Saturday, 22 September 2007

New Orleans: more background material

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, in addition to its main story, U.S. Episcopal Bishops Meeting in New Orleans has four interviews:
Bishop Charles Jenkins
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
Bishop John Chane
Bishop John Guernsey

The speech of Bishop Mouneer Anis Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, Presiding Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East, has been published, and can be read in full here.

The statement of Bishop Marc Andrus of California has also been published here.

Bishop Kirk Smith of Arizona wrote an email about his reactions to the first day.

Andrew Goddard wrote a letter on 16 September which only got published yesterday, in which he writes about New Orleans and the Anglican Communion.

Friday’s press conference can be viewed in full by going to Episcopal News Service here.

Andrew Carey wrote in the Church of England Newspaper Schism is not the Answer.

Kendall Harmon wrote on titusonenine What Would a Radical Solution Look Like?

The sermon preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury is here: Sermon Preached at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 22 September 2007 at 10:28am BST | TrackBack
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The Episcopal Church has also posted the Friday press conference online. Folks can find it here:
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/80056_ENG_HTM.htm
It's a little better (aesthetically) than the one at Anglican TV. That's not surprising, given TEC's resources, nor is it an aspersion on Anglican TV. I simply thought folks might want the option.

Posted by: Lisa Fox on Saturday, 22 September 2007 at 6:36pm BST

Having just come back from an excellent discussion (it was my talk but turned out to be a two hour conversation) on why liberal groups do not get together, among people who knew many of the personalities involved, it seems to me that The Episcopal Church is at a crossroads. I see on Titus One Nine a call for The Episcopal Church to deny its own place at Lambeth, of all of them. The reason that does not work is that then the main people to talk with are not there. The Archbishop of Canterbury clearly stayed semi-detached - no ultimatum and a half-theoretical talk on what it is to be a bishop, but the either-or is not TECs but those others who would exercise either-or. So let TEC decide not to give up on the LGBT people it has brought in, and present itself to Lambeth, and either go on talking or let the others either-or.

Anyway, however it goes, there is a future: the religious landscape I've discovered today (I learnt today as much as I delivered) is a patchwork quilt of groups: fascinating when people turn out to know personalities for example in the Liberal Catholic Church International and related, connected groups. Of course The Episcopal Church is not one of them, and that's the point. Even if it ever withdrew from the Anglican Communion it would not be as that.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 22 September 2007 at 6:36pm BST

Lisa

Thanks for the video link, it is excellent. One of the first questions Rowan answers relates directly to the strategies that conservatives are advocating. It covers the question of why Rowan is committed to having Lambeth proceed in 2008 and having all invited (back to that after the next paragraph).

What we are currently seeing are a rush of conservative ultimatums: Dar Salaam was meant to be a "make or break", but is no longer. TEC should disinvite itself from Lambeth, so that their voices can't be heard nor their ministry reasoning explained or clarified (phooey to the titusonline suggestion). TEC in choosing to follow its own conscience was not meant to do so if that meant exposing the heartlessness of other dioceses, and that to embarrass others is cause to evict them or guerilla warfare them apart.

No to all of the above.

Apparently it was not just Akinola who lobbied for a deferment or redefinement of Lambeth 2008. Rowan has decided to proceed for the following reasons:
- It is impossible to define an adequate cooling off period, and proceeding reduces the anxiety or whether or when the conference is going to proceed.
- He wants to keep faith with the people organising the conference (who are doing an excellent job apparently) and with those who come to Lambeth not for the politics but because they are part of the body and need renewal. In particular, Rowan is worried about beleaguered and isolated dioceses that benefit greatly from drinking from a larger wellspring and he does not want them used as hostages.
- Rowan has already commented that the Anglican Communion does not deal with conflict by postponing or going around it

The other pleasing answer he made to a later question is that he sees there is a baptismal right for GLBTs.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Sunday, 23 September 2007 at 12:06am BST

It's too bad that the ABC had to depart so abruptly.

It might have done him good to shed his clericals and put on jeans and a tee shirt and boots and work gloves and pitch in to help someone build or rebuld a home.

I wonder too if he - like the TEC bishops - brought a check to help. The suggested donation was $10,000 per diocese. I guess the ABC could have spared that from the whole C of E. Did he?

The bishops from the Diocese of Virginia did each work on a project today, and I know that Bishop Lee asked for donations towards our financial gift.

I believe I am correct in saying that Bps Dunkin' and the others who dwelt apart [is that like walking apart?] at another hotel also left without joining in the relief work. Did they at least bring relief funds?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Sunday, 23 September 2007 at 4:24am BST

Interesting, isn't it, how the events of Rowan's visit has left here at least underwhelmed with comments. There is a real sense that nothing happened.

