Monday, August 8, 2022

Lambeth Conference 2022: the outstanding, unanswered questions maybe not what you think


In the background to what I write below, the following links may be helpful:

Global South Fellowship of Anglicans communique towards the end of the conference.

The Tablet report on Cardinal Koch’s address on Christian unity.

The Lambeth Conference website where all sorts of reports on the events and addresses of the conference are available.

A very helpful Church Times article on the course of events regarding sexuality at the conference in relation to the much talked about, twice edited, not voted on Call re Human Dignity.

Also worth bearing in mind as you read below re the future of the Anglican Communion is that while the Archbishop of Nigeria has not been to Lambeth, he has been able to travel recently to the USA dedicating new churches for the Anglican Diocese of the Trinity. This Diocese, in the territory of the USA, belongs to neither ACNA nor to TEC, it is an overseas Diocese of an Anglican church which is a member province of the Anglican Communion. That is, while the Anglican Communion has problems (see below), we live in a strange Anglican world in which a stern critic of the Communion, such as Nigeria’s Archbiship Ndukuba, cannot even trust GAFCON’s preferred alternative to TEC, i.e. ACNA, with the oversight and pastoral care of Nigerians in the USA. In passing, this looks like a culturally-attuned, highly contextual, locally-oriented solution to the care of Nigerian Anglicans in another jurisdiction! Apparently culture and context matter, even in GAFCON oriented churches.

Then, two analytical posts on the human sexuality debate at the conference by Andrew Goddard in the Psephizo blog run by Ian Paul*: Part One and Part Two.

*I happened to meet Ian, in person, for the first time, during the course of last week - a great pleasure!

The whole of Archbishop Welby’s final keynote address which is significant re Anglican missiology and ecclesiology.

The Anglican Communion This Week as #LambethConference2022 Concludes

Potentially there is a very, very large amount of things to say (for example reading the two posts noted above by Andrew Goddard on the Psephizo blog and commenting on them). There is also a lot to say about things which happened at the conference which were very interesting and worthwhile to me, but may not be to you, dear readers. Suffice to say, on that score, that I met a huge number of very lovely people who are very dedicated Anglicans in their respective parts of the Communion; that the conference discussed a range of topics and heard from a considerable number of speakers, so that there was no single issue which dominated the conference (whatever any external observer says otherwise); and that, if there is one takeaway from the conference it is this: no matter what the problems we can describe (see further above and below), the Anglican Communion is in good heart and will remain alive and lively for a very long time to come. It is not on its last legs. Even though some commenters I read appear to wish that into being so.

There could also be a lot to say trying to unravel the tangled knot of what we think we have done at the conference re human sexuality in the context of the Call paper on Human Dignity: have we managed (as I think we have) to formalise the fact that we are a Communion with a plurality of views on marriage? What does ‘plurality’ mean in this context? Is it the same as ‘adiaphora’ or indifference to the consequences of such views in relation to salvation and so forth. (I have had a bit of a go on that score via my Twitter feed @petercarrell if you care to chase that up). But lots is being said about such tthings (again, see, for instance, Andrew Goddard at the links above) and some conversations towards the end of the conference have got me thinking about some other problems the Communion has, which we haven’t really discussed.

If the Communion is in good heart at the end of this gathering of bishops from 39/42 provinces, as I think it is, that doesn’t mean that the heart of the Communion doesn’t need its valves tuned up or its blood supply lines refurbished!

Thus the outstanding, unanswered questions after #LambethConference2022 may not be what you think. They may not be whether the Communion can hold together or not, but what work is yet to be done on being a better Communion.

Incidentally, on the matter of holding together, I have come across this brilliant sentence in an article entitled, “Lambeth 2022: Justin Welby spoke and the great shadow faded”:

 Lambeth Conference 2022 will be remembered as a watershed when those in favour and those against same-sex relationships accepted they were not going to agree, but resolved to stay in the same Anglican Communion.

Authority: in a Communion Determined Not To have a Pope or Patriarch (or even resolutions!?), what is possible?

