I have woken up in the night to this absurdity of our GS papers (motions, bills).
Suppose everything in the papers is approved "as presented."
Then: we would have (by 2018 confirming votes)
CHANGED DOCTRINE OF MARRIAGE
RADICALLY REVISED DOCTRINE OF ORDINATION
That is three sacramental actions of our church (sacraments to the catholic-minded among us) altered in a direction which can only be described as a progressive departure from our catholic heritage and a liberal embrace of new ways of thinking about rites which are core to our identity as a not wholly Protestant or Catholic church.
There are no prizes for being the most liberal, progressive Anglican church in the Communion.
Actually, I suggest we would be more than the most liberal, progressive Anglican church in the Communion. I suggest that we would be the least Anglican church in the Communion.
We could significantly begin to deconstruct ourselves as an Anglican church if we decide to change what we believe about all three sacramental actions in one hit. (Some might say we would simply be accelerating a deconstruction already begun).
Instead of being the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia we would be the Evolving Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
Through 2020 and 2022 synods we could work on the remaining sacramental actions and even have a go at the Dominical Sacraments of Baptism and Communion. After all, we are running out of water in NZ as we allow it to be bottled up and sold overseas ... but there is plenty of spare milk ... #justsaying.
On the other hand, at a pre General Synod meeting last night a good observation was made by one of Christchurch's GS reps (re the abolition of confirmation): constitutionally, can we actually make such a change? Confirmation is, after all, firmly embedded within our Fundamental Provisions.
Calling chancellors ... dialing now sir ... yes, they will take your call ... as soon as some other legal messes in our amalgam of canons and formularies are solved :)
Seriously: what kind of (Anglican) church do we want to be?
I do understand that each of the proposals for change of marriage, confirmation and ordination (via recognition of Methodist orders) has its own background of concern and desire to make progress on perceived and experienced difficulties or shortfalls in our life together, and that each has its own logic as a response to those difficulties and shortfalls. But I think it right to stand back from these individual proposals and ask the naive question what the accumulation of all three changes would mean for what kind of church we want to be.