3/08/2009

The Big Tent Idea, or at least the Pretty Big Tent


Last year the Lambeth Conference met under a bit blue tent. It became a symbol of the hopes that the Anglican Communion could continue to be a place of gathering a wide variety of people whose heritage included commonly held ways of being church. Some say it succeeded in that most of the bishops came. Some say it failed because a sizable number stayed away. It was a mixed success. It was however an important statement of the desire in Anglicanism to gather rather than scatter.

Real Anglicans, a blog by a friend in the diocese of San Joaquin, has just posted Us Valley Folks, which spells out something of the big tent issue for Episcopalians in the San Jaquin valley. The "big tent" idea of Anglicanism and The Episcopal Church involves a commitment to holding as many people of various social, political and theological persuasions as possible in one community. The hope for such a big tent raises challenges in a diocese that is reorganizing after a large portion of its membership left for temporary quarters in the Province of the Southern Cone. How do they continue to be welcoming to a wide diversity of Episcopalians and others interested in The Episcopal Church. The essay is worth the read, HERE.

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