The Living Church article can be read HERE. In it, TLC says,
"The letter was signed by the following bishops:
• John W. Howe, Central Florida
• James M. Stanton, Dallas
• Jeffrey N. Steenson, Rio Grande
• Edward L. Salmon, Jr., retired, South Carolina
• Don A. Wimberly, Texas
• Gary W. Lillibridge, West Texas
• D. Bruce MacPherson, Western Louisiana"
What Brad Drell did not say was that the Windsor Bishops have a Steering Committee. TLC reports, "In their letter the bishops refer to themselves as "The Steering Committee of the Windsor Bishops."
I have highlighted those bishops who are part of the Anglican Communion Network. Four of the seven are Network bishops. Six Network Bishops did not sign. We might suppose this is because the bishops signing the letter are "The Steering Committee of the Windsor Bishops" rather than the whole number of those attending one of the two Windsor Bishops meetings (about 22 folk).
This "Steering Committee" is a new item on the Episcopal horizon. Its network members have been at times more moderate (or at least less vocal) than others and their identification at this time as Windsor Bishop, on the "Steering Committee" is of some interest to those of us who have read what Fr. Dan Martins suggests on his blog, namely that five or so of the Network bishops are set to bolt.
Assuming the good intentions of those on the "Steering Committee" to stick to the task, at least for the moment, we look to the remaining six for the "sub-group of some five dioceses within the Anglican Communion Network" who are planning some step out into whatever. So those dioceses are: San Joaquin (named by Fr. Dan himself), Pittsburgh, Springfield, Albany, Fort Worth and Quincy. My bet is that Albany is stepping back, not yet identified with the Windsor Bishops (the bishop is new) and with a lot of healing to do, what with the former bishop going to Rome on retirement and the suffragan going to CANA.
Well, all of that is conjecture and remains so until some point in the future. But when? Fr. Dan suggests that we (or he) can "expect to know more--a great deal more--in less than a week's time." What is happening in a week…ah! The Archbishop of Nigeria is coming to a spot just outside Washington, DC, in Virginia, to install Bishop Minns (and make no doubt about it, he is a bishop) as bishop of CANA, the seed of a province in waiting.
Perhaps there will be a meeting there of those likeminded diocesan bishops who are sticking with the plan to establish when necessary an alternate province – outlined in enough publically available forms to be pretty well assured to be genuine. Perhaps they will make the swear public: that they will bind themselves and, as far as they are able, their dioceses to the oversight of the Archbishop of Nigeria. The possibility of an immediate break is there: like a storm cloud that signals that morning has broken, or a place somewhere over the rainbow that beckons. There is in some quarters a hope, expressed poetically, passionately, or as a prognostication, that things are about to break.
Perhaps I listen too closely to friends across the way, whose path is not my own but whose longings I hear. But I hear the rustling of leaves, the beginning of a wind. Perhaps the wind is coming up this week.
What I do know is that we ought all to be prepared, for CANA is a precursor to something else – an idea about another way to be Anglican in North America. If these bishops begin the move we need to be ready to wish them God's speed and at the same time to remind them that the Diocese of this or that place, is a mission of the Episcopal Church and that TEC will continue to do ministry in those places. The work in those places will be reassigned or reestablished and things will move on.
Dan Martins may be off base; the wonderful images on BabyBlueCafe (and babyblue's aesthetics are wonderful at times) may be about something else entirely; the Archbishop's visit here may be solely for the installation and nothing else. The prognostication business is as bad as Gnosticism – filled with too many secret plans and schemes.
For now we must practice patience, be as inviting as possible, and when the time comes we must practice loving kindness. (Actually, loving kindness is a prime commodity even now.) But we must be alert along the watchtower.