While we are somewhat self-congratulatory that we found a way through the sexuality issue at this Lambeth Conference with a good degree of love and forbearance as well as recognition of difference that has not gone away in 24 years since 1998 - as well as giving due credit to ++Justin for his leadership on the matter, especially on Tuesday last week - listening to conversations, reading some commentary, I see a need to work on the question of authority in the Communion, especially when we are keen on not having authority bound to an hierarchical structure which has a Pope or Patriarch at its apex. 

We weren’t even, this past week, keen on voting on resolutions. While that led us away from turmoil on sexuality, as someone pointed out in another context (re our ecumenical relationships) we have granted ourselves no mechanism as bishops-in-conference for saying anything distinctive or decisive in respect of ecumenical agreements which do need some kind of “mind of Communion” if they are to be agreed to, implemented, changed and so forth.

How do we get such mind of Communion on matters which (let’s assume, we are agreed) it would be good to have a mind of Communion on them?

On the one hand, I noticed here and there over the past few days some of the usual criticism of the Instruments of Communion: there is too much made of bishops since there is only one, the Anglican Consultative Council which includes clergy and laity as well as bishops. I find that a strange criticism since it presumes that bishops are incapable of bringing the mind of their dioceses with them to a Lambeth Conference.

On the other hand, we agreed this week that there should be a review of the Instruments of Communion, and that would be a good thing. Wherever that review leads, it would be good if an outcome were that we are committed to acknowledging the due authority of the New or Renewed Whatever in matters where we agree we need interdependence in governance. Such example would be ecumenical agreements between the Anglican Communion (on behalf of its member provinces) and other communions/churches.

On the third hand, do we also need to restate what it means for Scripture to be authoritative in our life as Anglicans? Much of this conference has demonstrated that we are committed to the authority of Scripture. That we heed its directions on matters of justice, of stewardship of the environment, of mission and evangelism, of offering the world the kingdom of God in place of other kingdoms. 

Further, the Bible studies, including the commentary on 1 Peter offered to the conference, have shown that there are challenges translating Scriptural injunction into aspects of life today. For example, 1 Peter 3 includes directions re women submitting to men that requires careful elucidation so that we understand its meaning for today in a different world to the first century AD and the dominating Roman Empire. Scripture is authoritative yet it also invites our engagement with it, so that we rightly divine it. Informally, there has been a low key “magisterium” - a commentary, a book of study notes for the small Bible study groups, the teaching of the ABC and the panel of people who contributed via video to his talks - helping us to land in a good place in respect of the authority of 1 Peter over us: how might that be explained in respect of questions of authority and the Communion?

Also worth some deep reflection on is the process of the Calls and their acceptance through this past few weeks (and, on beyond the conference, as feedback is received and reflected upon and possibly absorbed into new editions of the Call papers). Initially we were going to vote one way, then it was directed that we would vote another way, then we settled on no votes but opportunity to signal that collectively we demurred from rather than generally agreed with a paticular Call document. Frustrating though this might have been for those of us who delight in synodical process (moving amendments on the floor of synod, debating matters until such point of exhuastion that we put the motion to a vote, etc), this approach -a team working assiduously before the conference to draft a paper, small group discussion and feedback on the paper, and then subsequent work - has merits, not least in giving the Holy Spirit the chance to work in the cool of the days and weeks such process takes, and to speak through the voices of many making feedback, rather than being suppressed in the heat of the moment when a fiery rhetoricist moves a synod in a direction it later regrets. More simply: how might we discern the leading of the Holy Spirit for the Communion in such a manner that we accept the authority of that discernment as the voice of God for the church today?

Faith, Order and Unity: When Does Actual Ecumenical Change take Place

One theme through the conference has been the unity of the church - the unity of the Anglican Communion, the unity of the universal church of God as critical to the witness of God’s people to the reconciling love of God, the provisional nature of Anglicanism because God’s plan for the church is a plan for the catholic church, not just for the Anglican church or, indeed, for the Roman Catholic Church - all underlined by the delightful presence of ecumenical observers from  many churches. Very much, John 17 and Jesus’ high priestly concerns for unity and mission. 

Now, I am a little out of date with ecumenical moves on the global level, but apart from the obvious matter of the Anglican Communion not being united at this time, I learned that at the global level there is concern that, to use a technical expression, nothing much is happening. Some kind of ecumenical chill has set in, I gathered.

