosea on the +Venables thread:

Archbishop Gregory Venables is a very nice guy and tells it like it is, especially when his wife is not around to temper him (his words) and if he says Canon Bill Atwood is a great guy and will be a wonderful bishop, I’ll believe him (and the chorus of MANY others).

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/3664/#65742

Next, a response by “Gregory”:

Sylvia says she doesn’t need to do any tempering and that she also thinks Bill+ is a great guy and will be a wonderful bishop.

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/3664/#65746

There was also a comment by Gregory on the +Benn thread on T19:

Thanks for your support, Wallace.

http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/3669/#65741


Finally, a comment by Gregory on the issue of coordination on the +Venables thread on T19:

It is coordinated.

http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/3666/#65736

Further confirmation of coordination?

[9] Posted by wildfire on 06-15-2007 at 11:07 AM • top

P.T.L.A.!
Maranatha!

[10] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 06-15-2007 at 11:17 AM • top

Matt, for the sake of an effective long range orthodox Anglican witness in America I sure hope your crystal ball proves correct.  But if these 4 and 5 letter groups keep multiplying like rabbits, we are going to have to invent some more letters!  Enough already!  But then, we could also use Greek letters since we claim to be orthodox of some variety.

[11] Posted by David+ on 06-15-2007 at 11:35 AM • top

Great analysis, Matt+!  I also hope this occurs over a much shorter time period.  One obvious reason is that we need to get this as far behind us as soon as possible so the resources spent on fending off TEC can be used on things more spiritually productive.  The other reason is that perhaps a sufficiently firm smack along the head might at least break into the hermetic TEC world.  There are still a lot of good, faithful people there who for many reasons discussed here and elsewhere really don’t know what is going on.  I have noticed a sharp increase lately of posts on the major reasserter blogs by people who are, in the truest sense, clueless about the reality.  If it ever sinks in, or is allowed to do so, there will be many others willing to take action, or at least speak up.

[12] Posted by APB on 06-15-2007 at 11:43 AM • top

Matt,
I find a great deal of hopefulness to share in your assessment, and I lend my voice to your ending call to prayer; however, the issues that divided after St. Louis and that still divide the Continuum are ever-present, and if they are not addressed today they will erode whatever unity we might hope for.

And, on the basis of that history, there is the predictable if irrational “this” is “that” comparison in the face of the obvious reality that “this” is in fact not “that”. The differences between then and now with regard to cause, circumstance, originators, and goals are myriad.

  My argument is that today is like yesterday, obviously it is not today repeating itself. 

Christian time is not linear, as it is for the moderns, and it is not circular as it is for the pagans and ancients, it is like a spiral, going forward but following a pattern.  Today is a new day but it will carry much of yesterdays momentum and some of its patterns. 

From the beginning of the reformation, we have had serious differences over polity, common prayer, the role of Holy Tradition and the nature of the sacraments, especially regarding ordination.  Our inherent tendency is to fragment.  How many churches have formed from our sides?  What particular sin do we still hold with us that we must repent of in order to be healed and to be made whole?

We must be prayerful, but not for the success of the Network or any North American Alliance, we must be prayerful that our expression of the church be catholic, apostolic and that it bring unity.

Receive these our prayers which we offer
unto thy divine Majesty, beseeching thee to inspire
continually the Universal Church with the spirit of truth,
unity, and concord; and grant that all those who do confess
thy holy Name may agree in the truth of thy holy Word, and
live in unity and godly love.

[13] Posted by HowardRGiles+ on 06-15-2007 at 11:46 AM • top

I’m tempted to let John Chilton’s attempt at buzz-kill just lie there (as everyone else has).  But I would offer that, prior to our marriage, my wife was referred to as a “bride-elect,” although no formal election was held.

[14] Posted by Tar Heel on 06-15-2007 at 11:53 AM • top

Matt:  I think you have made a good argument and outlined a credible scenario for the future of these groups.  Now may I request a moratorium on the all-too-familiar snide remarks about the “divisions” among the Continuing Churches?

[15] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 06-15-2007 at 12:01 PM • top

Mark McCall:

Whoa.  Good investigative work.

[16] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 06-15-2007 at 12:24 PM • top

Matt+,
The events of the last few days certainly seem to bear out your “speculations” above.  A week ago things seemed very dark, but the drapes have been pulled back and Light is flooding into the Church.  My own feeling is that the primates were very, very serious in what they proposed at Dar, and it is now becoming apparent that they fully intend to carry through.  I believe, as one might say, this has now been confirmed by the many public announcements by Archbishops of the Communion.
I believe I speak for many when I say we will indeed join you in prayer for the success of this work.  I think a prayer of thanksgiving is also in order for the primates and provinces who have taken bold steps to provide succor to the orthodox Anglicans of the US.
TJ

[17] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-15-2007 at 12:37 PM • top

The Cavalry are coming, folks. The guys in the white (pointy wink) hats are on the way.

Huzzah!!!!

& Amen

[18] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-15-2007 at 12:45 PM • top

Not only is there cooperation at the top—among the Global South primates and the bishops of the various N. American Anglican “alphabet soup” entities, but there is cooperation at the parish and regional level.  The Anglican parishes in S. California don’t care who belongs to what—they work together.  Same thing for the ones in Kentucky, N. Florida, the Great Lakes Anglican Network, and so on.  Common Cause is becoming more and more a reality, praise the Lord.

[19] Posted by Ralinda on 06-15-2007 at 12:58 PM • top

Thanks for the info on the Great Lakes Anglicans, Ralinda.  Note their website: http://www.hudsonanglican.com/hoan/HOAN.html .

[20] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-15-2007 at 01:30 PM • top

Here is my rather hopeful prediction.

Just think for a moment about two things. The nature of our God and the human capacity (not always realized) to come together in a crisis with former enemies.

Our God is one of surprises. He always seems to work in ways completely unexpected. Heck, our whole faith is founded on his greatest unexpected “plot twist”!

Now think about that oft cited scenario where the Earth is invaded by evil aliens from space. The human race forgets all of its divisions in order to unite to save our world.

Here is what I think might be the ultimate result of this current spate of splintering. We will not only be reunited in a coherant system much like we used to enjoy. But we will actually reunite with those that were once thought lost to us.

