End of Year grades.

On January 2, 2008 I made some rash predictions for the year 2008. See my post HERE. Revisiting them, here is how I judge my predictive abilities. I was right about 70% of the time, which, given the chaos in Anglican-Land is not too shabby.  Still, better next year.

Here is how I graded my answers:

The Lambeth Conference will take place as planned in July 2008. All but about 100 bishops will take part.
Yes and No. It took place, over 230 bishops did not attend. 50%

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) will take place in June, but not in Jerusalem.
Yes and No.  It took place, but in Jerusalem, in spite of the wishes of the diocese that it not take place there. 50%

Blessing same sex relationships and ordination of gay and lesbian persons will make it into the formal conversations at Lambeth under the heading of homosexuality or human sexuality. Lesbian and gay members of the church will not be invited to speak to the assembled bishops.
Of course the matter was discussed, and of course lesbian and gay members of the church were not invited to speak. I missed on the “formal conversations.” 85%

Bishop Gene Robinson will be at Lambeth whether or not he is physically present inside the walls. Not to invite him in is absurd

Got it right, sadly. 100%

Perhaps ten percent of the members of the Episcopal Church will find their way out of TEC and into a variety of other church contexts.
About right, perhaps more like 5-7%. 80%

Most of the lawsuits will go in favor of the Episcopal Church as a hierarchical church and the properties will remain part of Episcopal Church dioceses.
It appears that is true, but not sure yet. 75%

No matter which way the suits go, the body of believers that get left outside the building will find delight in beginning again and those inside will feel free of old nagging fights. It will be well finally for all their souls. We might all actually learn something from fresh starts and renewed communities (or is that only a hope?) 
True. Examples in remaining dioceses as well as in fresh starts by those who have left. 100%

Several bishops will be removed from the roll of the House of Bishops by deposition without their consent having declared that they are no longer under the authority of the Episcopal Church and its canons. Two will retire early, ask to be relieved of their inclusion in the House of Bishops (a la Bishop Steenson.) They will then declare they are part of some other Anglican agency (a la Bishop Bena) or going to Rome, or just bowing out

Partially true. SchofieldDuncan and Iker out, Ackerman retired but still in TEC, say 75%

The Network will be reduced in number as it formally meshes more and more with the Common Cause Partnership group. The Common Cause Partnership will move toward being an ecclesiastical structure in which women are not ordained and gay people not welcomed to exercise ordained ministry or to vocations of holy union. It too will be a smaller group than now.
True in both cases. ACN reduced to 7, now being absorbed by CCP. CCP more or less as it was, but with some FiFNA and AAC members still part of TEC, APA withdrew from CCP in January. 100%

The Archbishop of Canterbury will stop believing that the "Windsor bishops" constitute a force for moderation. He will be right.
Sadly, wrong. 0%

The Archbishop of Canterbury will not stop believing that the Windsor Report is an item in the Anglican portfolio that has continuing merit. He will be wrong.
Sadly, right 100%

The icon of solidarity in the Anglican Communion (Canterbury focus) will be the Anglican Covenant, at least during the tenure of the incumbent Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Right 100%

The icon of solidarity in the Anglican Communion (African bible-belt focus) will be the Bible.
Of course, 100%

The icon of solidarity in the New Improved Anglican Communion, made up of Anglican Communion Bible Belt Focused Provinces and a range of North and South American dissenter Anglicans, will be the faith once delivered to the Saints."
Of course, 100%

Progressives will try to live without icons but will be tempted to think of justice as an icon. They will have to work at overcoming this temptation. Justice is not an icon, it is an anvil on which the pretenses of our prejudices disguised as morality are finally annealed. 
I’d say about 80% right. Progressives still able to rise to the temptation of thinking of justice as something we own the rights to.