One of the points made - and, sorry, I cannot recall by whom - is that our reflections through the conference have highlighted the fact that unity is not an optional extra for the keener Christians, the ones who eccentrically think it good to add to their list of meetings by turning out for ecumenical meetings as well as their own local church meetings. It is not even that Christ prayed that we might be one so we jolly well ought to be. The point is that our gospel is a message of God’s reconciling love for the world inviting all into God’s house (God has only one home). To be divided is to undermine the gospel. To be separated is to fail to attest in our own being as church to the character of the gospel.

What is to be done?

Apart from continuing work on our own Anglican “house” at this time (which we will be doing), an unasnwered question from the Lambeth Conference 2022 is what the Anglican Communion might do to play its part in fostering real ecumenical change.

There are, dare I say it, some other questions - questions for the internal life of provinces - about the unity of each of our provinces. Table talk tells me that tribalism is a problem in some provinces, if not in many provinces.


There is, to be sure, a big question about how we go forward as a Communion with difference and intent to remain together in some form or other.

But the outstanding, unanswered questions from this Lambeth Conference may be more than that, and, dare I say it, more significant than that.


Anonymous said...

Apocalyptically: because what God does is prior to what we think about it, never mind rules based on what we say that we think that we think, authority among us is most organic as *paradosis*. Three alternatives to that-- theoretical, institutional, and criminological-- have failed. The postmodern condition, yet again, but zombie modernism is still shambling about eating brains.

Global discernment is applied christology. That explains Lambeth Conferences.

But why the national principle? Is it a positive expression of the Father's will for humanity, or a post-Fall delusion from which the elect Body emerges as a holy cosmopolis? The Archbishop of Nigeria may simply be our Lefebvre, but one cannot evaluate what he does from scripture without a dialogue with the text about Israel and the nations.


Anonymous said...


It is not a stretch to imagine a future with say a dozen or more churches in the United States that Communion members elsewhere regard as more or less Anglican. Who can count the Orthodox churches in America without a directory?

American law is, by Enlightenment design, unhelpful to church unity, so even the churches of the continent's settlers have divided over time. But the economics of immigration explain both why the Orthodox could not stay united, and why a foreign archbishop is very tempted not to share cash with an American church.

Percentages vary by country, but a large minority of "immigrants" are just economic migrants earning in this country to send remittances to another country and perhaps retire there. They do not choose to be Americans.

But the churches that cater to them include majorities that do plan to stay. They institutionalise ethnic churches outside the mainstream of American church life.


Mark Murphy said...

I suppose all this thinking is necessary, at least for those concerned with Anglican structures.

It is far from the conference's goal of being more outwardly focussed, nor is it 'inward' in a way that meets the inward, spiritual concerns and experiences of people I interact with who would never darken the door of a church.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks Bowman and Mark for thoughtful responses.

Mark: questions of authority still apply to the matters you raise (e.g. Who speaks for the Communion as a body with one voice protesting against, say, war in Ukrainee? What common liturgical life informs spiritual quests around the Communion?) What I have raised could be treated as examples of concerns which are not That Topic.

Anonymous said...

I googled the Latin at the head of the blog and am amused but disagree. I follow it all with interest even when struggling to understand! Please continue +Peter and all of you.

Anonymous said...

"plurality of views on marriage"

Or, elegantly, the end of being a busybody, of having views on other people's lives and other peoples' laws for the mere satisfaction of it.

Here up yonder, the civil question was never, would SSM comport with the theory of marriage of more than half of the voters? It was: what legitimate purpose of the state is served by granting legal recognition to some adult couples but not others? Unable to find one, judges ordered governments to register all consenting couples on the same basis.

For many, the ecclesiastical question was similar: if Christians of the same sex judge that they are safer in an SSM than not, who are we to oppose that discernment? The couple are the ones running the risk.

If one happens to be a classical Protestant, there is a further consideration: fear that God's disfavour toward one is implacable can disastrously fulfill itself if, because of that fear, one abandons faith, hope, and love. So if non-recognition of a marriage poses that grave danger to a disciple with SSA, how could one prudently risk that?

