4/06/2013

Six weeks of silence: to blog or not to blog, that is the question.


I have written nothing on Preludium for more than six weeks.  Preludium has been around for about eight years, with about 1,600,000 visitors and 2044 posts. Do do this I have posted something about every two days.  But for six weeks, nothing. Why?

Mostly because I realized that much of what I had been writing about has over the past years is now being covered better by many of the people I list on the side bar.  

When I began I was concerned (i) that there was the need to take seriously the workings of the realignment movement and respond and (ii) the need for to keep something like poetic imagination as part of the "marks" of Anglicanism.  

It took a long time for TEC to take on the realignment crowd but it finally has done so. When Katharine, our Presiding Bishop, came on board there emerged a new clarity about what it means to be "ordered" in this church as a bishop. There may be all sorts of legal matters to settle regarding property, but there is little left to argue about concerning the license to act as an episcopal church bishop.

As for poetic imagination, it is out there continuing to work its way into the agenda of everything the church does, although most of the folk at the center of decision making in TEC or the Anglican Communion mistakenly believe poetic imagination to be at the edge of corporate life in the church and of little value in decision making at the center.

My attention has turned in recent days to practical matters of mission strategy, particularly as regards Haiti, to visionary possibilities for life in these United States, and to the visual arts themselves, and in particular printmaking.

That doesn't mean I have forgotten the concerns of the past, but that my attention is turning. In the side bar that listed my church and community engagements the list used to be primarily about church, but as you can see now it is turning more to community / political life, and to art.

I am practicing the arts in a variety of ways - I'm becoming a reasonable printmaker and working to find a voice and a venue for my work. Here are examples of recent work:

Grey Heron

Spring Growth
  
And by the grace of God and the Rector of all Lewes I still get to hang out with kids in the parish. Here I am in a reenactment of the Last Supper with the younger kids, and although it is a stretch to have an old balding Jesus and a gang of kid apostles, everyone got into the story


As usual, when as Jesus I said I was glad to be with them one last time and that I was going to be arrested and later killed, one of the kids, without prompting, asked "Jesus, why do you have to die." And we were off... It is always a surprise to see just how children are willing to wrestle with the meaning of the whole thing.

Meanwhile I am seriously caught up in local democratic party life, now working as a member of the representative district committee - giving the invocation at the Sussex County Democratic Party dinner, working on local platform issues, and next month on to the county and state party meetings. 

So life is very full indeed.

But to be completely honest,  I have not posted because I have been in Haiti where, with all the chaos around there is none the less a great sense of vitality and life being lived to its fullest. Out there in Anglican blogland I have found not much that is either vital or abundant.

In the actual world of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion there are all sorts of signs pointing to communities of incarnation and resurrection, but in blogland the sour voices of the realignment crowd and the thickheaded call for a return to the "faith once delivered to the saints" makes for dull and deadly conversation.

I stopped blogging on Anglican and Episcopal futures because, dear friends, I couldn't stand the carping and I lost my mojo and the will to write.

Oh well. The problem with the carping is that if the field is left to them (the carping) , if they wear us out, then they get to set the field of play. They get to decide what the issues are. And we can't let that happen.

The issues are not women's ordination, gay and lesbians in orders and married, women bishops, new prayer books, and so forth. Nor are they about fundamental beliefs - as in Jesus Christ as Lord, although that is what the realignment folk would have us think.   

The issues are those of the ones remaining standing; they set the agenda for the years to come. Those who have left The Episcopal Church claiming TEC to be fickle and faithless want to set the direction for the Anglican Communion as a whole and secure a place for themselves in a renewed and realigned Anglican Communion. They want to bend the Anglican Communion more and more towards the values of the Christian right in the US, using the considerable post-colonial rage in the developing world and in the churches of those countries as leverage for claiming world wide support for a domestic struggle. If the field is left to them there will be nothing recognizable as Anglican or Episcopalian in what they do. 

The deal is, they are not Anglican and they are not Episcopalian. They believe neither in the efficacy of reason or the virtues of holding bishops accountable to their vows.

If we let them get away with that Anglican Christianity will be aligned more and more with the views of the US Christian radical right. Anglicanism will provide a sacramental overlay on what is essentially  an American invention - the church of end time armageddon lovers, complete with reconstructionist aspirations for a new way of being governed.

We should have none of it. The reason to stick around and blog on is simple: if we don't pay attention Anglicans and Episcopalians will more and more have the stool pulled out from under us. And it will be our fault. 
      
So there remain things to say about current struggles in TEC and between TEC and the realignment crowd and behind them the GAFCONites (those who gather around the Jerusalem Declaration as their standard for Anglican common life).

So, back to blogging.  Having taken a few weeks off, I'm back on. 

8 comments:

Grandmère Mimi said...

Welcome back to Blogland, Mark. It's good to hear your much-needed "voice" again.

Leonard Clark said...

Yes, welcome back! Everytime I look at the Preludium headline in my sidebar it makes me glad...I think you have, what many do not have, and that is afterimage...yours always fills me with solid glad and trust that all will work out well, poco a poco...onward we all go.

BTW. Me too, I'm getting all active in Democrats Abroad. Today I held a potluck in my studio/home and it was jammed with eager eaters (I did set up a little bar to get things loosened up -- it did). We had a great day but we urgently need to know how to connect with the 30,000+ Guatemalan Americans who live here -- it's important for 2014 that we find every potential voter who can send in their absentee ballots-- many don't realize they can! Enough politics but thanks for being here, year after year...sometimes more often than othertimes -- I appreciate you a lot. Mil Gracias

JCF said...

Welcome back, Mark!

I think because of your years on the Executive Council (of TEC), you have an "inside" POV one doesn't hear elsewhere. Please Keep Blogging!

Christina Brennan Lee said...

From as far away as I am at the moment, seeing you here makes me look forward to being home soon. Love the block prints, reminds me of indigenous things I see here in Middle Earth!

Peg in South Carolina said...

I am so glad you talked yourself into staying in blogland. Thank you.
Peg in South Carolina

PseudoPiskie said...

Your "thought full" posts on current affairs/events/controversies has been missed. Welcome back, Mark!

Bob McCloskey said...

Mark,

I honestly thought that you had taken a blog sabbatical as a Lenten discipline, as have several of our clergy colleagues. I totally concur with your comments.

Being retired I have the time and inclination to peruse several church related blogs daily. I have come to realize that is not an option for many/most employed clergy [or laity]. In some recent conversations with both orders I have learned of a huge void in basic church-related news among 'ordinary' laity [and clergy], which many regret.

In the parish where I assist I have initiated a monthly news recap forum for parishioners. I can not over-emphasize how important and well received this has become. I now realize that it is a retired ministry which I can offer. Others might explore this, too, and your blogsite is essential for me.

SCM said...

'Realignment crowd and behind them the gafconites' sounds slightly overcooked or even paranoid. There is the big and wide Global South, with only a portion in Gafcon and that for a reason -- one thinks of Indian Ocean, Burundi, Middle East, SE Asia, Tanzania and on it goes. If the new ABC visits the CAPA gathering will that make him a 'gafconite'? Are the amicus Bishops in TEC all 'gafconites'? If the answer to these questions is No, there remains a serious question as to whether any conservative presence in TEC is fated to the treatment of SC, just in a different manner and at a later time.

Also, with 40% of all TEC dioceses under 3000 ASA, what will TEC even look like in 5 years time?

SCM