'The archbishop of Uganda yesterday urged hundreds of African bishops to shake off their fears, shame and superficial dependency and re-evangelise the "ailing" churches of the west.
In a rallying cry to the biggest constituency of the Anglican Communion, the Most Rev Henry Orombi said it was time for Africans to "rise up and bring fresh life in the ailing global Anglicanism".
His call came on the same day that US Episcopalians published a guide on liturgical and ceremonial resources for clergy and same-sex couples.'
[CORRECTION: Riazat Butt has written erroneously here, as pointed out in a comment below by Mark Harris. The guide was published by the United Church of Christ. The connection to TEC is that Bishop Gene Robinson has written the foreword. But that does not make it a 'US Episcopalian publication.']
Nice juxtaposition of "ailing global Anglicanism" and "US Episcopalians published a guide ..."! When 400 bishops gather in Africa at such a meeting, the "ailing" description does not refer to the African (or Asian) part of global Anglicanism. It is meant to point to Western Anglican churches where we struggle with numbers that at best are not increasing, and aging profiles that are not decreasing for typical congregations. The "US Episcopalians published a guide ..." line in some minds is always about whether TEC (in particular) has caused its own ailing by wrong-headed moves, and other churches (such as my own ACANZP) are ailing because of similar wrong-headed moves. "Wrong-headed" of course being some kind of foolish, self-destructive embrace of progressive theology.
There are many reasons why Western churches, including Western Anglican churches are either in decline or treading water. Embrace of progressive theology is just one of those reasons. But there is a searching question here which does not readily go away: if we are interested in stemming decline, reversing decline, and generally not "ailing", can we both embrace progressive theology and strategies which lead to growth? Is it one or the other or both?
Back to the Guardian article. Look at the photo. Seated in the front row are the Archbishop of Canterbury and