Little Things Mean a Lot

Thinking Anglicans has pointed to documents posted on the CANA website. In wandering around that site (something I try to do weekly) I noticed under "affiliations" that only two are mentioned; The Church of Nigeria and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The first is an "of course." This is not an affiliation - as if CANA simply chose to be related - CANA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Church of Nigeria. It is not affiliated with the CofN, it is part of the CofN. The second is a stretch: Even assuming this has something to do with Bishop Minns being a bishop of an Anglican Province, CANA is not an affiliate of the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor for that matter of the Anglican Communion.

What is interesting is that CANA does not claim to be an affiliate of the Anglican Communion Network or the Common Cause Partnership. Common Cause is mentioned on the Home Page in a short note about the celebration of the Installation of Bishop Minns. The Network is not.

I believe in the past CANA did list a third affiliation - I think it was the Common Cause Partnership. But that is gone, or perhaps I remembered wrongly and it never was there.

The ACN pages lists CANA as a Common Cause Partner.

Here is what Bishop Minns said in the official version of his sermon about the ACN or Common Cause:

About the Anglican Communin Network: Nothing
About Bishop Duncan: Nothing
About Common Cause, this:

"One of the unexpected blessings in all of this has been to discover a number of new friends here at home - I am referring to our Common Cause partners. There are so many ways in which we have blessed by their encouragement, wise counsel and practical assistance. No question about it - we are not alone.

In the actual sermon, Bishop Minns departed from the text and recognized Bob Duncan, but never mentioned his role as Moderator of the ACN or that the Common Cause Parterners is a device of the ACN's efforts.

Bishop Minns claims to be close to the ACN and Bishop Duncan. But that doesn't appear in his official version of the Installation and now does not appear on the website.

Little things mean...? Perhaps a lot.


  1. in your dreams

  2. Well, considering that this CANA Episcopalian (I'm still Episcopalian by the way) was here recently celebrating the blog's first anniversary, what do you think?

    And then there's this reminder as well. What do you think?


  3. bb... congrats on the first year of your blog. (I am a fan.) I've seen the picture, seen the comments from the two bishops about being personal friends. The question is about affiliation and the lack of mention of ACN.

    It may not mean much at all. thus the question.

    I am not surprised you are there. You have friends everywhere I suspect.

  4. It's great to see Duncan and Minns carying on--may we expect Duncan to go on and--at least--recommend ACN come under CANA? Presuming neither prefers life in the Continuum.

  5. A lurker here, I am very confused by babyblue's post. How is she an Episcopalian when she belongs to CANA and the Nigerian church, neither of which has anything to do with the Episcopal Church? Isn't "CANA Episcopalian" a contradiction in terms?

  6. Hi Peg in South Carolina,

    The Episcopal Church "welcomes you" meant that all you needed for membership in the local Episcopal church was to be a baptized Christian - so you could be Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic - even Baptist and be a member of the local church. Baptism was all that was needed for membership - I think this was a change (though it had always been the case in Virginia) in the early 70s when 815 began to count the baptized, not the confirmed. That was one of the original points of hanging out the "welcomes you" signs. To hold office or to count members for Council, you must be a confirmed Episcopalian - but membership in the local was a different matter. In this way, for example, the Episcopal Church could reach out to the disaffiliated Roman Catholics.

    It's a safe harbor for this Episcopal layperson. I'm not sure if I'd be welcome in some Episcopal churches in Virginia if they knew who I was - but I know I would be welcome in some (so we are in communion with some Virginia churches - our brotherhood of fellowship is open). We were welcome at Shrine Mont (which I took as a hopeful sign). I saw some of those Episcopal clergy at Bishop Minns installation - they are still clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia - but they were there. The doors are open in CANA. And they are open in some parts of the Diocese of Virginia.

    Mark you are an excellent writer! Sometimes I think it would be really fun to get a group of folks (I think of Tobias H for example) and head to the pub and have some good talks - we all might be surprised, if we don't start throwing pies. ;)

    Still, there are significant divisions - very signficant - and they are not going away. What I keep praying for is if there is another way to go through this - a sort of "cousin" relationship - until such a time we could be reunited. I have loved the Episcopal Church but five General Conventions and countless Diocesan Councils have shown me the Episcopal Church is walking apart. I can't go where TEC is going - I feel that I have been left behind. So CANA is a place to go as the storm intensifies.

    I'm not in another "denomination" - I am Anglican, an Episcopalian member of a CANA Church. After September 30th we may find out whether Episcopalians will remain Anglicans in full standing or not. I too am waiting to see what happens.

    But for now I continue to pray that there will be some way through this - CANA is a place that helps me stay in the Anglican Communion in this difficult time. Bishop Minns is my bishop - as he is the bishop of many others in similar circumstances. Bishop Duncan is walking alongside us, as are others from all over the Communion.

    I worked on a house for Habitat for Humanity in Sandtown in Baltimore, MD. Truro adopted a house there and I learned a lot not only about restoration, but about spiritual restoration. There were times in the beginning when it looked like the entire house would be torn down and we'd have to start over - but after taking the house down to its walls (and we did have to take down the back wall) we began to rebuild.

    But clearing out the debris from inside that 100 year old abandoned house was tough, it was heartbreaking, it was painful, it was hard. But it was worth it and today a family lives in that house.

    The Episcopal Church is supposed to be Anglican, but years of theological neglect and biblical abandonment have taken its toll on the Church to where it doesn't even look Anglican any more. It's an interesting church (which I've called a Bobo Church) - but I'm not sure it could really call itself Anglican anymore. And that breaks my heart.