We could actually come out of this with net gain. 1) A heightened awareness of our global communion and strengthened relationships with Anglicans all over the world. 2) A new confidence in the ability of the majority of our communion to hold together under the worst circumstances. Testing our bonds, we will find that they hold under the greatest pressure. 3) We will restore formerly broken relationships. It is always a miracle, when estranged family members get back together again.

And then the longest shot of all 4) R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Can anyone here imagine not being the Rodney Dangerfield of the Christian world?? Perhaps at least some of those quick to say things like “The Anglican Communion was never legitimate in the first place, so they were doomed from the beginning” & “Swim! The communion is as good as dead anyway” just might stop.

I know this is going to seem like a case of over-optimism, but I ask you this. If our communion were really the “non-church” all the nay-sayers and tounge-cluckers say we are, would the vast majority of it, be fighting mightily to save its life and expel the unhealthy invasion of its tissue? Does a dead body, or one that is as good as gone, resist??? Wouldn’t a hopelessly corrupt body just roll over???

Its not that I crave respect. Its only that I would welcome the novelty! grin grin But then again, if we are ever to even hope to bring our tradition to the great table of ultimate Christian reconcilation, we not only have to keep it intact, we will probably have to show some validity to even be invited. Could anyone say that an AC which not only survived an existential crisis but also gained a stronger unity from the experience is not a body to be reckoned with?

God would certainly be praised for pulling that one off, wouldn’t he?

[21] Posted by StayinAnglican on 06-15-2007 at 01:32 PM • top

Matt - good points. My concern has always been that we would get to a point where there is a lot of independent action, pulling away the orthodox core into camps. As long as that is not happening, they can ordain a few more Bishops. What I want to see is committed, coordinated leadership unconcerned about the turf of a Bishop, and small details which do not serve the gospel imperative to make disciples be left behind.

[22] Posted by Festivus on 06-15-2007 at 02:22 PM • top

I would also like to think that a reformed, orthodox Anglican province in the Americas would attract our orthodox brothers and sisters from the United Methodist Church.  Although it does not look like it from the outside, they are really in worse shape than TEC.  There is not one UMC bishop who will publicly disagree with the party line - and the party line looks more and more like a Socialist political platform every day.  Besides, Wesley never really wanted to start a separate denomination - he was interested in reforming the CoE.

[23] Posted by Daniel on 06-15-2007 at 02:24 PM • top

Daniel, I left the UMC for an AMiA church and at this point I will do my best to stay and fight for an orthodox Anglicanism in North America. I figure I’m a better Methodist now anyways since Wesley wanted to stay within the Church of England and reform from the inside. I’m not sure if you’re right about there not being a single non-liberal-conformist bishop in the UMC. There was a UM bishop on Asbury Seminary’s Board of Trustees until recently and I doubt that Asbury would allow someone unorthodox to be their board.

[24] Posted by MattJP on 06-15-2007 at 02:36 PM • top

Lawrence K Wells writes:

...may I request a moratorium on the all-too-familiar snide remarks about the “divisions” among the Continuing Churches?

  Perhaps a no ‘Snidely Whiplash’ banner could be added to the no-whining zone.  There is no health or healing made in snide remarks about anybody, ever.  Most of the Continuuing churches that I have attended are filled with Godly people who have been abandoned by their Bishops and Priests, not the other way around.  the snide or self-righteous remark is a kind of ‘murder in our hearts’ that perpetuates division and enmity.  I need the warning more than most.  Thanks Mr. Wells.

[25] Posted by HowardRGiles+ on 06-15-2007 at 02:39 PM • top

Lawrence K. Wells+,

I hope that your comment was not in response to anything I wrote. I did not at all mean or intend any snideness. Please forgive me if I came accross that way. I have great respect for the Continuing churches. I was at the point at which I mentioned the Continuum echoing the CW more than articulating my own position.

[26] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-15-2007 at 02:48 PM • top

Lord knows I hope Matt is right, and not just right in predicting more coordinated efforts leading to a unified juridical Anglican body in NA, but I also hope for the meaningful ecclesiastical work that must be done to enable any new unity to put down roots for the long-term.

I’ve taken a rather cynical line on all this, and I’m still very skeptical. Goodwill and press releases do not a Communion make. The first Plano meetings were also extremely promising, but in the long term those good feelings never did translate into a body that could act deliberately and with one voice, IMO.

Matt’s “this is not that” argument misses the point that the divisions that caused “that” are still present in “this,” as Howard Giles articulated well. Yes, this is a new day, and a different momentum seems to be emerging…I do hope it lasts, and not just the general abstract sense of good will that is so easy to communicate on a web page or press release. There is a great deal of hard work, both theological and political, that must be done to construct communion and juridical structures that will have to replace the strange and unlikely combination of theological genius, Catholic legacy, and happy historical accidents that gave Anglicanism its unity and cohesiveness to begin with. So far I’ve seen a great deal of “we’re not them” and “we really like and intend to work with [New Bishop X],” but I have seen exactly nothing in the way of actual concrete ecclesiastical and political proposals that would give me hope that “this” will in fact not be “that.” This is not curmudgeonly pooh-poohing. It’s just realism.

[27] Posted by Dave on 06-15-2007 at 03:01 PM • top

MattJP,
I am not saying there are no UMC bishops that are traditionally orthodox.  What I am saying is that they value polity above all and none of them will openly speak out about the UMC slide into the same abyss with TEC, ELCA, PCUSA, et. al.  When bishop Joe Sprague (the UMC answer to John Spong) made his infamous public statements of apostasy and heresy, only bishop Tim Whitaker even made a public, written comment, and then in the most polite and measured tone.

[28] Posted by Daniel on 06-15-2007 at 03:57 PM • top

Matt: I think the word you were looking for is “cross-pollination,” not “cross-pollinization.”  Take it from a former beekeeper.

[29] Posted by Third Mill Catholic on 06-15-2007 at 06:49 PM • top

Thanks third mill, correcting…

[30] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-15-2007 at 07:06 PM • top

Dave,

you said:

“Matt’s “this is not that” argument misses the point that the divisions that caused “that” are still present in “this,” as Howard Giles articulated well.”

