Do D025 and C056 mean business as usual for TEC and thus for its relationship with the Anglican Communion? I think not, and I am not alone. Mark Harris of Preludium is in a particularly chirpy mood with a post celebrating the passing of D025 and looking forward to the House of Deputies confirming C056. The post is entitled One Two Buckle My Shoe.
In this post he clarifies his conviction that D025 means no more moratorium:
"The general assessment of what D025 means took several forms today: (i) these are the facts 'on the ground' and we love the Anglican Communion, our gay and lesbian companions, and oh yes, the moratorium (if there ever was one) is now a matter of individual conscience and not church wide pressure. (ii) Sure these are the facts on the ground and yes we do love the Anglican Communion but we are not sure that other Churches love us and oh yes, the moratorium is as much in place as it ever was as a call to restraint. (iii) D025 is a fudge and was not particularly honest, just compromising.
All in all I side with the first view. And I believe it is an important stepping stone on the way to stating with greater courage that we are inclusive of gay and lesbian people. We have no business in being overly proud of our inclusivity, but we might be beginning to scrape by. It's a start. So, time to put on those shoes and walk. Later we can run, and later crawl."
I think he is right. I particularly think that D025 is no compromise: if it were the vote would have been much more decisive than the 2:1 majority in the House of Bishops.
What to do? Mark Harris anticipates the possible reaction tomorrow to the passing of C056:
"If that happens, sure as the sunrise the day after tomorrow the howl will rise from those who have decided that that's the last straw, the Communion is broken, the end of all things Anglican has come, and it's all those damn Episcopalians' fault."
I wonder if we can do better than howl? I wonder also if we can avoid blaming people. Mark Harris predicts Episcopalians being blamed. But Midwest Conservative Journal places the blame squarely on Archbishop Rowan Williams shoulders. Swinging blame around like a cat in a hotel room achieves what?
Is it time to grow up as a Communion? TEC has made its future direction clear. Many will not like this. Probably more than those who do like it. Many will be angry that a lot of patience and generosity has been shown to TEC in the hope that it's direction might conform more closely to the Communion majority, to the mind of the Communion expressed in Lambeth 1.10 (1998). That is not to be. But does that mean howls and tantrums, splits and schisms must follow? Anger may be justified in the morning, but we should not go to our beds angry! It is going to take mature adult behaviour to handle this situation, to remain in relationship even with those we disagree with most severely. And the relationship may well change for a time, more an email and text relationship than an intimate face to face friendship.
For those conservatives most disappointed with TEC at this time, there is the challenge of remembering just who agrees with us: many who are still in TEC as well as those in ACNA. That is reason enough not to walk away from TEC even if for a time we feel the need to walk apart.
We might, incidentally, at this time congratulate Archbishop Rowan Williams for having the steel to walk this far with TEC, knowing, surely, that it would end this way, with American autonomy intact and the Communion, should foolishness prevail, in tatters.