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The Subtle Migration of Realignment in Anglicanism in North America
Drell's Descants ^ | 7/23/2005 | Brad

Posted on 07/23/2005 12:23:49 PM PDT by sionnsar

One of the things not really talked about is why some Bishops are not taking a harsh stand, on both sides, against clergy with whom they disagree, with other bishops, with the national church, and so forth. The laity (me included) are impatient with the timetable of the realignment (as there isn’t a firm one) and that people aren’t acting boldly in the name of what they believe; in Jesus Christ and salvation, or inclusivity, or whatever a person’s guiding principle is in the late great hate of the Episcopal Church. What most people see that we have in our beloved church is a mess.

One thing about messes that I do know based on my experience with two children who are very good at making messes, and we are all good at collecting useless stuff. It usually takes quite a while to clean it up. Much like separating wheat from chaff, you can’t throw everything away. Some stuff you want to keep. Things you need, things you can reuse. Trying to clean up a mess with children involved (as it is at my house) is even more challenging - there are things my children think they want to keep, but they really don’t want it or need it. While I as an adult suffer from the same desires to keep the worthless, I find as I get older it becomes easier to get rid of the worthless. But, I have to show patience and love to my children, even as I talk them into throwing away something.

So what is really happening in our church today? Much of the Anglican blogosphere focuses on meetings, big events, and statements. But, very little thought is given to the subtle changes in the Episcopal Church since GC2003. What I would suggest is that both sides are consolidating; mostly the conservative side, truth be known.

Priests are moving. They not only look at the parish they might move to, but also at the Diocese - who the bishop is, what is the collective stance on the issues relative to GC2003.

In my own Diocese, liberal priests are moving out, and conservative priests are moving in. I know of two priests who have moved into my Diocese seeking refuge from revisionist Dioceses, and I know the two they replaced, since GC2003. It is subtle. No one really talks about it, unless you talk to one of the priests very directly. But, there it is.

Other priests I would call middle of the road. They aren’t ready to “leave” the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion yet (depending on which side they are on) and aren’t even ready to take a stand yet. They honestly believe our problems will all be worked out in the “Episcopal” way. They aren’t going to talk about national church issues from the pulpit, the bulletin, or anywhere else. All these priests can be given is time, in patience and in love.

If you look at the Dioceses that are in the Anglican Communion Network, they were going through this sorting process a long time ago. One liberal priest on the HOBD listserv is now in a very liberal diocese, but was ordained in a Network one before the Network was formed. He has stated that he left because of the atmosphere and the dominant theology in the Diocese; his parish where he was serving was not a problem for him. This move occurred years ago.

What about “no” voting bishops that have changed their positions, moderated their stances, or have made clear that they are not leaving ECUSA? Look at the landscape of their Dioceses; look at the clergy therein. The main goal of a bishop will be to hold their Diocese together in all this mess. Not to say that bishops are not people of principle, but there are conflicting principles involved.

So what are the laity to do? If in a conservative or moderately conservative Diocese, make your voice heard. Email and call your bishop. Talk to others about what is going on in the national church scene; tell them about blogs and the Living Church. Heck, even suggest they kibitz on the HOBD listserv to see the real face of inclusivity and liberalism. When the conservatives are as vocal as the liberals, and flex their spiritual muscles through prayer, proclaiming, running for Diocesan offices and committees, donating money to the right things and not the wrong ones, and calling liberals on issues of right and wrong, then a critical mass can be built up, and real change will be possible.

As to conservative parishes in liberal Dioceses, I think most of these are doing the right thing in their situation. Some seek depo, some seek offshore oversight, others leave the church. They seem to me to be taking appropriate action based on their circumstances. What needs to change, though, is what conservatives are doing in “safe” Dioceses. Look at what has happened in Florida and San Diego. A “safe” Diocese can become dangerous in the short time of one Episcopal election, because the liberals are definitely making their voices heard wherever they are.

A schism is likely. There is still a lot of work to be done between now and then. I’d like to see Bible believing Episcopalians go on the offensive, and I think this is necessary to even keep confessing Dioceses in the same position they are now, so there are barns to house the wheat of the harvest. Only then will there be a way to go to far off fields and collect the Lord’s harvest there.

In cleaning up a mess at my house, there is so much more to it that simply getting a broom and some garbage bags. There is discussion, there is patience, sadness, impatience, hopelessness, happiness, memories, good-byes, excitement, and even boredom. So too with the realignment of Anglicanism in North America.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: anglican

1 posted on 07/23/2005 12:23:49 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Fractal Trader; LonePalm; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-7 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 07/23/2005 12:24:34 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Kyoto: Split Atoms, not Wood)
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To: sionnsar

"So what is really happening in our church today? Much of the Anglican blogosphere focuses on meetings, big events, and statements."

"There is discussion, there is patience, sadness, impatience, hopelessness, happiness, memories, good-byes, excitement, and even boredom. So too with the realignment of Anglicanism in North America."


1) Rent a very large dumpster, throw way the offending material (everything produced since 1960).

2) Retain only what is significant to historic Anglicanism (1662 Prayerbook, 39 articles, Books of Homilies, etc.).

3) FORBID MEETINGS!! We do not need more meetings and committees, there is too much talk. This part of what got the church into this mess.

4) Stop using acronyms for new Anglican groups (better yet no new Anglican groups with acronyms and slogans).

5) Create a single new Anglican Church in America based on the above points, but modeled after the Orthodox system of minimal central governance. You can't change a church if there is no place, group or leader to lobby.

Lets be a church rather than an organization!

3 posted on 07/23/2005 1:06:47 PM PDT by hiho hiho ((feeling cranky today))
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