Fr. Tony Clavier has posted a piece that calls upon the Episcopal Church to really think hard about how it goes about its work today:
“How is it possible for an assembly of huge proportions –Bishop Michael Marshall said to me that the House of Deputies looked like the Supreme Soviet –to hold good conversations? This is particularly so when by-laws and rules, produced to consider legislation are called to moderate discussion. As the Archbishop of York put it, It is impossible to be graciously-magnanimous when the book of practice and procedures is regarded as the last word.
A legislative body didn’t create a body of law called the Windsor Report and send it to the American General Convention to act on. A committee report, endorsed by the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council was sent to the American Church for consideration and reaction. Because the only way we seem to know how to address such a request is within the forum of a legislative assembly, no meaningful conversation was possible. Certainly General Convention has a final role in speaking for the American Church, but when it speaks for the church it better be sure that the church has been in effective conversation.
If we are to become a church of reconciliation we have to develop institutional ways to further conversation which avoids the ‘winner takes all’ methods of our present system. Whether we are ready to take the giant step of examining our structure, not as some hallowed piece of Americana, but as an efficient synod of the church is quite another matter.”
He goes on to point out that our present structure is not just creating problems at the national level, but also at the diocesan level. There are a number of small to medium dioceses that are struggling to cope with the structural tasks that are being asked of them by the national bodies…
Read the rest here: ARE WE ABLE TO TALK?
(Via Fr. Tony Clavier.)