Bishop Ingham just rotated off as the Anglican Church of Canada representative to the Executive Council. It was good to get to know him there. His voice and comments were immensely helpful. He is a clear thinking progressive bishop and his pastoral concerns are central to his ministry.
Here is what he had to say regarding a response to the Canadian Network's announcement that it will begin forming a second Anglican presence in Canada. His advise is helpful to us in the Episcopal Church as well:
"I think we need to respond to the Network’s announcement in several ways.
1.Pray for the unity of Christians, for a spirit of charity towards those with whom we may disagree, and for God’s forgiveness of our mutual failure to honour the prayer of Christ in St. John’s Gospel “that they may be one.”
2.Give particular support to those conservative and traditional Christians who remain with their church and grieve the departure of friends.
3.Teach our members about the genius of Anglicanism and its balance of Scripture, reason and tradition within the boundaries of common prayer.
4.Emphasize in our preaching and leadership the centrality of mission and its priority over ecclesiastical politics.
5.Challenge the false stereotypes that foster polarization – e.g. the ‘heartless conservative’ or the ‘unbiblical liberal.’
6.Give thanks that our church, for all its messiness, is honestly and openly facing issues some other bodies cannot.
7.Press forward in ministry and evangelism at the local level.
8.Deepen our study and immersion in Scripture. Place ourselves under the authority of the Christ it reveals. Avoid both an empty relativism and a harsh literalism.
9.Encourage both local media and the non-churchgoing public to understand the deeper roots of this development.
10.Take the ‘long view’ – i.e. remember the consistent triumph of the Gospel over the historic fragmentation of the church, and the persistence of faith through the failures of human discipleship.
Please remember our diocesan and national leaders in your prayers too. And above all, let’s get on with the normal work of being the church.