So, let me see... there have been a variety of statements by Anglican "instruments" of unity about how dreadful it is for one Bishop to open up shop in another's diocese. And the news today? Well it appears that a congregation in North Carolina has left the diocese, its priest has been declared as having abandoned the ministry of this communion (meaning the Episcopal Church) and he and the congregation have opened up shop, same place same time, as a parish within the Ugandan Diocese of North Kigezi All of this is reported in The Living Church online addition. So much for moratoria on stepping in ecclesiastical cow patties outside your own farm.
Where is the call to accountability on this one?
And, for something entirely different, The Episcopal Partnership for Global Mission (EPGM) unanimously agreed to enact a moratorium until after the 2006 General Convention on welcoming new groups or acknowledging the departure of existing ones during its annual meeting held April 25-29. This too is reported in The Living Church online addition. What in the world are we supposed to do with this one? Dioceses are the basic unit, if you will, of episcopal churches. If we start weeding them out from one another on the basis of being troubled by them, and accepting only those we agree with, the handicap is too great to make betting on unity a reasonable proposition.
The list of moratoria grows, like tulips in the spring of the year. With the onslaught of the hot months the leaves will fall off the plesantries and we will be left to bind up the now yellowing leaves.
But then again the trouble with moratoria is that if they are really about stopping the clock, it only works if there is some sweet chance to start the clock again. And, of course, moratoria make running the race that is set before us quite impossible.