6/10/2010

At the risk of repeating myself....

A point of personal privilege:

Occasionally some reader mistakenly believes that criticism on this blog of the leadership of the Anglican Communion means that I am opposed to the Anglican Communion itself. Far from it. In fact the criticism of the Archbishop and other leaders arises precisely because I want the Anglican Communion to be true to a vocation greater than can be provided by organization as a Church.

I am committed to being part of the Anglican Communion, which I understand to be a fellowship of Churches and not a Church, a Fellowship and not an Organization. I have great interest in the Anglican Communion as an experience in koinonia. I have next to no interest in the Anglican Communion as ekklesia.

In "The Challenge of Change: The Anglican Communion in the Post-Modern Era" written just before the 1998 Lambeth Conference, I closed by remarking,

"The Anglican Communion should be supported and encouraged as a fellowship, a koinonia, rather than as an organization per se."

"Our own provisionality and hope for restoration to unity precludes our becoming too set on organizational structure. Our attention is drawn elsewhere, and from the viewpoint of faith, that is precisely what ought to be the case. We are drawn away from being a church and toward being a people on the Way, precisely insofar as we are drawn to the Gospel. For it is in the Gospel that we see Jesus as receiving and eating with a whole world of people who were outside the assembly self-defined by the people assembled.

Fellowship is always potentially wider than assembly. Koinonia is always potentially wider than ekklesia. We are called as the Anglican Communion to live with the tension that we do assemble --- but we do so knowing that those who come do not exhaust the lists of our sisters and brothers who should be and will be invited. "

"The vocation of the Anglican Communion is to be a force for greater koinonia, for overcoming the fragmentation of life in a vision of the whole people of God, in a time when fragmentation is what seems to be the rule of the day."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

8 comments:

  1. “I am committed to being part of the Anglican Communion, which I understand to be a fellowship of Churches and not a Church, a Fellowship and not an Organization. I have great interest in the Anglican Communion as an experience in koinonia. I have next to no interest in the Anglican Communion as ekklesia.

    But what happens, Mark, if, at some point, the Anglican Communion is no longer a fellowship? What if it becomes a church, or something very much like it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Lionel... its easy. If it becomes too much like a church or worse becomes one, I'll ignore it, since I already belong to one...The Episcopal Church, and one is enough, already.

    Actually, I mostly belong to the church local and specific, and even then I have to remind myself not to put too much stock in it.

    But still, I get your point. I will be disappointed and upset and hopefully will get over it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even I am committed to communion.

    But what Rowan wants is not communion, but a feudal state in the model of Rome.

    ReplyDelete
  4. that's fine, Sir....but the ABC and most of the Primates want something more like a church than a loose federation......thankfully, the current PB is willing to take the consequences of not buying into that (given the contraints it places on TEC)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Deacon Charlie Perrin11/6/10 11:42 AM

    If the Primates want a "Church" and not a loose federation, they can always go to Rome. However, they believe Rome to be wrong on serveral matters, and will not go there.

    (Of course the other thing they dislike about being under the Vatican would be that they would have to toe a line they do not wish to toe.)

    What they don't seem to recognize is that that very consequence is unavoidable once you cease being a federaration and become a "Church."

    If the "Church" they long for begins to require things they don't want to do, what then? More schism?

    They don't know a good thing when they see it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. They can even have their "church" - but they will be progressively cut off. Anglicanism does not, and should not, depend upon the goodwill of Canterbury.

    He may call himself the head of whatever he likes, but no one is required to listen to him. The primates who do listen may find that no one is required to listen to them, either.

    ReplyDelete
  7. There are two things (at least) that I would really like to understand regarding the views expressed on “Preludium”: first how does Mark Harris differentiate his idea of Anglican koinonia from the World Council of churches, second given his ‘no interest’ in ekklesia does he mean he sees no need to recognize the Anglican liturgy and ordinations and vice versa? It seems to me that Mark Harris should be really happy to see on the one hand, an Anglican Covenant binding those seeking an ekklesia, and a looser koinonia in which TEC has a consultative role. Given this however, and given that there are currently members of TEC who want ekklesia, how does he or others blogging here see this panning out? For instance would +Bruno, +Schori and +Mark (Harris) welcome a Bishop in Southern California who is committed to ekklesia and to the Anglican Covenant. Given all this, I don’t understand why TEC is so angry with the ABC? After all, the idea of the Anglican Covenant has been around for some time, as has the Windsor Report. By chance I bumped into a devout member of our local RC Church yesterday at the supermarket and we started discussing Newman and the problems of the various churches on earth . . . . . Apparently Newman is on the way to being canonized. If it hadn't been for Pope Jean-Paul II, the RC Church would be an easy choice to make, just as Newman did.

    ReplyDelete

OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation 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.
Rule: PLEASE DO NOT SIGN OFF AS ANONYMOUS: BEGIN OR END THE MESSAGE WITH A NAME - ANY NAME. ANONYMOUS commentary will be cut.