Please articulate these… Many of the differences in the Continuum have to do with Apostolic succession. But Apostolic Succession does not seem to be an issue presently. Perhaps the biggest issue that might cause division is WO. And yet, notice, though these provinces disagree on that issue, they are willing to compromise and cooperate and, as per step 2, enforce that cooperation in their various North American missions. What other differences do you think might be divisive? In just about every way, when compared to the continuum, it seems that, so far as theology and ecclesiology goes, this is in fact not that. You can make the assertion…but that is all that it is…an assertion with no evidence to support it.

“Yes, this is a new day, and a different momentum seems to be emerging”

precisely.

“...I do hope it lasts, and not just the general abstract sense of good will that is so easy to communicate on a web page or press release”

I believe you.

“There is a great deal of hard work, both theological and political, that must be done to construct communion and juridical structures that will have to replace the strange and unlikely combination of theological genius, Catholic legacy, and happy historical accidents that gave Anglicanism its unity and cohesiveness to begin with.”

And since the various global south provinces seem to have realised a sort of unity and cooperation that we in the west have not realized, it is fortunate that in these early stages we are not calling the shots.

“So far I’ve seen a great deal of “we’re not them” and “we really like and intend to work with [New Bishop X],” but I have seen exactly nothing in the way of actual concrete ecclesiastical and political proposals that would give me hope that “this” will in fact not be “that.””

Hmmm, not sure you have actually examined the evidence. Already there are North American bishops operating in ways that defy your expectations. Did you visit the International Conference page?

“This is not curmudgeonly pooh-poohing.”

really? It seems to be just that…

“It’s just realism.”

No, it is speculative prediction…shouldn’t confuse the two.

[31] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-15-2007 at 07:20 PM • top

Looks to me like the UMC is about 5-10 years behind TEC in revisionism, but on the other hand, the UMC does not have a Global South to counterbalance the liberal clergy coming out of the divinity schools.

That being said, I have seen many, many liberal folks who grew up in different denominations switch to TEC before or during seminary/divinity school.  TEC seems to be a huge magnet for liberal seminary/divinity school students, perhaps moreso than any other denomination.  It has that aura of smells-and-bells respectability mixed with far left hierarchy.  I don’t think the UMC clergy really matches up pound for pound in sheer enthusiasm for revisionism.

[32] Posted by Reason and Revelation on 06-15-2007 at 07:25 PM • top

Matt’s plan doesn’t pre-empt anything the Primates might be planning for post-Sept 30 (because it’s the affected Primates who are doing it), and it provides for action if they finally do nothing. It has an inexorable flavor to it which effectively puts TEC on notice. So, in that respect, it offers the possibility (remote, maybe, but the possibility) of beginning to salvage TEC itself; I have to assume this is one of the Holy Spirit’s goals in the matter.

Patience and adamant determination in large amounts will be required.

The plan itself doesnt address womens’ ordination, although you mentioned it in the comments. Some thinking on this needs to be included, IMHO. It might complicate the plan, but it shouldn’t be left for later because it will weaken whatever unity is achieved. Similar consideration should be given for the same reason to questions around the Book of Common Prayer.

Your forum would be a good place to consider all these issues together; not the *only* place, but a good one. Far as I can see, you have in your posters all the necessary skills, opinions, and knowledge, to be *a* center for Anglican unity in North America.

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[33] Posted by dpeirce on 06-15-2007 at 07:57 PM • top

Fr. Matt—I think, from what I’ve been told, that you’re right on. The only thing I would quibble about is timing. Again, based on what I’ve been told, it will not take a decade. It will happen very, very quickly after Sept. 30. I also understand that more announcements will be forthcoming…mostly organizational rather than individual and those will take place between now and Sept. 30.

My sources say the GS primates want to move quickly to restablish orthodox Anglicanism in the US, allow us to start running our own show so that they can get back to their own missions…some of which have suffered as a result of the time spent dealing with our situation.

I also understand that they are gravely concerned that if they do not act quickly, many orthodox souls will be lost…some lost to Anglcanism and others lost to Christ, altogether. They consider our situation a bonafide Christian emergency and they have virtually dropped everything to get this new province put together. They can’t continue this for long or their own missions will suffer.

My sources still maintain “within the year.”

They’ve certainly been spot on so far.

[34] Posted by Forgiven on 06-15-2007 at 09:37 PM • top

I can see either new dioceses being formed or some trading of parishes so that the boundaries become a little less chaotic

This already is under way and is expected to be completed before Sept. 30.

[35] Posted by Forgiven on 06-15-2007 at 09:40 PM • top

Dave,

You state that “The plan itself doesnt address womens’ ordination…Some thinking on this needs to be included, IMHO.”

I agree - somewhat! For the life of me I fail to understand how anyone can consider themselves orthodox, certainly not Orthodox when WO is considered. I will state emphatically that the acceptance, toleration or condoning, etc. of WO is in no possible way, remotely orthodox/Orthodox. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR A WOMAN TO BE A PRIEST! as it is not possible for man to become a woman, unless through sin.

[36] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-15-2007 at 09:52 PM • top

Well, there are some who disagree wwith you, and some of them are high-powered theological thinkers. Me, I dunno; I could argue either way from scripture although the “anti” argument is stronger. But that really isn’t the point.

I think StandFirm is (accidently or intentionally) in a position to be a center of unity for Anglicanism in North America. But WO is one of the factors which must be addressed; it should be added to Matt’s plan for discussion, IMHO, along with BCP issues.

[37] Posted by dpeirce on 06-15-2007 at 10:01 PM • top

dpierce wrote:

WO is one of the factors which must be addressed; it should be added to Matt’s plan for discussion, IMHO, along with BCP issues.

To WO and BCP I would add (excuse my language) polity, by which I mean such questions as, will the head of the new body be an Archbishop or a Presiding bishop? what will be the powers of the head bishop with respect to the diocesan bishops, and of the diocesans over their clergy? what canons will be used? and so on.

[38] Posted by kyounge1956 on 06-15-2007 at 10:58 PM • top

Dave,

High-powered theological thinkers and arguing either way from scripture ? Point aside, dear sir. As an Orthodox, if you are truly orthodox, be it Anglican, Catholic, Byzantine, etc. The issue of WO is moot! No discussion. Period! When will this sink in? It is NOT an issue!