The following possibilities were also considered:

…There will be further work on a theology of Grace in creation that will contribute to an understanding of full participation of all baptized persons in all vocations to holy living for the healing of the world, a Gospel agenda. 
Not yet but beginning work. 25%

The best minds and hearts in both the dissenter and progressive Anglican communities will find new levels of communion, probably over coffee. A little child will lead them. 
Promising. 75%

The agendas and even the methods of those who see the issues as a division into church parties will pass (at least in part) from the scene and those who see a full rainbow of opinions as a gift to the church will bring new agendas, formed in an age that does not trust meta-narratives but continues to live in the faith.
Emerging Church stuff, 75%

Those who can't stand the heat of this particular kitchen, who find Anglican-land's untidy ways intolerable, will move on.
Of course, a give away 100%

Then there is the realm of rumor. I've picked these up 'round and about. They have very little traction. Answers here will have only half value, since these are predictions based on rumors.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will retire following the Lambeth Conference.   

No 0%

The Roman Catholic Church will make special provisions for an Anglican rite community and effectively reduce the Anglican dissenter community to protestant neo-fundamentalists.  

No, 0%

The Global South Anglican group will recapture its initial vision as a gathering of Anglicans from countries whose political, economic and social systems are in serious flux and development, a gathering for the purpose of mutual mission strategy. Brazil will be invited back in.
Shamefully,No. 0%

The Archbishop of Nigeria will be disinvited from Lambeth before he says he will not come. 

No, 0%, much to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s shame.

And, on a more personal note:

Lily Anne (beloved Granddaughter) will lead the next generation of artists in the Harris family. I'm sure of it.  

Absolutely 100%. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Stay tuned for next year's predictions!


  1. I'm gong to give you an A- on it all, Mark. I wish a couple of your "0" could have been "100".

  2. hi Mark+

    I think you may have mis-graded yourself on a few sections...here is one example:

    "The Common Cause Partnership will move toward being an ecclesiastical structure in which women are not ordained and gay people not welcomed to exercise ordained ministry or to vocations of holy union..."

    Yes, the CCP did become the ACNA but, no, the ACNA does not forbid WO. The provincial constitution specifically permits jurisdictions within the ACNA to determine their own practice in this regard and many (CANA, Pittsburgh, the former Kenyan parishes) do practice WO.

    Nor does the ACNA forbid homosexual people from holding ecclesial office or from entering into holy unions. Homosexual people may be ordained or consecrated so long as they commit to celibacy and to uphold orthodox teaching with regard to sexual behavior.

    They may also enter into the "holy union" of marriage if they so desire.

    Matt Kennedy

  3. One for 2009....TECUSA will not get rid of BO33 (preferring to keep it in order to stay in the AC but TECUSA will not expect anyone to have the integrity to respect it)

  4. Does anyone know if Matt's statement about the ACNA accepting LGBT people entering into the 'holy union of marriage' - with people of the same sex - is true?

    I certainly can't imagine that this doesn't mean - you can be homosexual but you have to be married to a person of another sex.

    I'm having a hard time not believing that Matt is playing with words.

    My verifying word is "stasto". At first, I heard in my head "fatso'. I guess I won't be drinking any eggnog at tonight's party.

  5. Hi Elizabeth+. That's not quite what I wrote. I did not write that ACNA permits the "holy union" of two men or two women. I do not believe such unions can rightly be described as "holy".

    I wrote: "They [meaning homosexual people] may also enter into the "holy union" of marriage if they so desire."

    "Marriage", of course, being between one man and one woman.

    If someone experiencing inborn homosexual impulses determines, by God's grace, to enter into marriage with a woman, there is nothing in the ACNA to prevent it nor ought there to be.


  6. Ah, but my brother Matt, by writing, "They (meaning LGBT people) may also enter into the "holy union" of marriage if they so desire," you are being coy, if not flat-out deceptive. Which is exactly why I asked the question of clarification.

    Don't be too surprised when your ordained wife is treated in a like manner in Kenya. It will be interesting - if not strangely entertaining - to watch.

  7. Hi Elizabeth+, Kenya was pro-WO long before we arrived on the scene. They were not making special accommodations.

    Matt Kennedy

  8. Matt Kennedy: Well, OK make it 66%. However, your response gets a wack too. You are right, some jurisdictions in ACNA will allow women to be deacons and priests. And yes Kenya has allowed this for some time. As I understand it, women will not be able to be bishops in ACNA. So, you get 59%.

    As to gay people, ACNA seemingly will allow celibate gay people to hold positions in the church. I of course was speaking of gay people who are not opposed to being who they are.

    Your last sentence is of course correct and totally misleading.

