Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Community Opposed to the Anglican Covenant

There is a new website coming up entitled No Anglican Covenant. It is a majestic site worthy of at least one trip there. Here is the linkage, No Anglican Covenant. I encourage you to go and visit and take in as much as you can. Here is a cite to the prayer page of this webpage and at a minimum we all ought to be praying that the Covenant fails. This is also an international site that will ring the world, or at least that is the hope. And therein lies the problem.

We as members of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America have a unique and glorious organization that no one else in the world (well, in the Anglican Communion) really understands. We are a collaborative and deliberative body that incorporates the thoughts and ideas of the laity as well as the clergy. We recognize that God's voice comes sometimes, from the frailest, weakest, most extraordinary of persons. We not only honor that thought but we routinely incorporate it into our daily church lives. THERE IS NO OTHER ANGLICAN COMMUNITY LIKE OURS! For years, but particularly right now, this fact is one of the glaring issues of our time and the rest of the Anglican Communion cannot even begin to truly fathom how we operate let alone respect and honor TEC for this unique quality.

But that is a two-edged sword. I have had the great pleasure of talking on a number of occasions with (retired) Bishop Shalita, bishop of Uganda. (Please do not run off!). Many of our conversations have been centered on the difference in which the Episcopal Church does business as compared to virtually the rest of the world. The Primate of a province, say Uganda, while he can incorporate what the clergy have to say into his decision making is not obliged to and certainly no one really asks the laity what they think. To paraphrase Bishop Shalita, "Why would I do that?". The real hard fact for us to understand is the reverse of what the rest of the world cannot seem to understand about us, we have laity that participate in the decision making process, virtually everyone else does not.

What does that mean for this new and great website? Good luck for starters! It can and should help us here in the United States in defeating the Anglican Covenant but I am not so sure it will do much of anything internationally -- the primates have made up their minds what they are going to do and convincing the laity (or for that matter other clergy) will not do any good, they do not operate like we do (Thank God!).
I beleive that the Anglican Covenant is not for us, in fact it ought not be for anyone. I am wondering if the long term outcome is to just move on without the Communion, if only for a while and continue our work and direct all our efforts into the full inclusion of everyone.

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