As I continue to find it difficult to put together my (cogent? coherent? conservative? charitable?) submission for the new working party re A Way Forward for our church (announcement of the make up of the party on 1 September?), I notice moves abroad. Up Yonder, in the C of E, there is a proposal to form a new synod of conservative English Anglicans.
Thinking Anglicans has a report here.
Archbishop Cranmer has a copy of an address given by Dr Gavin Ashenden to a meeting of the parishes working on forming the new synod.
I personally find addresses such as Gavin Ashenden's a challenge to digest. When he questions where a process of liberalization ends up, he rightly asks of his church whether it knows what it is doing. Although he does not mention it, he might have observed that recently the Dean of Salisbury offered a blessing for a gay pride festival. Is that general blessing to a festival supportive of a range of lifestyles consistent with being a church committed to monogamous, faithful marriage?
On the other hand, I find Ashenden tough on women. Feminism is, in the end, a bad thing. The patriarchal bias of the Bible does women no disservice because the Bible teaches "headship" which is the core and cornerstone of right socialization. All is well when men are in charge. His vision for a male-led church is not my vision for a church which includes Spirit-filled, Spirit-gifted men and women in the ministry of leadership.
Anyway, where will these various moves within the C of E end? What influence will they have on ACANZP?
For myself, as I continue to contemplate the final version of my submission to the working party (by 1 October), my perspective on events Up Yonder and Down Under is that it is a challenge to find the a responsible, biblical ethic for 21st century Western Anglicans which is also a continuation of our heritage through the preceding centuries.
POSTSCRIPT: Another way of looking at this kind of situation in the "big picture" is that the Anglican church is always three potential churches in the making: two "either/or" churches and one "both/and" church.
The two "either/or" churches are the edgesof the church that want things to be either "this" or "that" (e.g. extremely conservative or extremely progressive; "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" and no truc given to "Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer" or "Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer" and never the use of "Father" or "Son").
The "both/and" is the great, broad, middle church that wants (e.g.) everyone to get along, freedom to use either "Father, Son, Holy Spirit" or "Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer" or both, adherence to traditional marriage and blessing of same sex partnerships, use of BCP and modern prayer books.
The shadow synod proposal in Tunbridge Wells via Ashenden's address is - on this perspective - both a prototype for a possible breakaway and an attempt to somehow keep one edge within the CofE fold.
Incidentally, I didn't invent the great, broad, middle Anglican church: it simply exists!