Will our friends at Inclusive Church be pissed? I'm damned sure they will be pissed. Tough darts. Every interview with the likes of Chris Sugden spewing his Puritan bile was immediately followed by an interview with somebody on the other end of the stick whose right to speak for the whole Church was equally in no way well founded. The workers and the peasants may not be terribly organized but the cadre needs to be accountable. Those who consider themselves the vanguard need to take the rest of us poor sods into the equation. Nothing good can emerge from things we might do on a Saturday afternoon at the chancel steps that couldn't be written up in the parish magazine. If the events of the last few days force that discussion - well it's probably been long overdue.Any wonder I put everything else on hold? And for even more of the "Wish I'd Said That!:"
What about the other burden? That placed upon those who were looking forward with great glee to the explusion of TEC from the Anglican Communion and the public flaying of its Presiding Bishop. Well, they didn't get that. What had they wanted? It's a small world. People talk and share notes. They wanted what, in a UK context, Chris Sugden was stupid enough to put on paper before he had any real support for it. They wanted their own rabbit runs for mission apart from the rest of us. They wanted to build independent charismatic churches with along the lines of Saddleback Church but with Anglican signage. They wanted a covenant which included mention of infallible and authoritative Scriptures including the bits that Paul never wrote - a covenant which would exclude anybody who believed in a Word which was not necessarily identifiable with the written text. They wanted those within to be able to troop solemnly into a room once a year and sign this or that statement on the primacy of the Bible in all matters of ethics and daily life. They wanted their own bucket - their own envelope called 'church' wherein they had control and could call the shots. They wanted to be named TEC's replacement. They wanted their own house of bishops - they wanted a route to ordain their own candidates. They wanted to be able to pull in candidates exclusively from the Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry or Moore College in Australia or Oak Hill in the UK or whatever other madrassa they chose to add to the list. They wanted something which was from bottom to top its own organization. They wanted most of us out.
What they got was jack shit. The suggestion they got from the Primates was for a temporary measure of a primatial vicar who will work with the Peeb and a clear intention on the part of the Primates to move together those things which have fallen apart. They got fellowship with ordinary Episcopalians. Doubtless the wrangling has only begun. They all ran off whispering to send emails. They went into conclaves. It's not over by any stretch of the imagination and it is not in their interests to make the Primates' suggestions bear fruit. In the long run it may prove to be in yours.
For those of you following the discussions at the Primates' meeting in Dar Es Salaam the final communique with an appended schedule is now available. On very first glance I'd have traded some of the good news of the last few days for some better news here.I may just retire.
On the other hand - one does tend to become partisan in the midst of a dispute. There are no doubt some subtleties both in the present documents and in the past unpleasantness which need to be pondered.
"Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope"
Well, that last part's blown now!