There will be Anglicans in this world that will never be in communion with those who hold to WO, sadly thoughit may be. This comes from
accepting catholicity as it was understood in the first 4 to 7 centuries of Christendom.

[39] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-15-2007 at 11:13 PM • top

Chef Asa,

Please allow this warning to sink in. Do not take this thread of topic. It has nothing to do with the orthodoxy or lackthereof of WO. WO may play into the question of whether you think these entities can coalesce into an ordered whole. And you are welcome to address this aspect of the question. But the question of the validity of women in orders in itself is not for this thread. This is your warning. Thank you.

Matt

[40] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-16-2007 at 05:54 AM • top

Matt+

In prayer your premise might come to pass.

I do think Dr. Seitz has actually become your best friend recently, he and points raised by LKW+ are real warnings, a true friend would tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear. This came up with +Minns’ Installation where you seemed to be perturbed of others not attending and I said that there was work that had to be done, cultivating done then the harvest. I know of one division between two major players that I’ve on other threads and others mentioned that I’ve not seen a lot to patch up. Then unity at the Primate level may help curb the problems with the Continuing Churches had at their departure.

It is a nice article and a possible path. I think prayer is of the upmost importance! Crafting words of debate is one thing, but I think the challenges are not off base but have real merit to them and in God’s wisdom can be addressed. I’d prefer a physician to tell me things I don’t like in order to address any issues to true wellness and wholeness.

[41] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-16-2007 at 06:46 AM • top

That (re)confrontation of the WO issue is a bump in the road is not debated by Matt and others. The formation of a new Anglican province in America is a mountain in the roadway. No one thinks it will be easy. I would say that Chief Asa and others need to listen to Bp Minns interview (see Baby blue’s site) and you will hear that he and others refuse to allow the bump to interfere with scaling the mountain.

Aside: If you listen to the interviews, one with Bp Minns and one with KJS, you will see the amazing leadership difference. Bp Minns handles himself with aplomb with a fairly hostile interviewer (as he did in his pre-installation press conference), really remarkable poise. The interviewer’s obsequiousness with KJS is quite annoying. She let’s KJS get away with answers like “No, I don’t think so” to questions about whether there is a problem of a change of Christ’s centrality in the denomination. The interviewer also lets her ride on the “less the one per cent of parishes” without asking her the obvious “What about counting people?”

All this aside, Father Jake et al has KJS as a leader, we have Bp Minns (a corporate exec for ATT before the ministry) and the giants: ABp’s Orombi, Akinola, Venables, Nzimbi, Kolini, Venables, Duncan, Iker, etc. Not of one mind? They certainly are in regards to thinking that the present situation is a grave concern, and I trust the Common Cause meeting in September will be very fruitful.

[42] Posted by rob-roy on 06-16-2007 at 07:00 AM • top

Hmmm Hosea,

Of course your assumption here is that Communion conservatives have little truth to learn from the federal side. They are the physicians. Whereas to mine, they need them (as do we all).

[43] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-16-2007 at 07:01 AM • top

I’m disturbed by the new labels I keep seeing.  In England I’m hearing about ‘open’ evangelicals as oposed to presumably ‘closed’ or conservative evangelicals.  As MerseyMike points out the closed may be 15% of the 40% who are ‘evangelical’.  That 40% taken with the anglo-catholic tradition represents probably a conservative majority in my church.  However if they keep squabbling, the likely result is that the views of those who they all disagree with, will sweep the board.

In the last month here I have heard about ‘federal’ and ‘communion’.

I can’t see that on major issues that all of the above share anything but a conservative or traditional Christian outlook whatever the differences that they feel are so important.

Isn’t it better to work together for what is shared in common as this post suggests and resist those whose sole aim is apparently to pull apart and separate, including for some unaccountable reason some of my own countrymen?

[44] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-16-2007 at 07:23 AM • top

Matt

WO might be slightly off thread, but in reality it is a central point that will remain an insurmountable obstacle for the ‘communion’ between orthodoxy and secular libralism. If I seem perturb, it is because I am, at all the philosophizing and shirting of real issues, If you and others would like to ban me, then so be it. I don’t care much for warnings!

May God in Christ open eyes

[45] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-16-2007 at 08:10 AM • top

On Matt’s+ analysis…yes I think that this is exactly what the core GS primates have in mind. The timing of this has been a problem.  +Duncan wanted to control the timeline to insure that the departing could leave with property and that meant delay.  +Duncan’s state property laws are a factor as well as the terms of the Calvary settlement.  If he walks he takes nothing.  +Duncan is very sensitive to the $ issue and what it takes to establish a 2nd USProvince.  Many of the funds that have been financing the separatists have been coming from conservative private foundations in tne US with a single issue agenda, inhibiting same sex relationships.  Every time a church, or diocese leaves or will leave TEC, that purpose is accomplished and the single issue financial supporters have no reason to continue aid.  In addition, that church, particularly if in a state following hierarchical deference vs neutral principles of law, legal theory is likely to end up in court.  They will be either paying attorneys or looking for building funds. Even if the congregations have assets, they will be frozen and they will be cashed strapped.  They can not appeal overseas for support.  The mother country is expecting their dollars, e.g. Atwood’s relationship to Kenya.  Admittedly there is a lot of money in large well-healed churches like Truro, Falls Church and Grace St. Stephen’s but even they have their limits.  How long can the Ahmansons, Scaifes etc.of the world keep signing tbe checks, particularly when they’ve already accomplished their purpose?

The $ issue and the scale of that issue has never been faced by the GS.  Uganda, which, in its purity, has refused TEC support will continue to look to the orthodox west. 

And, on the issue of “obedience” to prmatial direction, why would anyone believe that the new bishops or clergy would be more obedient to their overseas leaders than they have been to TEC.  These leaders will not understand the financial, ideological, or other facts on the ground that will make their “authority” and leadership not just irrelevant but meddling .  And, yes, there are personalities involved and this will be like hurding cat.

  “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”...until the enemy is conquered and then what?

[46] Posted by EmilyH on 06-16-2007 at 08:13 AM • top

Chef Asa,

That is ludicrous. We’ve had long discussions and arguments regarding this issue on innumerable threads. But this is not one of them.

