I am still willing to be convinced, but conviction is harder and harder to come by. There are a wide variety of reasons why I dislike the Covenant. Some of those grow from observations made in other venues, see HERE. Some come from reading really fine commentary. But some come from experience, that integral part of "reason" in the three legged stool of Anglican information. I am informed by reason, and reason itself is informed by experience.
So, in my experience, I was held back from ordination to the Priesthood in Puerto Rico because, as the Bishop told me, members of the Standing Committee didn't know me (I was a missionary recently appointed) and I had long hair and a mustache. I knew too it was because I had been married, divorced, and with the permission of a diocese in the US permitted to remarry and be ordained. I was, in other words, a gringo hippie of suspect background.
As a result I had an ordination apart from my class of deacons, but my, what an ordination it was - Haitian choir, Spanish service, save for the ordination portion which was in English to make sure (the bishop said) that I understood what I was taking on. But I remember I was not ordained with my fellow deacons.
In my experience people who were out of the ordinary (or peculiar as it was want to be said in the South) were routinely set on a more difficult track to ordination, advancement, preferment, etc, than others. It worked if you were black, a woman, gay, a person of color, a person of strange or suspect political views, a chaplain, and on and on.
Given that, the level of paranoia about the collective wisdom of the Anglican Communion on various matters is understandable. I am not actually willing to have the slowly and painfully gotten changes in Anglican practice in this Church revoked by wider Anglican disapproval. Remember, in a large part of the Communion women can not be bishops and remarriage for divorced people is not possible unless there is some form of annulment proposed.
I was in Uganda in 1989 and was taken by a canon of the cathedral in Kampala to tour the ravages of the civil war north of Kampala. We saw stacks of skulls, ruins, buildings in disrepair. He took me to see destruction caused by Ugandans against Ugandans. But what he wanted to know was how it was possible for a divorced person in the US to be married again in the Church. The commentary on sin was not about fratricide, practiced at home, but divorce practiced in the US. I talked about my own case, about marriage that died, about forgiveness and moving on... to no avail. It simply made no sense to him at all. Perhaps he saw the killings there (the subject of the tour) and the ending of marriages here as about the same thing - sin. But I was aware, we lived in two worlds. No one made them better or worse. And they are not. But they are two worlds. In his. divorce and fratricide are on the face of it on the same level. In mine, they are not.
No, experience suggests, as far as I can tell, that we ought to be careful about subjecting our decisions to a collective process of discernment, one involving finding the "mind of the Communion." So far the "mind of the Communion" has been invoked in reference to Lambeth 1998, resolution 1.10, and that invocation has been backed by various meetings of instruments of the Communion. But it has never been submitted to the Churches for confirmation, nor should it have been submitted. It was a resolution of a non-binding conference with no legislative powers whatsoever. But there it is - the so called "mind of the communion" one which will operate as a break on any movement that does not meet the approval of all.
I got to thinking about three clowns I have know. One was a clown before he became a priest, the second was a priest who went to clown school. Both these worthies did it the "easy" way. The third was a tragic clown figure in a quite different way. He played out the clown role as a priest and took on the sins of the world (or at least a small part of it). The cost for the first two was years of being on the margins as campus ministers, the payback for the third was the rapid end to his ministry in the Church and a new life in other venues.
What might it have been like for any one of them to have lived into priesthood and then thought of being bishop? (The Anglican Covenant, and for that matter the "instruments of communion" are mostly concerned with bishops.) How would the Anglican Covenant have affected their chances of election, preferment, appointment, etc?
I took a lead from very clever people who used an online movie maker - "xtranormal.com" to produce clever and useful comments on the Anglican Covenant. You can see some of them here and here. Those are quite creative. Mine is a bit stumbling, but here it is: A video reason why clowns (and maybe many of us) should see the Anglican Covenant as dangerous. Enjoy, or weep.