Comments: General Convention revisited

Jane Shaw's piece is very good and reminds us of the fundamental differences that exist in the way Provinces are governed.

Jane is right to make much of Jenny Plane- Te Paa's repudiation of the Windsor Report, this public denunciation by one of the Commissioners who produced the report and declaration that other Commissioners also feel the same is, I believe, a defining moment. I understand others who signed off on the Windsor Report are also willing to make their position clear with even more criticism of the Windsor Report.

I am rather surprised a great deal more has not been made of this ...??!!

The Windsor Reports "reception" was always lukewarm - now ranks have broken I think we may be in for ever more interesting times.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 1 August 2009 at 4:13pm BST

Anyone in the C of E wondering "Where are all the young people?", need look no further than Shaw's article for an answer. To quote from a letter in this week's CT: "If you close the door on people, you can't be surprised when your church is empty".

Posted by Hugh of Lincoln at Saturday, 1 August 2009 at 4:32pm BST

Breaking news from the Dio. of Minnesota via Episcopal Cafe: The Rev. Dr. Bonnie Perry, who has lived with her Lesbian partner for the past 20+ years, is one of three candidates for Bishop of Minnesota. That should raise the blood pressure of ++Rowan Cantuar and +Tom Dunelm!

Posted by John Henry at Saturday, 1 August 2009 at 4:37pm BST

Jane Shaw's essay, a report of being an international visitor at this most recent GenCon, really shows the foundations for punishing TEC, and for preaching how TEC has simply gone off the apostolic rails.

It's democracy is simply galling, and highly inconvenient to new covenant centralisation of everyting, moving significant Anglican global power from the bottom dispersed, to the top concentrated. Democracy in church life is also offense to any and all flat earth instances of fine church leadership - starting with those very high seats, York and Canterbury, and speaking out on high from those two seats. Believers like this also more often go and do their homework, and once they have read the science or something scholarly for themselves, no good can ever come of it, I assure all of us.

These TEC young folks should be ashamed of themselves, according to the rest of the conservative realignment. Not proper believers, so their witness and service mean nothing, except of course, danger and apostasy. Yes, queer folks among us are rather a no brainer for these young folks - just goes to show where having Out honest competent queer folks goes, and thus shows clearly why we are so strongly against it everywhere.

If the earth is not flat, we do not want to go there. The believer democrats and the young folks should repent. Divine right of kings - lingering in the seats of York, Canterbury, and other high places - this is God's way. Democracy is foul and pagan, and we will have none of it unless we dominate, control, and above all get to use democratic trappings to police/punish (above all) those queer folks. Somebody in church has just got to stop all this change.

Thanks for your prayers, donations may be made, too. We are proud to be God's Usual Flat Earth Suspects. You lot should be herded up and locked away in pagan repentance camps, right away.

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 1 August 2009 at 5:20pm BST

I really appreciate Jane Shaw's essay. I would figure English and American conservs would understand that TEC moves as a whole (or at last a democratic majority) and not at the whim of a few or the one. Jenny Plane- Te Paa's repudiation of the Windsor Report shows that the commission either didn't understand how TEC is governed or simply didn't want it governed in that way. In other words, someone didn't do their homework or just didn't like the answers they got to their homework (the Windsor Commision Group).

I would suspect conservatives will say that Christianity is not a democracy and TEC needs to follow God's law, not human law. My response would be, "if God inspired those, many, many years ago to write and rewrite (all the books dropped by the Reformation) scripture couldn't the Creator of all still be inspiring us to rewrite what we've already written." Could only the early Christians have known God in this way or is God still speaking to us? (can you tell I'm a "flaming" liberal?

Jesus spoke of Shepherds, Scribes, Merchants, gold and silver smiths, stone cutters, tax collectors etc.. If Jesus would tell parables today wouldn't he talk about teachers, nurses, farmers, firemen, policemen, merchants, road workers etc...? Should we all go back to only professions mentioned in the Bible?

Posted by BobinSWPA at Saturday, 1 August 2009 at 6:46pm BST

"We are of the view that the passing of these 2 resolutions, when on a plain and ordinary reading, constitutes an abrogation by TEC of the agreed-to moratorium on the consecration of practising homosexual clergy as bishops and rites of blessing for same-sex unions. This effectively moves TEC irretrievably away from the orthodox position of the rest of the Anglican Communion as a whole on these issues. This is a negative development. It is also a repudiation of the listening and consultation processes put in place in an attempt to resolve these"

- Statement of the Province of S.E.Asia S.C. -

This statement of the S.E. Asia Province of the Anglican Communion, appearing on the 'Global South' website, is one good reason for TEC (and others of us in the Communion who agree with the prophetic stance of TEC at G.C.2009) to ignore the proposed Anglican Covenant process - as it is presently constituted. To try to railroad other provinces of the Communion to sign up to the Covenant as presently formulated would condemn TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada to a punitive and altogether despicable second-tier relationship to the rest of the Communion which I, for one, would not welcome.

However, if the nay-sayers to the common human rights of women and gays in the Communion are hell-bent on separating us out from one another, then this will be their problem and not ours. No doubt TEC and the A.C.of C. will be able to count on many friends in other provinces to join them in a continuing Anglican Communion based on the Gospel principle of inclusion. If this means goodbye to the Communion as we now know it, the surviving TEC-Plus Communion will at least be free from the current hypocrisy of the G.S.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 2 August 2009 at 2:03am BST

Many of the same people who crafted the United States Constitution were responsible for the Constitution of the Episcopal Church - both created a short time after independence from Great Britain had been won. This is largely responsible for the very democratic way in which legislation proceeds. In addition, the "founders" were determined that there would be no connection, in the public mind, between the Episcopal Church and such things as monarchy, hierarchy, and aristocracy - all very unpopular at the time. This, presumably, is why we have a Presiding Bishop instead of an archbishop. It was important that our Church be perceived as an American Church, and definitely NOT the Church of England. If only more Anglicans could have had Canon Shaw's experience of the General Convention, a lot of misconceptions would be cleared up.

Posted by Old Father William at Monday, 3 August 2009 at 4:58pm BST

What Jane Shaw says about young people is (a) ageist and (b) counter-intuitive.

Not content with considering one group's opinions superior to another groups on the grounds of (of all things) age, she also privileges the less experienced and less wise over the more experienced and more wise.

The younger someone is, the fewer social milieux and fewer options they will have encountered in the first place: naturally young people will go with what is familiar, present, and local to their own experience.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Friday, 7 August 2009 at 9:04am BST
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