    I know it's hard to understand that the choices I've made have been because I want to see the Episcopal Church return to its biblical roots and if it must explore social innovations, that we would do it in ways that does not tear apart the fabric of the Anglican Communion. Our actions have had consequences and if I am honest - though I know many will disagree and I respect that - my brothers and sisters in this struggle - in CANA, or ACN, or AMiA or the partnerships with Uganda or the Southern Cone - or even the Diocese of London - we all pray at this late hour that TEC will turn around and come back to its Anglican roots.

    But it seems at this late hour that the TEC leadership sincerely believes that what actions that have been taken - as in the consecration of Gene Robinson - are indeed holy prophetic actions. If that is truly how TEC believes (and we shall see come September 30) - then it will be the Episcopal Church who is walking apart.

    And so I am an Episcopalian in CANA.

    I wonder if there are others who feel that way - I think there are. We are in different boats, be it CANA, or ACN, or AMiA, Windsor Bishops, or other boats - but we're all heading in the same direction, by God's grace. The seas are stormy, but we look for signs of the break of day (and those days do come).

    For me personally - and this is just speaking for myself - I am waiting for September 30. In the meantime, I am an Episcopalian in a CANA Church and praying that Bishop Lee will remember the good work he was doing before David Booth Beers showed up and we could a find a better way through this.

    The Virginia Protocol was developed over nearly a year of hard work between representatives of the Bishop and representatives of the evangelicals in Virginia. The Bishop himself participated in developing the protocol. He took part in our 40 Days of Discernment. He asked us to put together reps for his Property Commission after the vote and we did. It was to be the Virginia-way - a Christian way through this. I believed him.

    Does David Booth Beers and Stacy Sauls speak for the whole church? I guess we'll find out.

    Thank you for letting me post. God bless you.


  7. bb...thanks for the note. I'd like to take this to the front page (or whatever you call it here in blogland) and comment on it there.

    OK by you?

    The basic beginning point being Yes - you are an Episcopalian because this is your home when you want it and Yes I am an Episcopalian even if you sometimes think I belong to a bobo church.

    There is good work to be done and there are plenty of rooms in the mansion, although some are for time outs.

    I think the idea of a conversation, one with humor and song, would be wonderful. In the real world or in cyberspace.

  8. But clearing out the debris from inside that 100 year old abandoned house was tough, it was heartbreaking, it was painful, it was hard.

    And I think we all know which of us are the garbage that must be cleared out, as bb and her new Nigerian friends see it.

  9. What on earth is a "bobo church" (to quote babyblue)? As for me, I am no boboite, whatever that is. I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church sixty years ago, my spirituality is steeped in the Bible which I have read and listened to in church all my life, and I am an Anglican through and through.

    I may be wrong, but my instinct tells me that Gene Robinson's elevation to the episcopate was of God as was Katharine Jefferts Schori's election as presiding bishop. I'm not "walking apart." The Episcopal Church is not walking apart. The only crowd that's walking apart are those who have been drawn into the church-wrecking schisms (the plural is deliberate) led by Martyn Minns, Robert Duncan, David Anderson and others and paid for by heaven knows whom.

    I have been an Anglican all my life. I'm still an Anglican.
    That's why I sign myself,


  10. BB,

    I'm not a social innovation.



  11. Everybody say "Happy Birtday" to Mark - bon viviant, raconteur, and an all around amazing man.

    Hip, hip, hooray.

    Hip, hip, hooray.

    Hip, hip, HOORAY!

  12. bb,

    It may well be that CANA and TEC end up like cousins, sort of like TEC and the PCUSA or UCC: different visions in practice of the work the Holy Spirit is calling us to do in the name of Christ, which nevertheless maintain a cordial, healthy, close relationship. That would be a decent outcome.

    Buuuuuuut you seem to think the desegregation of churches and society, the ordination of women and the securing of their fair place in society, and genuinely open discernment about the ordination of active homosexuals and the blessing of SSUs is mere social innovation.

    I think that TEC believes to the contrary--these things are not optional.

    Any church denying them defies not just TEC's interpretation of the movement of the Spirit, but the Gospel of the living Christ and the holy will of the Father--both of which are revealed in Scripture foremost.

    These things have Ultimate Significance, and attempts at evasion or equivocation run the risk of invoking the judgement and wrath God reserves for obstinate injustice, a wrath visible throughout the Prophets, visited on Israel and the nations alike.

  13. It's okay with me, Mark - though with the events of yesterday things may be changing. I'm holding on for September 30.

    As you might have seen from an earlier post at the BBOnline - I am quite troubled by the way Kenneth Kearon handled his media event yesterday, not only for Martyn Minns but for Gene Robinson as well. Opening up the Archbishop of Canterbury's mail and reading it to the press and offering his own spin is just plain wrong (especially when the dissed-bishops are told before their mail arrives). Gene Robinson should not have been humiliated that way (and yes, I am deeply troubled about his position as a bishop - but this was the wrong as a way to deal with that before September 30) and Kearon's facts about Martyn Minns are just plain wrong (the bishop did not have an irregular consecreation - he was elected by the entire Nigerian Anglican House of Bishops, for heaven's sake - and missionary bishops are all over Africa, that's how they spread the Gospel and bring new people into the church and convert from Islam - in fact, England has a British-born missionary bishop consecreated in Uganda and I am sure he's invited to Lambeth - why not invite the British-born missionary bishop consecrated in Nigeria?) My guess is that none of this is a done deal and we need to keep that in mind.

    I am Episcopalian and I am Anglican and I am a member of a CANA Church - a safe harbor in these very troubled waters. I am waiting to see what happenes by September 30.

    What it seems to be that we have here are those who are willing to be flexible with structures and firm on theology, vs those who are willing to be flexible on theology and firm on structures. How will these groups ever find common ground?

    Of course, I had another idea about what Rowan could do instead.

    Blessings, Mark - and Happy Birthday! (thanks, Elizabeth!).

    Humor helps.



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.