Rumors of News


The blogsphere has been lit up overnight with the news that was posted on The Living Church’s website. Bishop Bob Duncan has been invited to be present at the Primates meeting in Tanzania next month. (Or, to be more accurate, he’s been invited to be present for the “pre-meeting” that Archbishop Williams has called for in immediately before the formal meeting.)

Friends of mine in Pittsburgh have hinted rather broadly that the plan is (at least at the moment) to have the Global South Bishops insist that Bishop Duncan stay on at the formal portion of the meeting – or the Global South will walk out. From what I can intuit of the situation, that sequence of events seems likely.

So what will it mean? I have no clear idea. What I do know is that we in the Episcopal Church are being asked to live into a time of uncertainty over the next few weeks and months. And I know from my own experience that living with that sort of uncertainty can be a very uncomfortable thing for folks.

When I’ve needed to enter into such periods of life (usually due to an illness of a loved one and even as I journeyed through the ordination process) I learned a couple of coping techniques. The most effective for me was to find a routine and focus on getting through each day. (Like being extra-intentional about reading the Daily Office, taking time for prayer during the day and doing the daily tasks of being a parish priest.) The other was to discipline myself not to fall into endless rounds of speculation or “what if?”

Perhaps the same strategy will work for the people of the Episcopal Church. Lent is coming soon. It’s probably more profitable for our souls if we focus for the moment on preparing ourselves and our parishes to keep a Holy Lent than we spend our days in bull sessions about Anglican politics. Our Cathedral here is seeing a huge increase in visitors and new members at the moment. I think it’s better for us to focus on caring for and welcoming them than it is to to worry about what comes next for our denomination.

There’ll be plenty of time to worry profitably about what to do once we have a sense of what has happened. There are good and wise people who are dealing with this at the moment on our behalf who know far better than we do what is going on behind the scenes. I say let them have at it. And God is still sovereign and Christ is still Lord. Be of good cheer!

Or at least try not to get too caught up in all the hand wringing. Grin.

The Author

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