Friday, June 16, 2006

Anglican roundup, 6/16

  • An extremely pithy review of the General Convention in Columbus, from the BBC.

  • Rev. Mark Harris, of Preludium, has these thoughts on the composition of the Episcopal Church [emphasis mine]:
    Included in this observation is the less obvious implication that until recently the catholic and evangelical emphasis and the revolutionary emphasis have in fact held. That is, the Episcopal Church has been in the past a mix of elements: catholic, evangelical and revolutionary. What is it that has held the church together that is now missing?

    Perhaps it is that until recently many of us could hope that being catholic and evangelical might indeed be possible while being as well progressive and revolutionary. As a church we have resisted condemnation of clergy who were snake belly low or spiky high, given to the excesses of the spirit and the dryness of academia, wildly contemporary or madly eccentric, prophetic and pastoral. We have in other words lived with the quirkiness of our fellow Episcopal and Anglican friends in the sure and certain hope that one day they would retire or die and life would go on.

    What was holding the church together was the tolerant middle, willing to live with the edges biting at them. The linch pins that string together this strange entourage of ecclesial wagons was primarily reflection on scripture and the saying of prayers, both set in the context of Common Prayer. And those prayers are profoundly about the incarnational presence of Christ in the world, and thus about mission and presence.
    Intransigence, from the left and the right, is what's tearing it apart.

  • Former Republican Senator from Missouri, and ordained Episcopal priest, had this to say at the General Convention (LA Times):
    ... Danforth said the denomination should turn away from the "inside baseball" of church politics and put its energy behind reconciling a world increasingly polarized by politics and religion. "For 99%-plus of people, they really couldn't care less who the bishop of diocese 'X' or 'Z' is," Danforth said, during the church's national legislative meeting. "Nor could they care less whether a liturgy for blessing same-sex unions is available in a prayer book or over the Internet."

    If the Episcopal Church breaks apart, "we'll be one more little splinter, one more tiny wedge in the world of wedges," he warned.
  • And the real reason Archbishop of Canterbury is not at the Convention himself.

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