Dogs at the Table

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

Friday, June 11, 2010

So what?

I've enjoyed the experience of Synod. But this last day has left me unsettled.

The more distance I have from the "Agreed Statement" the less impressed I am. I asked my bishop if the phrase "Full Inclusion" means access to any sacrament after Baptism for gays and lesbians (including marriage and ordination). She said, and I quote, "It can be interpreted that way in each place, I think."

Does that mean here and now? Does it refer to election and ordination as bishops? Somehow I doubt it.

Then there was the Anglican Covenant.

I have made no secret of the fact that I have no desire to be bound by the constraints that the covenant describes. I live in fear that it will alienate me from my American brothers and sisters in the church if we don't play by Canterbury's rules. I am furious at the Anglican Communion Office for their "shot across the bow" as we were meeting in Synod. And I am concerned that the fatigue that coloured our actions this afternoon will have consequences that we shouldn't have to live with. After some amicable debate (nobody said anything remotely controversial), we passed the motion to receive and give study to the covenant text with a recommendation to General Synod 2013 (although the recommendation could be not to accept, I suppose -- the motion is not directive). A second motion was presented advising us not to accept the covenant until after its acceptance in the Church of England. Although the Resolutions Committee and Advisory Group said the motion was in order, the chair (ie. the Primate) ruled it out of order, stating that we need only concern ourselves with Canada, and that this was not about the rest of the communion.

Sorry, ++Fred. It is precisely about the rest of the communion, and were it up to me, I would not even begin to consider it until England and a numerical majority of the provinces of the Church had adopted it. Canterbury is already acting as though it is in force, and therefore we have nothing to lose by deferring any decision about the matter. There is so much ignorance about the ecclesiology of the Anglican Church in Canada and throughout the world, that deference would, in fact, give us some opportunity to teach about the nature of who we are as a family of faith.

I attended Eucharist with the Integrity community at suppertime (this is a gay-positive movement within the church). I have been associated with the Pride organization for years, and have (had to) represent the Diocese a number of times over the past few years. Each year, I apologize for the Anglican communion not giving equal consideration to Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered and Bisexual members of the church when it comes to marriage or ordination. I mentioned to the Bishop that I hoped she could be at the Pride events this year, because I was tired of apologizing for our church. She said we had nothing to apologize for. Look again, bishop.

The loveliest part of the day was Evening Prayer. Ardyth and Jennifer, celtic harpists and troubadours, accompanied a Celtic expression of the evening office. When I evaluate General Synod, the worship in the gathering is a high point.

A poorly organized reception followed in a warehouse sized space, and I ended up at a local pub for high starch and carbohydrates late in the evening.

Today's weigh-in: ? I can't imagine pub food at 11:30 can be good for me.


  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger Eminence Grise said…

    See the following from The Episcopal Church Executive Council:


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