Dogs at the Table

...or to put it another way, "Perish, priest!"

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Day the fourth

Let me start at the Gorsebrook Lounge (where the evening socials take place). Before General Synod, there were several articles published about some of the issues that were coming before this body of the church. One of them is the Anglican Covenant – a document describing relational attributes of member bodies in the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Toronto, Colin Johnson, had written a rather favourable piece. I am not so enamoured of the document. I responded in print to Johnson’s article. Anyways, he and I were at the same table at the bar. We were having a great chat about many things (I grew up in Toronto). He was about to leave, when I disclosed who I was, pointed out that while I disagreed with his article, it wasn’t personal and bought him a beer. Lex orendi, lex credendi, lex bibendi.

The evening was spent dealing with resolutions about church governance. The proposal was that Easter attendance be used to craft the formula for determining proportional representation at General Synod. One clever delegate asked that it might be a three-year average of Easter attendance given the inclemencies and vicissitudes of the Canadian climate. A beautiful service of light (Taize chant, evocative language of prayer) concluded the evening deliberations (although I am not convinced that electric tea-lights are very high on the symbolic index).

The afternoon was spent in assigned discussion groups (around the sexuality/blessing issue), and specific interest areas. This was a lovely change of pace from the deliberations and presentations of the morning. The smaller numbers provided an intimacy for conversation that obviously cannot take place in plenary, and more direct contact between members.

The morning was curious. After our morning devotions and bible study, there was a presentation by a group called Fresh Expressions who challenged us to think about how the church will minister to a changing community, demographic and institution. This was followed by a gracious address by Kenneth Kearon, the General Secretary of the Anglican Communion. He noted that the Anglican Communion is who we are and not some etherial “other” kind of church. Sadly, although unbeknownst to the delegates at the time, his words were followed by brutally blunt actions as outlined in a letter from his office:

My response to his question, is, “wait and see.”

I may raise a point of privilege in the morning. I am offended that the governing secretary of the Anglican Communion would presume these actions before we have finished meeting.

Kearon is not getting a beer from me.

Oh, and by the way, we approved with no debate, a more decisive and missional role for the Primate in the church (there’s a whole bunch of ecclesiology involved with that with which I won’t bore you – it was a good thing).

Today's weigh-in: ? ...but beer good.


  • At 2:12 AM, Blogger Geoff said…

    Please do! As LBJ said to Pearson, "You peed on my rug!"

  • At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Dawn said…

    Kearon's actions made me furious. I can't think of a more diplomatic way to put it. How sleezy to tell us he won't interfere, then tell this to the press, then fly back to England before we can respond.

    And this is how we are treated with bonds of affection. You can have it. I'm not interested.


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