Back here and yet still there. Why are there so many bishops in the wings?
OK. I'm back. The St. Peter's Youth group mission trip to Puerto Rico - nine young people and six adults - is over. It was a wonderful exercise in the beginnings of mission consciousness and cross-cultural engagement. I was overwhelmed by the wisdom and insight of these young people, the people we met in Puerto Rico, and the missionary and social engagement energy of the Diocese of Puerto Rico. For a blog account of our mission trip go to SPYPR for the whole scoop.
Over the last week I have kept up with the goings on in Anglican-land, but for the life of me I had no energy to deal with the very non-missionary goings on in the multiplication of loaves in the form of new bishops in the making for the improved -but -not -Anglican -Communion -Province in the US.
The missionary solution to the problems in the Anglican world are not to be found in making more bishops for those who are in disagreement with one another. Perhaps there needs to be a moratorium on new bishops altogether. It seems the missions on which they are being sent are less focused on compassion and more focused on control.
After a week on the ground in Puerto Rico, I have to say it seems irrelevant and unseemly. In Puerto Rico I met three priests, all formerly Roman Catholic, who have become members of the Episcopal Church precisely because they find here a place where their minds and hearts are allowed to open out to new possibilities in faith and life. The life of perfect service and freedom can be combined in one, and indeed in Christ Jesus are one. I don't see that happening in AMiA, CANA, ACK, etc.
So it is time to return and attend to the doings in Anglican-land. One last note on grace in strange times. I remember when the Diocese of Puerto Rico was being considered for re-union with the General Convention. Someone on the House of Bishops / House of Deputies list that if Puerto RIco were to become part of The Episcopal Church their votes would most likely go against the resolutions for inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the ordained ministry and against blessings. That observation was serious, for the votes might be close indeed. Louie Crew forcefully put the matter right: The admission of Puerto Rico ought to be decided as a matter of missionary affirmation and companionship in Christ, not something to be weighed on the basis of political concerns. Because Puerto Rico was readmitted to union with the General Convention we have new / old companions in The Episocpal Church who belong to a vibrant diocese, one involved in bringing the love of Christ to people throughout the island. When friends share bread and the journey it will all work out.