Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fruitful Sunday

Episcopal Cafe's The Lead picks up a collation of news and blog posts re the visit of Presiding Bishop Schori to New Zealand.

In its opening paragraph it offers this reasonable deduction from the items:

"Her first Sunday looks to have been a fruitful one."

I suggest it depends what is meant by 'fruitful.'

It was a fruitful Sunday in terms of participating in some lovely, warm, hospitable occasions. Some new friends were made. And on the part of those of us who heard ++Schori preach we got a first hand experience of the persona of this leading Primate in the Communion.

But was it a fruitful Sunday in terms of getting to know the reality of our church? When perceptions bounce across the internet about who is close in friendship and comradeship in the Anglican journey of the 21st century, it may or may not have been a fruitful Sunday in terms of perception meeting reality.

The experience of Sunday was of genuine warmth and hospitality. But the experience of Sunday (and the days preceding) was not of the fullness of our church. Some will interpret this visit as deepening the perceived closeness of relationship between ACANZP and TEC. But the reality is more complicated: a part of our church is strongly affectionate and admiring of TEC, while another part is both suspicious and, as previously posted by me, very concerned for Anglicans once part of TEC but now no longer, and another part is oblivious to what is taking place in our Communion. That last section of our church, I suggest, would be most concerned to find that in some eyes it was viewed as part of a church more likely to go where TEC goes than where the majority of the Communion goes. (Of course it would be delighted to find that the kerfuffle was over and the Communion was united!)

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