Moreover, I really don’t care if you are peturbed. I do care whether you plan to abide the warning or not. It seems from your last answer you are not. Is that correct?

[47] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-16-2007 at 08:14 AM • top

Given the response of someone like Chef Asa (“The aspirin cook???”), it might be hard to simply “refuse to allow” the WO bump to interfere with scaling the mountain of re-unifying the Anglican splinters. I’m guessing (^_^) but it seemed like a pretty basic point to him.

Part of making a unity plan would be assessing what degree of unity is achievable and what association disagree-ers might have with the rest. I haven’t paid enough attention to the politics of the division over WO as it’s not that important to me, so I don’t have any contribution there. I just feel it needs to be addressed. Chef Asa needs to be brought aboard if possible but it might not be possible. Otherwise, WO and Anti-WO will be like allies during the fight who fall out afterward and fight each other; there have been several wars won but peace lost through fighting among the victorious allies. WW2?

And TEC shouldn’t simply be dismissed; association might be similar to the bear and the beehive, but the beehive needs to evangelize TEC for salvation. TEC will certainly be evangelizing the rest for damnation whether there is association or not.

Regarding $ (EmilyH, 6-16, 7:13am): Jesus taught that we must be prepared to leave behind our worldly wealth if necessary to focus on the things of heaven. Your analysis added greatly to my knowledge of the difficulty… I wonder if Jesus knew how hard it would be :^>?

It seems there are many facets to be considered.

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[48] Posted by dpeirce on 06-16-2007 at 08:52 AM • top

PM ; thing is, I don’t think all of the open evangelicals or the anglo-catholics in the CofE regard the gay issue as one of first-order. I know that some otherwise pretty conservative bishops do not, and FiF would see it as marginal in comparison to women’s ordination. Indeed, FiF churches are full of quietly-closeted gin-and-lace queens as any visit to the Diocese of London will confirm….

[49] Posted by Merseymike on 06-16-2007 at 08:57 AM • top

All points worth discussion MM but perhaps not on this thread for fear of Fr. Matt’s quite right desire to remain on thread.

All the best.

[50] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-16-2007 at 09:02 AM • top

Yes MM,

Please do not take us off topic. This is your warning.

[51] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-16-2007 at 09:15 AM • top

The $ issue and the scale of that issue has never been faced by the GS.  Uganda, which, in its purity, has refused TEC support will continue to look to the orthodox west.

This issue keeps coming up from the revisionists. I supose its because their own focus is so much on money. However, I suggest that those who have left TEC took their purses and wallets with them and they will be and are willing to open them for orthodoxy.

In the case of my Anglican church, within weeks after it was formed pledges created a budget of $1.5 million, 5% of which is going to Uganda, where it is desperately needed rather that to 815 and MDGs. Another 5% (perhaps more) is goiong to build the new province through ACN.

Further, in a matter of four weeks, this church of 1100 orthodox raised $1.4 million to purchase property for a new building. I can guarantee you that the title will remain in the hands of the parish.

I think each time the revisionists bri9ng these money issues up, it is an attempt to put fear and trembling in the hearts of the dearly departed.

The reality is, EmilyH, it is TEC that is on a short financial string and by the time they pursue all of their lawsuits against the faithful, even if they win, they will have to sell the property to cover the legal fees. That will leave little else but the endowments. How long will they last?

[52] Posted by Forgiven on 06-16-2007 at 09:20 AM • top

I am always fascinated when I read about what +Duncan wants.  Why is it that no one ever supposes that a possible reason he hasn’t left would be that to leave would abandon the “sheep” he promised to care for and leave them unable to get a shepherd (see So, Carolina) who would take his place?  Would the person who really knows about what +Duncan is doing, kindly get in touch?  I’d like to know also so I can plan the rest of my life!!!!!!
Kudos to Matt for some great writing and discerning.
Nara Dewar Duncan
“never take yourself too seriously - no one else does….”

[53] Posted by Nara on 06-16-2007 at 10:19 AM • top

For Been There… I am deeply sorry that your church could only come up with 5% for your Ugandan mission partners.  Our little church sent 7% to the ERD for mosquito nets and funneled several hundred additional to Uganda ...through the Roman Catholics.  It went to provide meals at an Ugandan school, often the only meal that the children there would receive each day.  I am actually horrified that Uganda has chosen to refuse aid to its people based its interpretation on the orthodoxy of donors.  Did +Orombi ask his people about his decision?  It seems that they are the ones that will suffer its consequences.  Is it he who will go hungry?

[54] Posted by EmilyH on 06-16-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

Matt+ wrote:  “In just about every way, when compared to the continuum, it seems that, so far as theology and ecclesiology goes, this is in fact not that.”  This is, in fact, very much LIKE that.  The pattern throughout the reformation churches of splitting over basic understandings of Holy Tradition and the Sacraments is present here, today.  Today is LIKE yesterday.

Referring to WO, Matt+ wrote: “What other differences do you think might be divisive?”  Is there consensus over ecclesiology within the Network or among the Primates?  Is a loosely confederated group of American churches with strong Protesting inclinations going to submit to episcopal or primatial authority, following Holy Tradition? 

Is there consensus over the sacraments?  Is there consensus within the Network or among the Primates over the nature of ordination and consecration regarding apostolic authority (does a material change occur in the laying on of hands or from where does the bishop’s authority proceed)?  Is there consensus over Holy Communion and the doctrine of real presence?

Are we agreed about the 39 articles?  What about common prayer?  If +Minns is a suffragan of Nigeria, doesn’t that mean that he recognizes the 1662?  When the Network consecrates its first Bishop or ordains its first priest, which ordination rite will it use?

I have a great deal of respect for the Continuum because they stood firm in their convictions, yet they failed to submit for the sake of unity.  In terms of ecclesiology, a strong archbishop/primate/metropolitan owns property, moves priests and asks generous assessments.  Will the churchmen who are under foreign primates hand over their property titles and go back to paying generous assessments when the new province is formed?

[55] Posted by HowardRGiles+ on 06-16-2007 at 11:31 AM • top

Been There… You guys have truly “Done That”!!! Paz del Señor (The Peace of the Lord be with you).

