5/08/2006

I've Noshed Enough on the Windsor Report

I’ve noshed enough. One way or another I have spent the better part of eight months trying to make the most I could out of the Windsor Report. Voices I respect from the progressive side have labeled it and the Special Commission’s work in response as appeasement and betrail. Voices on the realignment side have had scattered responses – everything from almost worshiping the Windsor Report as a sacred text to dismissing it as far too gentle and wanting the recommendations to be understood as demands. No one has suggested how we might tell if the requests of the Windsor Report, call “invitations” were met.

My personal reflections on the Windsor Report, posted on this blog are as follows:
Windsor Nosh #1: Four really bad ideas in the Windsor Report
Windsor Nosh #2: The Bishops as Instruments of Communion
Windsor Nosh #3 On the Windsor Report "Speculation"
Windsor Nosh #4: Repentance and all that.
Windsor Nosh #5 , The Bonds of Affection - a really good idea

I hope they have added to the discussion in a useful way.

The sum of all this ruminating for me is that I continue to believe that the Windsor Report was and is intended to be part of a process – a process that is mostly talked about but untried. The Special Committee took the writers of the Windsor Report at their word, that the Windsor Report was indeed meant provide a way towards the restoration of communion and a means of strengthening the fellowship that is the Communion. That has apparently been dissatisfying to those who see the Windsor Report as itself fatally flawed or those who see the only response to be total conformity to its recommendations/ invitations.

I believe the General Convention will give the Windsor Report and the work of the Primates and the ACC great attention with an end to honest response. General Convention may perhaps engage the broad leadership of the Episcopal Church in the discussion of the value of the Windsor Report in ways that no other Province has yet done. What ever we do at General Convention, whether we accept or reject the invitations offered or respond in other ways, we will honor the Windsor Report.

Matters do not stand still, of course. The uncharitable and surly responses of the AAC and the Moderator of the Network suggest that the fact that the Diocese of California even had gay partnered candidates was an affront even if one was not elected. Thus, rather than even suggesting a congratulatory comment for the newly elected bishop of California, they have immediately taken up again the basic demand. That demand, as stated by the Network Moderator is this: “Repent of our decision in 2003 to confirm the election of a bishop in a same-sex partnered relationship and place moratoriums on further elections of bishops in same-sex partnered relationships as well as the blessing of same sex relationships.” Demands, of course, are not instruments of communion, but instruments of coercion. They are variations on the cry, “Off with their heads.”

I believe the moratoria, at least in the simplistic form of the invitation in the Windsor Report can not stand without serious reevaluation, and if stated as coercive demands will be rejected. And the demand that we “repent of our decisions in 2003” in any way that denies the reality that we have indeed consented to and the church has ordained Bishop Robinson, or the reality of the local exercise of pastoral office in blessing, is a demand that will go unmet.

The realignment crowd is either overplaying their hand or setting up conditions so that it will not matter what we do at General Convention, thereby giving them additional ammunition in their argument that the “real” presence of an Anglican Communion franchise lies elsewhere than in the Episcopal Church.

It is reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury is putting together a group of “wise men” to help him decide just what to do after General Convention. (It is an interesting phrase, “wise men” worthy of further conversation as we find out who they are.) But whoever they are, we might assume that they will help the Archbishop of Canterbury determine if the Episcopal Church has adequately addressed the concerns of the Windsor Report, the Primates and the ACC. I hope they are wise enough to spot the communion wrecking call from the AAC and the Network for what it is.

I would suggest that when we hear, “Off with their heads,” a wise response, echoing Lewis Carroll, would be to question whether or not the Queen, or in this case the princes and dukes of the Network and American Anglican Council, are off their rocker.


4 comments:

  1. I'm already feeling nervous about the selection of "wise men", for various reasons. First, are the only "wise men" in the Church those in episcopal orders? The Telegraph article indicates that two bishops are expected to be named.

    Secondly, is all the wisdom to be gathered on this issue to come from churches other than ECUSA? I think there is some "wisdom" in asking for some representation by those who stand to experience the most negative effects.

    (Of course, I won't even "go there" with the question of whether all the "wisdom" of the Church resides in "men"--I know better!)

    Good that you've stopped noshing on Windsor, it's time for more wholesome fare. There's as much spiritual nutrition there as in a bag of Doritos. A lot of noise and mess, but not much to provide sustenance or health for the long term.

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  2. 'The realignment crowd is either overplaying their hand or setting up conditions so that it will not matter what we do at General Convention, thereby giving them additional ammunition in their argument that the “real” presence of an Anglican Communion franchise lies elsewhere than in the Episcopal Church.'

    Needed to be repeated -- with the caveat that I think this has been true for a number of years now -- when I heard that at GenCon2003 the AAC folks were absenting themselves from the common Eucharist (even before the Robinson vote) I knew that the schism had already occurred -- they are staying in the hopes of attracting more people & property, but they are not people of good will

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  3. Last Sunday, we discussed again the goings on within the larger church. The whole GC06 and WR stuff, the nominees for PB, the election of Andrus to the episcopate in California, and, yes, the AAC/ACN attempts to discredit my bishop and diocese.

    Basically what I told my congregation was that, regardless of the issue or event, the AAC/ACN people are simply an unhappy lot. It doesn't matter what happens, they are upset about it, and they always find the negative spin.

    Besides being annoyed by them, I also feel some pity, as they seem to be eternally grumpy. It seems that their members will not be outwardly happy until they get their own sandbox.

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  4. "...they seem to be eternally grumpy." reverend ref

    Yes, grumpy and howl'n and terrified that they may be forced to discover reality and some other uncomfortable yet happy TRUTHS about LGBT folks.

    Remaining and stay'n macho Episcopalian/Anglican (and Godly too) and be'n a righteous, tythe pay'n, all-know'n and soul-kick'n, unsmile'n watchdoggie for our Lord (in all matters related to them/thar sinfilled, sneak'n around Episcopalian/Anglican Homosensualites) is the grumpfilled quest.

    Just listen:

    "It's a nasty bleak world out thar don't ya know when I think of all them steamed up Satanic Queer folks who are roll'n around and lov'n it up in them committ'd relationships of thars and they are try'n to make sacred convenants too...holy moley Maxine, next thang ya know they'll be liv'n it up and participat'n everywhere at church (and at picnics) and expect'n recognit'n for bee'n REAL authentic Christians people like us! Don't say I didn't warn ya, Johnnyboy, but they'll be embrass'n and embarrass'n each other and us while exchanging God's Peace right in the middle of 11:00 A.M. services too! I betcha they'll try hugg'n and kiss'n us too! They'll try anything to make us QUEER like them I'm told. I thank my lucky stars that Adam and Eve didn't live to see this Queer stuff happ'n to our Church!"

    ReplyDelete

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