Sunday, February 6, 2011

Confusion and Conversation: the AC = GFIAC post 2011

Here is the Primus of Scotland on the Anglican Communion:

a "communion of independent churches"

Here is the Primate of The Episcopal Church on the Anglican Communion:

"Conversations can be difficult with anyone. If we're not willing to continue in conversation, there's not much opportunity for healing or reconciling. We need to come to the table," she said. "I certainly hope and pray that my brothers who've stayed away can find it in their hearts at some point to come back to the table."

No. It just will not do. A 'communion' is a fellowship, a joining together of members of the body of Christ. It is a body of interdependent members. It is a confusion (at best), maybe an absurdity or worse, to speak of a 'communion of independent churches.' But we thank the Primus for honesty. No more of that Windsor nonsense about interdependency. Thanks Windsor for the interesting detour, but no thanks. We are the 'communion of independent churches.'

Again, thanks for honesty to ++Jefferts Schori, the key to this new confused-about-communion, clear-about-independency body is 'conversation.' That is all that matters. Agreement, not needed. Intention to find agreement, not required. Conversation is all.

So here is the thing. Could ++Rowan and Kenneth Kearon and co please face facts, talk honestly, and be bold: rename this thing called 'the Anglican Communion.' It is now a fiction. Here is my suggestion:

Global Forum of Independent Anglican Churches (GFIAC).

And ditch the Covenant from this body. Replace it with 'the Anglican Conversation.'

Simple. Effective. Honest.

Then, maybe, some of us, committed to the Covenant and all, could rebuild a true Anglican Communion of Anglicans engaged with each other interdependently.

Cool!

(Yeah, I know, a large chunk of hubris re the rebuilding, so ignore that if you do not like it).

7 comments:

Hermano David | Brother Dah • veed said...

You are becoming more shrill CL.

Suem said...

You cannot keep people "in communion" anymore than you can force people to have a "shared mind" on the issues dividing us.

The Anglican Communion has long been a group of Provinces with their own automy, that is nothing new and you know it. What holds us in communion is grace and love. There have always been differences in beliefs and practice, but none so far which has divided us as this one of sexuality. I think we must face this, it is not actually TEC's views on the role of scripture, or even on sexual morality that have divided us. If these were the issues we would have split over women priests and remarriage after divorce.

In my view it is not an issue that is sufficiently central to the key tenets of Christianity to divide over. But -if one partner in a marriage wants a divorce, it does not matter if the other partner believes that the problems are not insurmountable and wishes to stay and work things out, it is to no avail.

If you are going to leave us - as it seems the global south, ACI and GAFCONites are going to do - then do so with good grace and set up on your own. You will be regretted and the door remains open, but just as with the Primates in Dublin, business will continue and life will go on in a sane, measured and adult way.

There really isn't a lot more to say than that.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Suem,
An interesting point to ponder is whether there is a difference between 'autonomy' and 'independence'!

I think there is a grace in leaving going on.

Members of churches such as ACANZP won't be leaving. I think members such as myself are entitled to raise the question of what is the most accurate name of the global thing we belong to. (Our church has had at least four different names, each reflecting a different stage in our journey to being what we are).

Bryden Black said...

Whose "table" now exactly might that be ...?!

Bryden Black said...

Whose "table" now exactly might that be ...?!

Anonymous said...

RE: "If you are going to leave us - as it seems the global south, ACI and GAFCONites are going to do - then do so with good grace and set up on your own."

Oh, I don't think there's going to be any leaving going on . . . I think the 13 non-attending Primates will be gathering and continuing on about their business just as TECusa and others are continuing about their business.


Hopefully the 13 will gather more as they consider what happened in Dublin.

Going to be a fascinating coming 10 years or so.


Sarah

Father Ron Smith said...

" But -if one partner in a marriage wants a divorce, it does not matter if the other partner believes that the problems are not insurmountable and wishes to stay and work things out, it is to no avail." - Suem -

Thank you, Suem. You have enunciated exactly what is at the heart of the Communion's disfunctionality at the moment. The disssidents (GAFCON and ACNA) have already proclaimed their writ of divorce from the rest of the Communion. There can be no going back - without repentance of their intentional schism.

Sarah's joyful looking forward to the freedom of the Dissidents to proclaim their own exlucivist dogma seems to give weight to Suem's understanding of what might turn out to be the very best that can be achieved by both parties to the split at the moment. It must be difficult for her to remain in TEC when she so mistrusts the veracity of the inclusivity of her P.B.'s version of The Gospel. I do hope she finds peace with her friends 'on the other side'.

I does us all good to remember that, whatever our own understanding of the matter: "God is Love!".