Good News from Various parts of the Episcopal Middle

Regular readers might have noticed that I have been off line for a few days. I've been preoccupied with my mother's health (which is not so good), her coming death (which she looks forward without fear), or her recent Art Opening at 205 Lavinia, a gallery in Milton, Delaware. But, as with most of you, I cruse the web for things in Anglican Land and here are some notes in passing about good news out there:

Great websites: Three Rivers Episcopal, a kind of best of the Anglican Land stories from a moderately conservative slant, Santos Woodcarving Popscicles an emerging church sort of thing...eclectic and full of good music videos without the rant that comes from some in cafe land, Fr.T Listens to the World which goes to show that the former Fr. Jake has not lost his way even in high places, and the sometimes quirky Real Anglicans, that has just done a fun piece on TEC and ACNA.

Thinking Anglicans, probably the primo centerist (with a gentle lean to the liberal) Anglican site around, has usually been give to links to others. In the past few weeks it has published essays that are thoughtful and interesting in their own right, published on TA I gather as a first venue. Great reads. HERE and HERE.

A few bits and pieces of news news:

I am glad to see that Christopher Wells, soon to be Dr. Cristopher Wells, has been named by The Living Church Foundation as its Executive Director. Chris was on the Special Commission that dealt with the Windsor Report, where we worked together. We see the world very differently, but that is mostly OK. He is a serious big guns sort of thinker and will bring to TLC considerable abilities. Go Chris!
Over on 3RiversEpiscopal I saw this article on Richard Mouw and was struck by what he looks like now. I knew Richard in Edmonton, Alberta back in the early 1960's while we were both graduate students in Philosophy at the UofA. I remember his generous sort of evangelical predestination mutterings in which he though on the matter of whether or not everybody gets included at the end because everyone was part of the great scheme of God whether or not they wanted to be part of it. Those were interesting times. He has gone from greatness to greatness, but he looks the part so well - the generous evangelical Calvinist opining on The Episcopal Church. By the way, I agree, we do need the evangelicals. We need everybody. That's the point.

And to round out this wandering report, a comment about George Conger's article on what the Archbishop of Canterbury will or won't do regarding the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). His article which can be read HERE, states, "
The Archbishop of Canterbury will not block the creation of a third Anglican province in North America, sources familiar with Dr. Rowan Williams’ Dec 5 meeting with five traditionalist archbishops, tell The Church of England Newspaper. However, the archbishop will not give it his endorsement either, arguing his office does not have the legal authority to make, or un-make, Anglicans."

Of course the ABC can't "make, or un-make, Anglicans." But it seems he can determine who is in communion with the Cof E, the See of Canterbury, and therefore who gets invited to Lambeth and who is considered part of the Communion on at least the level of unity with the ABC and inclusion in Lambeth. That's two of the four "instruments of communion." So it matters a great deal what the ABC has to say on the new church entity, the ACNA, becoming a province in North America.

So here is the thing: If the Archbishop of Canterbury thinks for a moment that The Episcopal Church is going to muddle along in the middle with him, neither affirming or denying place to the ACNA as a province of the Anglican Communion, he has another think coming. Nolo Contendere is not an option.

For the ABC not to contest one way or another the moves by ACNA to be considered a Province of the Anglican Communion when there are already three (or four depending on how you deal with Central America) Provinces already in place in North America, is for him to step back when he needs to step forward.

For the ABC and others to say they are not able to put a stop to this nonsense is absurd. What do they think authority is about? In this case it is not about simply standing back. Standing back is dumb, and worse it is a abdication of what spiritual authority he has. If ACNA is allowed to bring its case for inclusion in the Anglican Communion to the Primates and to the Anglican Consultative Council without any comment from the ABC or his office he will end up with a real mess on his hands.

If he wants ACNA to replace TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, and perhaps Mexico and IARCA (the Anglican Church in the Region of Central America), then fine. Let him say that. The these Provinces can at least know that their autonomy was worth holding on to. If on the other hand he believes these provinces are indeed legitimate members of the fellowship of churches that is the Anglican Communion, fine. But he cannot have both, since ACNA is pledged to have nothing to do with TEC or ACoC, believes we are rotters, and otherwise heretical to the core.

It is time for him to fish or cut bait.


  1. Mark,

    Thanks so much for the shout-out to "Santos Woodcarving Popsicles" ! I appreciate it!

    Praying for your mother, and for peace in our time.


  2. Peter...fixed the link. Thanks.

  3. Mark, all the best to you and yours, with special prayers for your mom. Her picture in the sidebar has been a daily prompt for same. She is one true broad, as this one crone-in-the-making sees it. Bless you all.

    The rest of the post is enjoyable, too, and the last section is vintage Mark - Amen!

  4. 'Fish or cut bait' is an interesting term, Mark. Jesus said we are to be 'fishers of people.' (Okay, he said 'man'. That was then. This is now.)

    Then again, 'fishing around' is a term which seems appropriate for his behavior. I suspect he's fishing around for the middle road on this issue, which is what he, and all good Anglicans, are supposed to be about.

    Then again, as all good fisherpeople (I know, not as good as fishermen, but work with me here ;~>), at some point, when the fishing is not good, one has to 'cut bait' and move up stream.

    It's still early in the game. The Primates will not vote on this in February. The ACC will also not be voting on this any time soon. Lambeth is a decade away.

    The 'orthodites' (I refuse to give them 'orthodox') have been spectacularly successful in shooting themselves in their very own sacristy slippers.

    Patience has never been my strong suit, but I do think there is merit in another metaphor: "giving them enough rope - or line - to hang themselves."

  5. Fisherfolk rolls of the tongue well Madre Lizabet.


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.