Kindly note that this modest pragmatism comports as well with the "view" of Westboro Baptist Church as with the "view" of Metropolitan Community Church. But it best of all fits the sceptical temper of Anglicans who suspect that every zealot knows more than is likely true.


Peter Carrell said...

There, Bowman, in one comment is the desideratum on this matter for the Communion, which, if achieved, could see peace break out …

Mark Murphy said...

I favour Christians having much more to say publically, communally, about sexuality, sex, and erotic desire than you perhaps support, Bowman. I do think these issues are deeply (symbolically) connected with the debate around marriage, and perhaps give it such force. It's not just that people like to lecture other people on sex.

Private spaces and self-determination are important, absolutely. Being a busybody is odious.

But a sort of Anglican minimalism around sex - the church shouldn't make windows into other people's bedrooms - while useful in some politico-legal contexts, is personally inadequate for fathers, mothers, gay and straight young people, etc., who need and want to talk about this powerful, life shaking human energy without splitting it off from their consciousness of God. I don't want the church to be neutral on this, which is perhaps the common ground of both the Global South and Progressive camps.

Sex is deeply bound up with spirituality, not least because intimate relationship, physical ecstasy, and sexual 'union' is often where the Spirit gushes up, having abandoned the relative sterility of churchly life.

Father Ron said...

Here are wise words from a Pope, rich in years and wisdom, that could well have been usefully preached to the assembled Bishosp at Lambeth:


“There are two possible views we can have towards the world in which we live: I would call one “the negative view”, and the other “the discerning view”. The first, the negative view, is often born of a faith that feels under attack and thinks of it as a kind of “armour”, defending us against the world. This view bitterly complains that “the world is evil; sin reigns”, and thus risks clothing itself in a “crusading spirit”… We are called, instead, to have a view similar to that of God, who discerns what is good and persistently seeks it, sees it and nurtures it. This is no naïve view, but a view that discerns reality.”
Pope Francis"

Perhaps our beloved 'ANGLICAN COMMUNION' of Churches need to come to terms with the reality of 2 very different ways of looking at the Mission of Christ to the World:

1. 'orthodox' - Via Negativa, (Inward - Backward-focussed - Become Holy like US - or perish) - and:

2. 'missional' - Via Positiva.(Outward- Forward-oriented - A Family of self-acknowledged Poor Sinners showing other Poor Sinners where to find Bread)

(I know which one I was born - and re-born into by Baptism - and am striving to please God)

Mark Murphy said...

I find this too dualistic, Ron. We end up projecting our shadow onto the other and not really seeing them.

Plus: there is so much wisdom in the inward, via negativa!

Anonymous said...

Mark, at 7:22 you have not understood my position.

Nor can I confidently construe your words at 7:22 in a Christian sense.

Given the overlap of our interests, the impasse may be more interesting and consequential than either argument. But I do not see a way to pursue that today.


Anonymous said...

The *via negativa* (aka apophatic way) describes God through statements that specify what God is not

Example: The Cloud of Unknowing.

The *via positiva* (aka kataphatic way) describes God through positive statements.

Example: Article I of the Thirty-Nine Articles.


Mark Murphy said...

Hey Bowman

Yes, I am thinking you are more focussed on polity and eccelesiology in your comments...but my point is these discourses became symbolic for other questions which is also what explains the *force* of debates on That Topic.

Rowan Williams wrote some beautiful, 'via positiva' articles on the body and sexuality, but disappointed many by adopting an ecclesiology as Archbishop that seemed quite distant from his personalist writings. I don't know what that has to do with anything but it is crossing my head.

Anonymous said...

No, Mark, my 6:24 recalls that the Episcopalians who first permitted SSM in US churches neither needed nor adopted a theological opinion about what it means. Those who like to debate these things did debate them, but what moved the votes of accountants, physicians, professors, bankers, executives, etc was a strong disinclination to inhibit any diocese from conforming to the law of its state.

Rowan Williams memorably attended a General Convention back then. In the course of it, he explained the global uproar that had followed the election and ratification of Gene Robinson. Delegates were sorry to hear about murderous Muslims in Africa, but pushed back hard against his implication that TEC should rein in its sovereign dioceses to keep the rest of the world peaceful. If Robinson had the right churchmanship and CV, the standing committees of the dioceses had no basis for denying the good people of New Hampshire their chosen bishop.