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[56] Posted by dpeirce on 06-16-2007 at 01:45 PM • top

Of course your assumption here is that Communion conservatives have little truth to learn from the federal side. They are the physicians. Whereas to mine, they need them (as do we all).

As iron sharpens iron. They do have a way of holding you accountable and you them—though I not happy when it goes personal (not our best witness), but I hate spin, worse is when we believe our own. Being in an APO parish currently, I tend to favor your side of coin, but VERY happy all these discussions come out—I dare say, you might just learn something productive from Communion Conservative which will improve your position when the chips are truly down. Agreed with ‘as do we all!’

[57] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 06-16-2007 at 03:04 PM • top

For unity to be achieved among the Common Cause partners in a new province, it seems to me that current women priests and deacons (not bishops) will have to be “grandmothered” in and a ban imposed on any further such ordinations.  Without that, there still will be at least two Anglican entities when all is said and done.

[58] Posted by David+ on 06-16-2007 at 03:58 PM • top

Matt, et al.

I appreciate the effort to avoid this thread being hijacked. By now, everyone should be well familiar with the various positions on WO, and who may be willing to reach an accomodation, and who will absolutely not.

In terms of developments, internationally and domestically, I think people will be surprised to hear about the funds that have been raised by some of the post-2003 new Anglican churches and their expansion and construction plans.  It has been hinted at here, but more announcements will be forthcoming. 

These are exciting times.

[59] Posted by Going Home on 06-16-2007 at 04:22 PM • top

In support of what David+ said, Rome has gritted its teeth and allowed the ordination of a small number of married Protestant ministers (mostly ex-Episcopal priests but some from other denominations). It’s been done to extend every possible shelter to non-Catholics threatened by apostate religious authorities. Even Rome will make some pretty hard compromises for the sake of unity and protection of the faithful… I hope and pray Anglicans can do the same.

[60] Posted by dpeirce on 06-16-2007 at 04:27 PM • top

David+ wrote:

For unity to be achieved among the Common Cause partners in a new province, it seems to me that current women priests and deacons (not bishops) will have to be “grandmothered” in and a ban imposed on any further such ordinations.  Without that, there still will be at least two Anglican entities when all is said and done.

IMO, even with that, there will be at least two. Based on postings here and elsewhere, I do not think that the Continuum would find the “grandmother” clause adequate, and even if the suggested ban went into effect, there would still be (at least) the Continuum and “everyone else”. Perhaps someone in the Continuum would be willing to verify: would it be correct to say that the Continuing Churches, or at least parts of them, consider not only ordination of women to be invalid, but also that any bishop who has ordained women invalidates his own orders, and thus anyone ordained by such a bishop afterwards, would not be validly ordained?

I hope this is not too far off-topic. The WO issue is one that must be resolved if reunification of orthodox Anglicans in NA is ever to occur, but for complete reunification, I think the “grandmother clause” is a non-starter. I suppose that is one more thing that must be decided, and will somewhat determine the answer to other questions: is the goal to reunify all the fragments, or only some, and if some, which ones?

[61] Posted by kyounge1956 on 06-16-2007 at 08:14 PM • top

Since Matt has indulged me with considerable latitude on That Topic on numerous other threads, I have to support his firm posture in keeping this thread on topic.  He has given us some good things to think about, and honestly he has changed my mind about the underlying cohesiveness of the post-2003 neo-Anglican groups.  Whatever our differences, I have to respect these folks and pray for a time when we may be one again.  Something tells me that is going to happen.

[62] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 06-16-2007 at 08:53 PM • top

It appears that there are two distinct processes taking place here: (1) “political” or institutional—which is the affiliation of orthodox clergy and their reporting structure, and
(2) theological—which is clarity about what orthodox Anglicanism means
I would submit that a new orthodox North American province won’t be able to fully emerge until the 2nd question is resolved.  The first question is actually relatively easy in comparison, and becomes a lot easier once the second question is answered.

[63] Posted by slcj on 06-16-2007 at 09:25 PM • top

I am actually horrified that Uganda has chosen to refuse aid to its people based its interpretation on the orthodoxy of donors.

Hmmmm… you are concerned that men of God stood for principle and refused to accept money from people they considered to be heretical? This would indicate to me that you simply do not understand principle, though, I must admit, fewer and fewer people do.

Frankly, I am extremely proud of them for their stand. It says they would rather die than be bought off by heretics. I kinda feel that way too.

In the end, we’ll provide more and more support for them. If one is cynical, one might suppose they planned it this way to tap into our resources. I look at as God providing for those who have remained faithful and have defended the faith.

I have given more money to my church in the last 18 months than I have given in the past ten years. I do so because I know part of that money will go to help those who desperately need it; part of it will go toward helping build a new province and part of it will be used to build our new church.

The saddest part about this is that I believe our old church, a magnificiant and an historic structure, will eventually be sold because I don’t think the the remaining parishioners have the financial where-with-all to keep it open. How terribly sad, but a product of TEC leaving orthodoxy.

[64] Posted by Forgiven on 06-16-2007 at 09:29 PM • top

Our little church sent 7% to the ERD for mosquito nets and funneled several hundred additional to Uganda ...through the Roman Catholics.

Wowwwwww…7% for mosquito nets when people are starving and dying from diseases like AIDS.

Our money went to hospitals and nurses because that’s what the Bishop asked of us.

An additional offering was used to buy solar bibles which provide scripture for those who cannot read and have no electricity. The cannon brought with him Ugandan jewelery and clothing which have been selling like hotcakes. This raised $2000 by itself on the first Sunday they were shown. Then, in one Sunday offering the plate collected over $2000 for the Bishop’s discretionary fund.

Think about this EmilyH, since money is soooo important, 5% of $1.5 M amounts to $75,000, plus the additional mentioned above given voluntarily and willingly be the congregation,

Had we not left TEC and found oversight with Uganda, that money would have found its way into a heretical diocese and eventually to 815 and its MDGs. I think it is now being put to God’s use for these those truly need it.

I thank God for that.

[65] Posted by Forgiven on 06-16-2007 at 09:47 PM • top

+Duncan wanted to control the timeline to insure that the departing could leave with property and that meant delay.

EmilyH…How do you know this? I have some very good connections to the inner circle but I have never heard this. Are you not once again trying to project problems into the mix in the hope that the effort at consolidation might disintegrate?

