GENERAL RE ACANZP's GENERAL SYNOD in FIJI
Perhaps the best way to keep in touch with Fiji is TweetChat here. The second best way is through the Facebook group Hinota Whanui. (As I understand it, you can look at the Tweetchat without being a signed up Twit, but you need Facebook membership to see what is on Hinota Whanui. Incidentally, lots of photos at the latter).
For main articles go to Taonga.
Indianapolis, head to Titus One Nine. England, head to Thinking Anglicans.
MONDAY a.m. 9 JULY
Not much happening, anywhere, save for a slight frisson of excitement that, maybe, perhaps, the vote in England on women bishops will be postponed to, yet again, consider the legislation.
In reflecting on our own General Synod proceedings, one of the more interesting proposals to be considered is for Tikanga Maori to have more say in the utilization of the funds in trust with the St John's College Trust Board. This is interesting on at least two counts.
First, were some kind of unilateral access to these funds be agreed, then, effectively, our three tikanga structre would be broken. Not least because one implication of Maori control over, say, 50% of the funds, would mean Pakeha and Polynesia having access to the remaining 50%, at which point, effectively, Pakeha and Polynesia would be combined into one "tikanga". Further, in that arrangement, Polynesia would lose its current status as an equal partner. Such considerations could well be the Synodical brake on any such proposal being agreed to.
Secondly, were some new arrangement entered into, it would deepen Maori dependency on those funds for the economy of its mission and ministry. There is no doubt that greater funding would assist in various ways. My question (previously raised here on ADU) is whether the very process of engaging with these funds would steer Tikanga Maori away from what I see as the primary strategic question about their mission: what weight will be placed on developing Sunday congregational life, around Word and Sacrament, with the aim of extending the range of rohe (parishes) in which stipended ministers of the gospel work out their apostolic role?
SUNDAY a.m. 8 JULY
Fiji: members of GS will be rising to temperatures warmer than my undisclosed location in NZ! Essentially today is the day when GS gets going through a pleasant haze of welcomes and services.
My reflection as I arise is whether our church is drifting towards a left-wing sectarianism. The strength of our church in these islands through its brief history has been its theological and ecclesiological comprehensiveness. But reading the haze of Tweets and picking up some of the straws in the wind about this and that in our life, I wonder if some of those pushing various issues are considering the full effect of their pushing. There is a difference between being an "inclusive" church and being a "comprehensive" church. Here I do not want to argue for the latter against the former, but to ask the question whether we can aspire to be both inclusive and comprehensive?
Indianopolis: TEC GC gives communion without baptism short shrift.
England: please tell me if there is something to look out for, apart from WATCHing for the progress on legislation re women bishops. Generally Thinking Anglicans is the place to go to for updates on GS business there.
Response to request from Bosco Peters re TPMC policy/proposals re educational priorities. Go here.
SATUDAY 7 JULY
Appropriate this morning to have Matthew 9:9-17 as the Daily Eucharist Gospel reading. These words are what Jesus is saying to the church whenever we meet about our polity and policy:
"No one puts a piece of unshrunken cloth onto an old cloak, because the patch pulls away from the cloak ad the tear gets worse. Nor do people put new wine into old windeskins; otherwise, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are lost. No, they put new wine in fresh skins and both are preserved."Of course, mostly our experience of synods and conventions is putting unshrunken cloth onto an old cloak. Amending and adjusting our rules and regulations, policies and budget pennies, is about incremental change. And sometimes we wake up years later, debating same old, same old issues and wonder where the increments went to!
Anyway, onwards and upwards, to Fiji, to Indianapolis and to England. This post will be an updating one through the days ahead (as best as I can keep up on limited internet connection).
Fiji: Taonga will keep us up to date re the official news service of our church. I note it has at least one report from the pre-GS meeting of the pakeha dioceses (= Inter Diocesan Conference (IDC)). Watch for Bishop Kelvin "the only blogging bishop in our church" Wright. He already has one post up.
Indianapolis: Catching my eye this morning are two items, one re the ongoing move to discipline or punish or at least corral errant bishops, and another re the possibility of selling HQ in wealthy downtown New York. Interesting to think about how both relate to the theme of 'new wineskins.'
England: nothing catching my eye at the moment.