As a theologian, Rowan knew that TEC was slightly liberal. But as ABC, he was startled to discover that a church with dioceses from Taipei to Texas to Tbilisi was also too decentralised for say the Presiding Bishop to demand accommodations from her 111 dioceses. Having neither the sweet reasonableness of a Welsh village, nor the proper accountability of an English province, TEC had nobody with whom he could deal. He appears to have tempered his ecclesiology a bit thereafter.


Mark Murphy said...

Dioceses in Taipei and Tblisi - really?

Anonymous said...

More precisely, Mark, Taipei is the see of the Diocese of Taiwan, and Tbilisi is a mission in a diocese of the Convocation. But I like alliteration.

Yes, this list is insane. We have churches in Rome. Rome, I tell you! (waving hands) Do you now understand why I occasionally think about ecclesiology? No, not like you will.

At the height of TEC-hate several years ago, some not far from the presiding bishop pondered the godly wisdom of merging with the Union of Utrecht and then joining the Porvoo Communion. One, two. Lickety-split.

At the time, *Global Realignment^ seemed inevitable to happy warriors. But if the Global South did not want communion with TEC, Old Catholics in Europe had signaled that they wanted more than that. Merged with them, TEC would be an even more Continental church than it is. As such, TEC could join the Porvoo Communion which includes the Anglican churches of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Spain. (Yes, Spain.) That was the dream.


(1) Even more meetings in Europe to attend. It's nice having a cathedral in Paris, but there are good pastry chefs in other cities too.

(2) Old Catholics. To a large and often bruised ex-RCC constituency in TEC, this would mean that the Catholic Church at its most traditional and yet most progressive had joined them. And this would roughly double the size and density of the Convocation.

(3) Lutherans. Porvoo's other members are national churches of Scandinavia and territorial churches in Germany. TEC was already closer to the ELCA in the US than to most of the Communion. In a host of ways, Anglican software runs much better on the Lutheran OS than on the Reformed one. It would feel great to be in a communion with just enough theological clarity.

(4) Canadians. Many expect a TEC-ACC merger someday anyway. Maintaining separate churches for the United States and Canada is an expense few denominations can afford. In Alaska and some borderlands, it's missionally silly.

But what about Canadian *national* identity? That's a slippery fish, eh?

The thought was that because Canadians could more readily form a multinational church than join a US church, the Utrecht-Porvoo move would draw the maritime provinces of Canada in and the rest of the ACC along after them.

(5) Africa. If the hypothesis is that TEC is no longer in, or is heavily sanctioned by, a hostile Anglican Communion, then why not send missionaries to ordain women and gays in oh... where?... who needs them most?... Nigeria! And what are they going to do about it, start a diocese in the US?

More charitably but still soberly, in is in and out is out. We should be doing our part for churches in Africa that are not ashamed to kneel at the foot of the cross with us. Those churches might not be in the Anglican Communion.

Now all this was just a fever dream of liberal New Yorkers long ago in the unhappy past. Global Realignment is not a thing anymore, so there is no chance that TEC will be out of the Communion. No need to pull this file out of whatever forgotten cabinet it is lost in.

Or is it the way we jump start both missions and ecumenism around the North Atlantic?

What's happening in the South Pacific these days?


Anonymous said...


The above game of Go is helpfully concrete, if you like parisian pastry, but abstraction can be clearer.

The C20 ecumenical movement was formed on the back of an earlier missions movement. Anxious not to compete, missionaries met to establish frameworks for collaboration. Eventually such frameworks required deeper reflection at the level of faith and order and an ecumenical movement to do that was born.

One could imagine a church like ACANZP having internal and external missionary objectives and alliances with other collaborating churches. To keep those objectives and alliances clear it might have agreements. Those missionary agreements embody shared theological understandings necessary to the task. Just so, they are also ecumenical agreements.


Anonymous said...

Why is it that only 3 bishops from our church signed the LGBT affirmation when our general synod voted to approve same sex blessings. Why was your name not on it Bishop Carrell?