Perhaps we ought to wait for Tuesday and then the sounds of other purple shirts being rolled up arms.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 23 September 2007 at 3:12pm BST

>>>Interesting, isn't it, how the events of Rowan's visit has left here at least underwhelmed with comments. There is a real sense that nothing happened.

For a lot of us here in the U.S., the word "Anglicans" has come to mean "angry foreign fundamentalists who shout all the time." The thought of no longer being a part of such a thing seems to many of us more a relief than something to be dreaded.

Here is the situation in my own diocese, a quite conservative one in the South, much more evangelical than catholic. Our bishop is a theological conservative who does not allow same-sex blessings and does not ordain noncelibate gay clergy.

At a recent clergy conference, this bishop shared his opinion that there is simply no way for us to meet the demands of the primates and they will just have to accept that. Of the priests who shared their views on the matter, not a single one spoke in favor of giving in to the primates' demands. All who spoke said that it would be better for us to strike out on our own than to allow foreign prelates to run our church.

Again, this is a conservative, mostly rural/small town and evangelical diocese. We're not talking San Francisco here.

If Rowan has lost dioceses like ours, then he has truly lost TEC.

Posted by: JPM on Sunday, 23 September 2007 at 9:06pm BST

JPM

You wrote "If Rowan has lost dioceses like ours, then he has truly lost TEC."'

TEC needs to know that there are dioceses who are deliberately destroying parishes like yours. We need TEC because some dioceses offer no refuge for such souls, and Lambeth has been quiet (and thus complicit) with the systemic constriction that is happening in some dioceses.

God willing, enough souls are seeing enough of others' cruelty to realise this is a distortion of Jesus' prayers and teachings. The acid test will be those who see Jesus as trying to placate and woo the Daughter of Zion (Matthew 24:5) with her promised everlasting covenant of peace to both Gentiles and Jews (Isaiah 60:14-22. 42:6 & 49); and those that refute that Jesus sought to collaborate with any other consciousness.

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Monday, 24 September 2007 at 9:00am BST

Once again in his piece Andrew Carey tries to justify his comparison of The Episcopal Church to Unitarianism. I think he ought to just examine this further. It does not equate; it is not near. In my recent talk I was able to look at this - and see the difference even between the Liberal Catholic Church International and its pathway, and the Liberal Rite and its, the latter having a definite Unitarian connection and, I might say, one yet rejected by presumably the General Assembly. And TEC is neither of these, not at all.

Someone elsewhere commenting on the Archbishop's visit and comments highlighted by Lisa Fox has equated TEC with "liturgical Unitarianism". Again, this has to be asked, what does this mean? It seems to me to be a piece of convenient labelling, but it does not bear up to much examination.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 24 September 2007 at 3:36pm BST

Among the fundamentalists, Unitarian simply means "that which I do not like."

Posted by: JPM on Monday, 24 September 2007 at 5:00pm BST

Hi JPM

Could Unitarian also mean "only that which I like", perhaps with a subtext "and only if it will build my high mound higher above all others"?

Some Unitarians state that God is one, God is only Jesus, and Jesus doesn't talk to or listen to or need input from any others and is thus indifferent to the voices of conscience of matriarchs and patriarchs or prophets or saints.

Their Jesus is much less flexible that the real Jesus. The real Jesus could cope with the unexpected. He started out his ministry with the understanding and intent that he was here to reform the Israelites. But when the Gentiles kept leaping out at him, he accepted their faith and thus opened up Judaism to all the peoples of all the nations. I wonder if this is what is meant by the TEC's "baptismal covenant"? It was used as "a term" by Rowan during in press meeting. I would like to see more about that covenant model.

Biblical corroboration that Jesus had not initially reached out to non-Jews Matthew 15:22-28, where Jesus initially rejected the Canaanite woman by stating “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” but he later accepted her great faith. Similarly in Jesus' first commissioning of the disciples, he said "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel." (Matthew 10:5-6)

Although it was prophesized from his circumcision as an infant that Jesus would be a light to the gentiles (Luke 2:32), Jesus did not act on that until they responded profoundly.

That was possible because the Daughter of Zion had thrown her support in behind Jesus, she has had and always have responsibility for both Jews and Gentiles. Isaiah 42:6 "...I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles..." Isaiah 49:6 "...is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.” and Isaiah 49:22 "...I will beckon to the Gentiles, I will lift up my banner to the peoples..."

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Monday, 24 September 2007 at 10:23pm BST
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