[66] Posted by Forgiven on 06-16-2007 at 10:02 PM • top

been there wrote:

Wowwwwww…7% for mosquito nets when people are starving and dying from diseases like AIDS.

My guess is that these are insecticide-treated nets for malaria prevention. If so, they save lives too.

An additional offering was used to buy solar bibles which provide scripture for those who cannot read and have no electricity.

I’ve never heard of solar bibles. Is it the Bible read aloud on CD’s or something, and a solar powered player?

[67] Posted by kyounge1956 on 06-17-2007 at 01:22 AM • top

Matt,

Sorry for the delay in returning to post - to answer your question. It has been a rather brutal near 15 hour work day.

Yes, is the answer to your asking me if I will stay on topic. I merely stated that I don’t particularly care for warnings! If indeed you feel that the issue of WO is off topic, I will acquiesce to your judgment.  But please, let me state that although I fail to understand how the issue of WO is “off thread”, when in fact it has been mentioned on this thread several times both before and after my last comment, but I will do my utmost to remain on topic.

Having said that, I do wish to address this issue: that Bp. Minns “…and other refuse to allow the “bump” (reference rob-roy’s comment, 6.16.07@06:00 hrs.) to interfere with scaling the mountain.” We are all aware of Bp. Minns stance on WO, so why would he, and others that are like-minded let the issue of WO stand as needing to be addressed and rectified. Unfortunately, this whole Schism now taking place is not about the Communion dividing issues, as some would have us believe, that were first addressed at St. Louis in 1977, but primarily about SSU, the blessing of those so-called unions, real property retention rights and to the “politics of the church”, sometimes erroneously referred to as “ecclesial polity”.

We’re all familiar with the concept of “divide and conquer”, to bring to point a comment by Pageantmaster (6.16.07@06:23 hrs.) that is exactly why we see the many different labels applied to so many ‘groups’ within the church; it is to divide and conquer. The more labels applied =  more division, the more division, the easier it is for the churches puppet masters to proffer acceptance and inclusion to those “liberals” and the “marginalized” in order for it (the church) to reach, maintain and control monetary and political goals.

The fact of the matter is that there are only two labels – the truly orthodox and the revisionists. And for those who are orthodox, the issue of women’s ordination is an insurmountable “bump”. One that cannot be compromised upon.

But Matt, in all earnest, to what did you refer to as “ludicrous”?

And Dave, “Given the response of someone like Chef Asa…”? Come now! Isn’t that a little “inflammatory”! And just what is “The aspirin cook???” ?

My comments might offend someone, but they are not intended as insults.

And the issue of WO is more precisely an issue of Apostolic Succession and the maintaining the validity thereof. And yes, it is a very basic point. That is why, for the life of me, I can’t understand the reasoning behind the idea of being “off thread”.

Peace, May God bless each and every one of us.

[68] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-17-2007 at 01:37 AM • top

I’ve never heard of solar bibles. Is it the Bible read aloud on CD’s or something, and a solar powered player?

It was never made totally clear to me exactly what they were. My presumption is that they are some sort of player device, like, perhaps a CD, powered by solar energy. They were not expensive ($30.00) and when the call went out for help, we had already purchased 30. Don’t know what the final total was but since this church has been very responsive, I would guess that we went well over 50.

My thought was that they were an incredible application of techology to reach those who cannot read and don’t have the benefit of electricity or other modern conveniences.

It also points clearly to the barriers the Africans have had to overcome to reach their people. All the more reason to wonder at how they’ve been so incredibly successful. God is truly with them.

[69] Posted by Forgiven on 06-17-2007 at 05:52 AM • top

EmilyH - if I weren’t on this “no whining, no freakout” board, I’d invite you to put a sock in it.  It is quite clear to me from this (and previous comments) that you have bought the TEC line of “financial Christianity” hook, line, and sinker.  You even came back with the ever-mature “my giving is bigger than your giving”!  Get over it!
  I pose a hypothetical question:  If you found out that the company you worked for was funding drug dealers, would you continue to work there, accepting your paycheck every week?  If you knew that your children’s welfare depended on $ from illegal and destructive sources, would you do what you could to find another job, perhaps even make a Herculean effort to take yourself away from that stain?  Sometimes prinicples DO matter, and it is not all about the almighty dollar.

[70] Posted by GillianC on 06-17-2007 at 06:45 AM • top

Re. the question of election:

There always is an election, whether it is by one person (in marriage, our eternal election, or the election by a leader of another leader), or by a voting body of some sort (a convention, synod, or college of bishops).  It’s only in populist, democratic America that “election” immediately means “general election”.  “Bishop-elect” is perfectly appropriate.

[71] Posted by Garrin+ on 06-17-2007 at 10:04 AM • top

To the Chef: You wrote, “We are all aware of Bp. Minns stance on WO, so why would he, and others that are like-minded let the issue of WO stand as needing to be addressed and rectified.” I would point out that we are all aware of his boss’s, ABp Akinola’s, stand on WO as well. You say insurmountable. I say otherwise. We’ll both see after the Common Cause meeting. Pax.

[72] Posted by rob-roy on 06-17-2007 at 10:30 AM • top

For his sake let’s not pull Chef onto this issue.  We’ve already lost one poster so lets keep on the labels and how some of them are in fact finding that they can work together.

Thanks for the plug Chef.

On also has to remember that all of the intervening primates have made it clear that they do so with regret because of the total failure of TEC to do what they said they would in the HOB to “work to find ways of meeting the pastoral concerns of the Primates that are compatible with our own polity and canons”.  In the event they not only appear to have made no effort to do anything of the sort all the signals are that they are engaging in a deliberate policy of thiec cleansing so that they dont have to do anything at all.  It would appear to be this that has led to the continued consecrations.  What message did they think they were sending?

It is still not too late for a change of tack but the longer this goes on the more unlikely that a solution will be possible and they may well walk apart from the rest of us.

[73] Posted by Pageantmaster ن on 06-17-2007 at 10:48 AM • top

rob-roy,

On the issue of WO (Apostolic Succession) as an insurmountable “bump”, You said, “WO as well. You say insurmountable. I say otherwise. We’ll both see after the Common Cause meeting.”
In all seriousness, do you really think the CC meeting will actually resolve that said issue?