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark

"Taipei and Tblisi - really?"

More precisely, Taipei is the see city of the Diocese of Taiwan, and Tbilisi is a mission of the Convocation. In the moment, I liked the alliteration. Taipei, Tulsa, and Tbilisi would have been perfect.

"Dioceses in Taipei and Tblisi - really?"

There are bishops over territories with churches in them. Technically, yes, dioceses.

The Diocese of Taiwan is a legacy of TEC's energetic missionary work in the C19-20.

TEC's Convocation-- as distinct from the CoE's Diocese of Gibraltar-- is very sparse. Tbilisi's bishop is in Paris.

The Convocation used to be seen as a string of chaplaincies for Americans congregated in Europe. But some have truly gone native (Paris) and others have been missions from the start (Tbilisi).

For perspective, past waves of missionary work have also given TEC a dense presence in Haiti and the Caribbean, and a more diffuse one in down the Pacific Coast of Latin America. This is how Francis met Anglicans in Argentina.

For a bit more perspective, consider the longest undefended border in the world, the US-Canadian one across the continent. Away from major waterways, the land on both sides is sparsely populated with people in agriculture, mining, or drilling. (A few weeks ago, William missed that Episcopalians in Northern Michigan are the descendants of miners from Cornwall, but correctly noted that there are not many of them. Scarcely anyone can make a living up there.) Anchorage rather depends on Vancouver, and even with the language difference, Montreal and Boston are not strangers. Missionally, is it helpful to anyone that TEC and ACC are distinct churches?

Anonymous said...


(1) About TEC-- and all Anglican churches-- the blogosphere knows more than is true and less than is helpful. The truth is stranger than the polemical fictions of happy warriors. In the kingdom, cycles of prayer for unheard of places matter more than we think.

(2) In a global Body, ecclesiology is the overlap of missions and the ecumene. If one truly cares about either of the latter, then one must eventually care about the other too, and some vision of the godspell spilling out across space will emerge. Or one was never serious about any of it.

(3) In other news, classes and so their class wars, have become global. Those who do not believe that the Son is the unity of all will see everything through that lens. This is a soul-eating malady exploiting a primordial vulnerability of human nature. Until they believe, the direct and humane response to them is: repent and believe the gospel that your soul may be saved from your hate.

(4) Missions per se are not colonies. But because what became the Communion often spread with British colonisation and empire, the two are often conflated. Since for those of a liberal temper, spirituality is often a reaction against their cultural matrix, missions to spread that matrix can seem depressingly anti-spiritual. Conversely, when those of a conservative temper do not distinguish lucidly between the matrix of Now and the kingdom that is Not Yet, they may not notice that missionary work is precisely leaving that matrix behind on a spiritual quest to rely only on God.

So the journals of actual missionaries are largely about prayer and their adaptations to strange people, and the lore of say the Church Missionary Society is as much about spirituality as logistics. Much as one cannot go far in ecumenism without doing missions too, so one cannot go far in spirituality without putting it to some test of sole reliance on God. Missions result.

(We usually associate that reliance with eremitic vocations but then forget that, until the still-suspect recent past, monasticism has been the perennial backbone of missions and that monastics definitionally seek frontiers, wilderness, and otherness. In those settings, is one a monk or an evangelist? Is one carrying something one has brought to the margins, or was one taught precisely why and how to wait for God there? Whether we're talking about Jonathan Edwards in the Berkshires or Henri le Saux [Abhishiktananda] in South India, it's both or it's neither.)

(5) So when we hear the risen Lord command the apostles to go to all nations, we should hear this, not simply as the historical backstory of why they then did that, but as a sound picture of what one does when one finally grasps what the Resurrection is and so indeed what baptism is.


Anonymous said...

"Why is it that only 3 bishops from our church signed the LGBT affirmation..."

I claim no inside knowledge. I was here, the Conference was there, and they are all wherever.

But my guess is that all responded to Badi's stunt after their fashion. Three countered it by signing on to a counter-stunt. The others ignored both stunts as distractions and indeed subversions of the deliberative process that they had traveled half a world to attend.

