Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Peering Past Lambeth

We recommend this essay by the Rt Revd Pierre Whalon, the Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. He writes on ‘what lies past Lambeth 2008. And Lambeth 2018. And 2028…’

Peering Past Lambeth

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 10:19am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Lambeth Conference 2008 | Opinion

This is interesting, but a bit foggy. Does anyone know where this fellow stands on things happening in the AC?

Posted by: Steven on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 2:55pm BST

Wow thanks loads to Bishop Whalon. It is flexible yet rooted thinking like this essay which first called me to the possibilities of being Anglican in USA Bible Belt states. A big tent formulation which nevertheless recognizes the cornerstone truth of my particular spiritual life so far on this planet: I am a pilgrim. Following Jesus of Nazareth, and so emboldened to be pilgrim.

The static and blocked nature of so much conservative Anglican narrative - whether evangelical or anglo-Catholic in its habits of mind and heart and spirit - simply leaves me untouched, unaddressed, as a thinking modern citizen who really lives, daily, in a westernized democracy with global implications and connections.

I do wish the covenant design groups, whomever sits on them on my behalf, would take up seriously just these elements - and more, these overall habits of mind and heart and spirit. Any covenant which does not embody our typical Anglican generosity, along with our thanks for God for bringing Anglican big tent commitments to be through all the markers Whalon describes, will only narrow and impoverish us.

It's not like I am going to stop following Jesus of Nazareth to the best of my particular abilities in adult life. That die is cast as well as any so far in my life. Even if Anglican big tent worship goes the way of the extinct species, thanks not a little to conservative believers who feel deeply uncomfortable with the markers Whalon celebrates. It will then have been a blessing to at least have passed through the Anglican crucibles that Whalon mentions, and I will move on, grateful, still a pilgrim.

So many thanks again, Bishop Whalon.

Posted by: drdanfee on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 3:32pm BST

I've often found Bishop Whalon hard to pin down. I suspect he is best described as a moderate - partly because refuses to tow any party line. But I consistently find him worth reading.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 3:33pm BST

Anglicans Online has published quite a number of essays by Bishop Whalon. You can find links to all of them here.


One or two of these might help answer Steven's question.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 4:53pm BST

Bishop Whalon spends some time in the summer at Rehoboth Beach, DE. I heard him preach at All Saint's Church. I think you could call him liberal especially since there were a good number of partnered gay and lesbian folks in the pews and the fact that this is an extremely welcoming parish for the large gay and lesbian communittee in the Delaware Beach area.

I heard him echo the PB's statement that he sees Jesus as his vehicle to God and the kingdom.
Don't know if that helps.

Posted by: bobinswpa on Tuesday, 1 July 2008 at 8:20pm BST

I think the underlying point in Bishop Whalon's essay has to do with the question of how Anglicans see the church--and for him, that should be the first question they should resolve.

But what struck me about his essay is his critique of a burgeoning anti-episcopacy or anti-ordained mentality in the name of a "baptismal ecclesiology." I sometimes notice it here, and I think Bishop Whalon made a comment sometime ago that made the same criticism.

It is really hard to pin him down, but you have to consider that the fact that, as a bishop, he is articulating theological points like these, is remarkable in itself. A reasserter criticism of EC(USA) is that their bishops and clergy don't do theology anymore, but social work. I often look to people like Pierre Whalon to prove them wrong.

Posted by: Ren Aguila on Wednesday, 2 July 2008 at 2:30am BST
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