Thoughts on the Covenant process…

Centrists / General Convention / Religion

I’ve been sitting quietly the past day trying to work through the various ideas and responses flickering across the screen of my conscious mind. Here are a few of the ones that seem to be lingering:

I meant what I said the other day about “Divorce not being an option.” I wrote it in one context (that of the Network asking to divorce from TEC) but I own my words and thoughts in the different context of TEC divorcing from the Anglican Communion. I joke with folks that I’m likely the most Anglo-Catholic priest they’ll ever meet. I don’t mean that in liturgical terms, I mean it in terms of how I understand the nature the Church. Walking away from a catholic expression of the Church is not something I can do lightly or easily. Jesus’ prayer “That they all may be One” is a constant challenge to all of us.

I am strangely comforted by the silence which has, so far, been the response from the Episcopal Church Center. I hear it to mean that they are trying to understand what is happening, and that they know there can be no easy or facile answers. The process that the Abp. of Canterbury is suggesting is going to take years to unfold. I’d rather we make decisions based on what the Covenant finally looks like than what we fear it might become.

I noted the call made in Bishop Bob Duncan’s letter that the civil rights of glbt folks be respected and honored – which echos the words of the Abp. of Canterbury. I’m disheartened however by the post today on the website of the American Anglican Council calling on all of us to act in opposition of legislation in California that would do just that. I’m forced to wonder about the differing tones. Respecting the civil rights of glbt people in American society is the one thing I think we all need to absolutely agree upon.

Frank Wade (a heroic priest to many of us) has posted some thoughts. They are published on The Daily Episcopalian. I think they are worth reading and pondering.

I have a strong sense that we have come to the end of the beginning. The process is really only just getting underway, and there are more voices from around the Communion that will need to be heard. I’m impressed with the letter posted from South Africa this morning. I’m very much interested to hear what the sub-saharan provinces will have to say to this as well.

Most of all, I believe with all my heart that God is present in the working through of this process. I believed it last week and I believe it this week. I do wish God’s purposes could be a little clearer – but the perceived lack of clarity probably comes about because of my limitation and not from God’s. My daughter and I were talking about the need for patience and waiting on God yesterday in another context. I think I want to do the same in this. Let us see where we are in six months.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...