If one frames the Conference as a battlefield in an everlasting battle for and against LGBT folk, then the signers made the obvious choice. But if one instead frames the alternative as one between peace in the process and war in the two stunts, then + Peter and all the rest wisely and faithfully stayed above the fray.

Aren't bishops there to represent their churches? No. They do much more than voting. When they do vote, it is as individuals, not as churches.

Because the Son unifies all things, those who truly believe in him make peace at all times, but especially when a church is manifesting its unity in him. But because his Body is a *corpus mixtus*, not everyone in a church is a believer. There have always been bishops at Lambeth Conferences who were too faithless or maybe too confused to live in his unity.

But in a world more wired than it was, stunts like those can do real harm. One guesses that some future Conference will either have its disrupters deported from the United Kingdom, or risk losing some of its capability and influence to another, more impervious instrument.

In is in-- a place of responsibility-- out is out.


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes yes to this latest comment Bowman especially 5. Mission is the calling of all who love the Lord.

Father Ron said...

Dear Bishop Peter, and your esteemed readership; may I again offer w word or two of comfort from a friend of mine - who like myself, is facing a limited time in this world - and is taking note of the wisdom of Ecclesiasticus on how we spend the rest of our days:


“Here, on earth, the process of our “novitiate” begins: we are apprentices of life, who – amid a thousand difficulties – learn to appreciate God’s gift, honouring the responsibility of sharing it and making it bear fruit for everyone. The time of life on earth is the grace of this passage. The conceit of stopping time – of wanting eternal youth, unlimited wellbeing, absolute power – is not only impossible, it is delusional.”
Pope Francis

"Through ALL the hanging scenes of life - in trouble and in joy -
The glories of my God I'll sing in tones of Holy Joy!"

Father Ron said...

Dear Bishop Peter, I've just been looking in on the web-site 'Anglican Unscripted' in the U.S.A. - the favourite Gossip site for ACNA and GAFCON enthusiasts. After watching an interview with the Chair of GAFCON (Foley Beach, who is also the Archbishop of ACNA -that's how close the two entities are working) by Kevin Carlson; I also looked in on the gossip between Carlson and his buddy, George Conger, speaking of an evil spirit taking over the Anglican Communion, which can only be defeated by a re-organisation via GAFCON presumably.

if people have the stomach to look in on the linked video, they can judge for themselves how authentic this accusation might be. Frankly, I was appalled!

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Recent Commenters,
Thank you for comments.
Anonymous: please give your name next time.
BW makes important points re letters/signing.
I am not happy with letters I am not part of composing, am asked to sign, and then when I don’t sign am asked to explain myself!

David said...

I hope Father Ron meant through all the changing scenes of life.

As opposed to Through all the hanging scenes of life.

Anonymous said...

Well, we do hang together even when we can't quite change together.


Father Ron said...

How blessed is old age, when we can resonate with this wisdom:


“An old age that is consumed in the dejection of missed opportunities brings despondency to oneself and to others. Instead, old age lived with gentleness, lived with respect for real life, definitively dissolves the misconception of a Church that adapts to the worldly condition, thinking that by so doing it can definitively govern its perfection and fulfilment. When we free ourselves from this presumption, the time of aging that God grants us is already in itself one of those “greater” works Jesus speaks of… Our life is not made to be wrapped up in itself, in an imaginary earthly perfection: it is destined to go beyond, through the passage of death – because death is a passage. Indeed, our stable place, our destination is not here, it is beside the Lord, where he dwells forever.”
Pope Francis

Father Ron said...

Dear David. You are so right. I am against Capital Punishment- but OPEN to change! AGAPE!

Anonymous said...

Father Ron, if "all you need is love," then you surely don't need Anglican Ink.


Anonymous said...


In principle (my 8:06), I would cheerfully collaborate *on missions* with an ecumenical partner-- say the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Mennonite General Conference, the Assemblies of God, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or the Anglican Church in North America. Any of these could bring something valuable to a joint effort.

All differ from my church in something. To work effectively in the Lord, it would make sense for us to discuss the effect of those differences on the joint work.

But it would not be healthy for either side to speculate much on the internal dynamics of the other. Without belonging, being there, and participating, one cannot know anything about that for sure.

In is in; out is out.