The second Camp Allen meeting, spoken of as being of “the so-called “Windsor Bishops” in the Episcopal Church” by Bishop Jack Iker in his newsletter to the Diocese, is about over. Considerable energy has gone in to knowing just who was at the meeting and Stand Firm, in spite of its somewhat snotty remark accompanying the collecting of names, has done us a service in getting the names for us.
Stand Firm may be please to know that my bishop, Bishop Wright, was with a small clergy bible study group talking about his recent visit to Dover Air Force Base chaplains, those who daily receive the bodies of those who have died in
The Living Church reported, that “According to an online report, Bishop Wimberly characterized the meeting as including “a growing number of bishops from across the United States” when he wrote to diocesan clergy about the meeting last month.” Bishop Wimberly as over optimistic. There were twenty one Americans in attendance, including the bishop elect of
As to who specifically attended, see the Stand Firm list. Four new persons are attending, and five who were at the first are not attending the second.
Interestingly, Bishop Mark McDonald of Alaska, a late arrival at the first meeting is not in attendance, and just today the Living Church announced that he will become the “Anglican Church of Canada’s first National Indigenous Bishop with oversight over Canada’s first nation people.” He will continue to have oversight of Navaholand, which leads to an interesting question: to whose house of bishops will he belong? Bishop McDonald is a fine bishop and I wish him the best in his new work.
Archbishop Drexel Gomez, Primate of the Church of the West Indies, and Archbishop Donald Mtetemela, Primate of the Church of Tanzania, were present, as were the Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt and Bishop Tony Burton of Canada.
It appears then that the so called “Windsor Bishops” do not seem to be growing in number.
One of the interesting questions to be raised is this: Has the size of the realignment gang peaked?
The so called Windsor Bishops group is not getting larger; the Anglican Communion Network is not talking as much about its growth; the congregations that are now leaving are beginning to coalesce into groups that look like ‘continuing’ churches. The effort to realign the American church may become a fractured movement in which the end result is simply more continuing churches here in the
The Moderator of the Network was clearly concerned about this when he stated at Nashotah House, “The competitive denominationalism that characterized the Christian Church for most of the last five centuries could as easily come to characterize intra-Anglican relationships, particularly in
For the moment Balkanization seems to be winning the day. One example concerns the congregations in the Diocese of Olympia that have come under the direction of the Anglican Diocese of Recife. (Remember that the Anglican Diocese of Recife is an external diocese in the Province of the Southern Cone, not the Diocese of Recife, part of the Episcopal Church of Brazil. According to Virtueonline,
“Recently Bishop Cavalcanti made Clark the archdeacon of the North American Recife churches of which there are presently five congregations.
The Anglican Diocese of Recife is an anomaly; it is an overlay on an existing diocese, supported by another Province. It is the worse possible solution to conflicting interests in a particular jurisdiction. Now this anomaly has an archdeacon in the diocese of
Another part of the Balkanized world of Anglican (but not in Communion with
It appears that the Primate’s Meeting in February is going to be an occasion that will test many possibilities. There is a great deal at risk and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and not a few clenched smiles. Here are some of the elements in this strange mix:
- The Archbishop of Canterbury has invited the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, as he ought to have.
- The Archbishop of Uganda says that some Primates (himself so declaring) will not sit at the table with her.
- The Archbishop of Tanzania, who was just at the so called Windsor Bishop’s meeting, has explicitly disallowed any relationship with a bishop who has supported, voted of, condoned, or otherwise encouraged the ministry of gay or lesbian persons. That of course includes our Presiding Bishop.
is the host of the Primate’s Meeting. Tanzania
- The Archbishop of Canterbury is proposing to “invite two or three other contributors from that Province for a session to take place before the rest of our formal business” http://blog.edow.org/weblog/2006/12/blue_christmas.html#more Just who these will be is of some interest. In all likelihood this will include Bishop Duncan of the Network, but who else? Will there again be no one from the progressive community present? For some reason the Archbishop or his advisors seem to think that the elected leadership of the Episcopal Church IS representative of our progressive community. It is not necessarily so. More importantly, this meeting of the primates will be all about bishops and bishops plus. Very few of them are competent, by reason of non engagement with gay and lesbian persons, to speak to many of the issues at stake. But God forbid that Archbishop Akinola might have to flee the room because a gay person were invited as a “contributor” to meet with the Primates.
- Bishop Schofield is awaiting the directions of the Primates Meeting, as per his agreement with the Global South Bishops in
in December not to act further on diocesan level disengagement from the Episcopal Church until after the Primates Meeting. Washington
- The Global South Primates have put on hold their full support of Lambeth until they hear who will be invited, who not, and what the agenda will include.
- And today, the
has revealed that the Primates Meeting will receive a report from the Covenant Design Group, a group headed by Archbishop Gomez, lately attending the Windsor Bishops meeting. Here he is again. The Living Church Living Church“has learned that in addition to the Design Group’s chairman, Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies, a second primate, Archbishop John Chew of Southeast Asia, will be part of the team comprised of scholars, bishops and church leaders drawn from the United States, Africa, Britainand .” So the Design Team has two bishops who are part of the Global South Steering Committee, bishops who have met with the realignment folk in Washington in November. Singapore
This lastest news further stacks the deck: Archbishops Gomez and Chew will no doubt overlap with the AMiA primates, and have (in Gomez) with the Windsor Bishops, and will in other configurations with the Network. How does the Archbishop of Canterbury propose that any good can come from such knitting together of various conservative factions all at once? More, how can there be any voice for progressives heard in this context?
The Primates Meeting promises to be a disaster. I hope I am proved wrong. Nothing would be more delightful than to say that all went well. But it looks like a time for crash test dummies, high stakes gambling and wreckage.
Lent will be a welcome relief.