Pageantmaster,

Thanks for the concern, and you are most welcome!

as you say, PAX

[74] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-17-2007 at 02:54 PM • top

Chef asa: My question about aspirin cook wasn’t intended as an insult. I’ve just never seen a name like that online. Many people try to adopt insider-type humorous names, so I wondered about it. Chef = cook, and asa is a medical term for aspirin, hence “Aspirin cook?”

I do hope that WO isn’t insurmountable. And I do hope that otherwise-orthodox folks who happen to support or at least not oppose WO won’t be lumped in with the revisionists. My suggestion was that consideration of WO might profitably be folded into Matt’s original plan in order to help gain the greatest unity possible. Probably some sort of compromise will be necessary, and the people who make it shouldn’t be considered revisionists. If you exclude yourself, that will be a shame. Better for us if you try and think of something you might be able to grit your teeth and accept, IMHO.

Luckily Jesus isn’t looking for perfect servants, and that he takes us where we are and works with us. That means I still gotta chance!!!!! ^_^

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[75] Posted by dpeirce on 06-17-2007 at 07:55 PM • top

Dave,

Thankyou! Chef, I was. Asa is my given name. I just combined the two for e-mail and Blog names.

I agree on most points ofyour very excellent comment, except that of WO. Which is indelibly linked to Apostolic Succession. There will be many more Talks, Blogs, Post, Articles, Papers, Reports, Stidies and Conferences, etc. before/if there is any type of compromise and resolution to this Communion-splitting issue.

If it is in God’s mercy, He and He alone will lead us in His ways.

Most importantly, we must all pray fervently.

Ειρήνη

[76] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-18-2007 at 12:25 AM • top

I’ll pray that this Communion-splitting issue doesn’t split the Communion :^>.

Seems as though you write your name in different languages. I try to do that sometimes also. My name in English is David; in Spanish it’s Davíd, which could be confusing.

Hmmnnn…. that last is kind of bad, which may mean it’s late and I should be in bed ^_^. Sí.

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[77] Posted by dpeirce on 06-18-2007 at 12:57 AM • top

Chef Asa,

My ludicrous comment was directed toward your suggestion that we skirt the WO issue or that we do not allow discussions. As Lawrence Wells+ notes, there have been innumerable discussions of this topic. And, you may be interested to know, there will be more. I planning to post an article dealing with this soon…not to argue for or against any position, but simply to state my own, summarize some of the primary arguments pro and con, and allow others to do the same. When it is posted, this will be the thread where your comments as to the evil or good of WO in itself would be appreciated.

[78] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 06-18-2007 at 07:11 AM • top

gettting back on topic—I hope and pray you are right, Matt. This is the most uplifting piece I’ve read about the Anglican future in quite a while.

[79] Posted by In Newark on 06-18-2007 at 07:41 AM • top

Dave,
Ειρήνη is Greek for peace.
Matt,
I didn’t suggest to skirt the issue of WO, etc. If I did, that was a mistake. What I mean is the this is of WO (Apostolic Succession) is a not to be compromised on. Period!

Ειρήνη

[80] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-18-2007 at 07:50 AM • top

Chef, completely off topic, but I gotta ask….
How do you format in html to get Greek to print out?  (This may be dangerous for me, I have enough trouble with blockquotes)

[81] Posted by tjmcmahon on 06-18-2007 at 08:11 AM • top

It was said:  “Our little church sent 7% to the ERD for mosquito nets and funneled several hundred additional to Uganda ...through the Roman Catholics.  It went to provide meals at an Ugandan school, often the only meal that the children there would receive each day.”

Hmm.  Several hundred dollars.  Well, that is commendable.  Widow’s mite and all.  And anti-malarial nets are important.  In fact, I think you should give it all to the the Roman Catholic church to distribute.  Much less overhead.  A significant portion of that ERD contribution (particularly thanks to creative accounting) goes to overhead.  Not that that is all bad, since it benefits the needy in Turtle Bay, where, sadly, workers at headquarters have even been known to be forced to reside in New Jersey and the less desirable neighborhoods of Brooklyn.  So on behalf of New York, I say, “thanks”.

[82] Posted by pendennis88 on 06-18-2007 at 08:14 AM • top

Chef, I must have been sleepier than I realized ^_^. ¡Paz del Señor!

Re compromise on WO, I’ve read a proposal somewhere to grandmother current women priests but not make any more. Could something like that work with you? Not proposing it, just exploring whether any compromise at all is possible. It would be a shame if you couldn’t join with the rest.

In faith, Dave
Viva Texas

[83] Posted by dpeirce on 06-18-2007 at 01:09 PM • top

I planning to post an article dealing with this soon…not to argue for or against any position, but simply to state my own, summarize some of the primary arguments pro and con, and allow others to do the same.

+Matt

Thanks. Perhaps you saw my request on the Schori-Anderson thread. Based on the commentary here, it is an important issue…though I remain somewhat ambivalent. I simply don’t have enough information to form an opinion and I look forward to following the discusswion.

[84] Posted by Forgiven on 06-18-2007 at 02:14 PM • top

tjmcmahon,

TJ, you ask me - “How do you format in html to get Greek to print out?”

Strictly copy & paste. Keep it simple! It ain’t rocket science!( an Old Chef’s kitchen quote.)

[85] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-18-2007 at 08:18 PM • top

Dave,

You said that you’ve - “...read a proposal somewhere to grandmother current women priests but not make any more. Could something like that work with you?...”
Dave, I’m not very familiar with that proposal, but I’ve heard talk of it. I apologize for taking a very hard line, especially with the term “compromise”. To answer your question, I suppose so, it seems to be an intriquing proposal.

I’m moving over to Matt’s next post, I think he’s a little teed with this post, and rightly so. Sorry Matt, I thought it was all pertinent.

[86] Posted by ChefAsa on 06-18-2007 at 08:30 PM • top

He’s started one on women’s ordination where people can explain their views. My purpose was to get WO dealt with in terms of unity among the non-Episcopal Anglicans, and learn how much impetus there is to make compromises for unity. Your statement encourages me.

[87] Posted by dpeirce on 06-18-2007 at 08:39 PM • top

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