  9. I understood Matt+ perfectly well. THere was nothing misleading in what he said.

    If you had not redefined marriage in your heads, you would have as well.

  10. I understand your point mar Mark+. From my point of view however, the use of terms "holy union" or "marriage" to describe non-celibate same sex unions is far more misleading.

    Matt Kennedy

  11. I know, I know, Matt. You believe that there's nothing 'holy' about my 33 year covenant with Ms. Conroy.

    That doesn't make it so. You are not only being misleading, you are being insulting.

    But, I suppose you know that. What you lack in compassion and pastoral sensitivity, you certainly make up for in intelligence. If you'd like to have a bit of fun tweaking the readers here, that's fine, but I think you misjudge the intelligence of Mark's readers. However, if you must, please do not do so at the expense of the integrity of LGBT people. Thank you.

  12. Perhaps this is why schism in the end has become necessary -- because we cannot hear the honest expressions and opinions of each other without becoming personally offended.

    There are still a lot of remaining Episcopalians who understanding that "Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God," and that this -- and only this -- constitutes a holy union. I hope, Mother Elizabeth, you can deal with us who remain without becoming personally offended at us.

  13. I get that you understand Christian marriage differently than I do, Robert. I can live with that - mainly because I have been living with that reality for 33 years. My skin is a lot tougher than you think.

    As we like to say in my house, "Being gay is not for sissies."

    That's not the point. Matt was being coy and deceptive at the expense of LGBT people. That is neither pastoral nor compassionate not to mention highly discourteous. I was calling him on that.

    The word verification is "milly".

  14. No Elizabeth+. I was being neither "coy" nor "discourteous". I was being quite clear. The word "marriage" has meaning. So does the word "holy". Neither can be correctly applied to non-celibate same sex relationships. What is deceptive is the revisionist re-definition of these words to accommodate behavior scripture defines as sin and then,what is "discourteous" is the expression of indignation when those of us who do not accept your corruption of these words refuse to use them according to your definitions.

    Matt Kennedy

  15. Okay, I'll take back coy and deceptive, but you're really not going to like the replacements.

    Just because you say that my relationship with my beloved is not holy doesn't make it so.

    And, when NJ finally approves Same Sex Marriage, we will be legally married, whether or not you like it or define it differently.

    Here's the real question, Matt: Why do you even care? You've left TEC for a 'holier, purer' organized religion.

    Just move on, Matt. It's really a whole lot better for your soul

    The word verification is: nonon. How cool is that?

  16. "Okay, I'll take back coy and deceptive, but you're really not going to like the replacements."

    which are?

    "Just because you say that my relationship with my beloved is not holy doesn't make it so."

    You are right. It makes no difference what I say...unless of course what I say (or anyone says) is consistent with what God reveals in scripture. Then it makes quite a bit of difference.

    "And, when NJ finally approves Same Sex Marriage, we will be legally married, whether or not you like it or define it differently."

    You may call it what you will and the state may call it what it will, but that does not make it so.

    "Here's the real question, Matt: Why do you even care?"

    Oh, I suppose because I am a pastor with people who struggle with these things and I am a Christian in the west where this particular error threatens to destroy the faith and souls of tens of thousands

    "You've left TEC for a 'holier, purer' organized religion."

    This is probably one of the more interesting rhetorical moves those on the revisionist side pull. It is, after all, the revisionists who argue that same sex behavior is "pure" and "holy".

    We, on the other hand, are simply resisting the reclassification of a particular sin. No one argues on the orthodox side that those in the new church are "pure" or "holy". The opposite is the case. We are quite clear about that fact that we are all sinners.

    It is the left that seeks to obscure that fact and build a facade of "righteousness" and "purity"...to build a "pure" church...not through sanctification and transformation, but far more superficially, through semantics and redefinition.

    "Just move on, Matt."

    Well no thank you. Since pro-homosexual behavior activists have made this particular issue one that every Christian pastor of every denomination must address squarely, "moving on" from discussing and opposing it is simply not possible.

    "It's really a whole lot better for your soul..."

    Thank you for your concern. My soul is just fine.

  17. I'll let you have the last word on this, Matt. Your soul may be fine - that's a judgment between you and God. But your ego is waaayyy to big for me to handle.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.