11/24/2007

Bishop Ingham's Ten Responses concerning the Network mess.

Lisa Fox, over at My Manner of Life scooped us all. She asked Bishop Ingham for a copy of his memo to the clergy of his diocese and published it with his permission. It is a fine piece and needs to be read, along with Lisa's comments. Read it HERE. Thank you Lisa for getting this out to us all.

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.

4 comments:

  1. Fascinating article in Anglican Journal. Re: The Network Mess Canadian style. The actions and the juxtaposition of the "request" make this a remarkable read EmilyH


    http://www.anglicanjournal.com/100/article/south-american-province-opens-arms-to-dissenting-canadian-parishes/

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  2. Mark, I'm on the other side of the Great Divide from you, however, I fully concur with these ten point and hope all sides will surrender fully to the LORD on them with a willingness to be wrong to see what the LORD might bring.

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  3. christopher+26/11/07 10:18 AM

    Just how baffling this whole situation is was reflected in this quote from the article EmilyH recommended above:

    "On the subject of the ordination of women, which is a source of disagreement among churches that are members of the Common Cause coalition, “we will respect and protect those who dissent,” he said." (Attributed to the "Rev. George Sinclair of the diocese of Ottawa and a board member of the network.")

    Such shifting lines in the sand as regards revealed Truth! For those who oppose women's ordination, this is, I imagine, absolutely an issue of biblical authority and tradition. Yet here the realigners are able to allow for diversity of thought and practice. Just not - most certainly NOT - as regards issues of sexuality on which there are also biblically based differences of opinion. No "respect [for] those who dissent" there? This reveals that all of this really is about homosexuality, no matter what anyone argues to the contrary as regards revealed Truth and biblical authority. There is room for diversity in other biblical and theological matters - just NOT this one. How surprising - or perhaps not.

    All that said, though, Bishop Ingham is spot on with his ten points.

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  4. If only everyone was willing to take this sort of a pastoral approach to any differences in our joint Communion... maybe then we'd actually have some real listening go on. Too much shouting going around for my tastes.

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