Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One Reason I'm an Episcopalian

Here are the recent remarks by Bishop Ducan Gray of Mississippi in reaction to the Anglican Covenant currently being developed and the misguided view many in the Global South have of the Episcopal Church and many of its leaders...

Remarks by Bishop Duncan Gray III
At the Windsor Continuation Group HearingLambeth Conference
July 28th 2008

A bit of personal history: I have been nurtured and shaped within the Evangelical tradition of my Church. Most importantly, this means that the ultimate authority of the Holy Scripture and the necessity of an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus as the way to the Father are foundational and non-negotiable components of my faith.

Within my own province, I voted not to consent to the election of Gene Robinson, for reasons both theological and ecclesiological. I have followed to the letter and the spirit of the Windsor Report — before there was a Windsor Report. For my faithfulness to this communion I have been rewarded by regular incursions into our diocese by primates and bishops who have no apparent regard for either my theology or ecclesiology.

I have made some peace with this reality, preferring to think of the irregularly ordained as Methodists — and some of my best friends are Methodists! What I cannot make peace with is the portrayal of my sister and brother bishops in the Episcopal Church, who disagree with me, as bearers of a false gospel. That portrayal does violence to the imperfect, but faithful, grace-filled, and often costly way, in which they live out their love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yes, I am in serious disagreement with many of them on the very critical sacramental and ethical issues about which the Communion is in deep conflict. Are we sometimes, at best, insensitive to the wider context in which we do ministry, and at worst, deeply embedded in American arrogance — Absolutely! And for that insensitivity and arrogance we have begged the Communion's forgiveness on several occasions. “But do I see the Church in them?” as the most serious question at the last hearing asked. As God is my witness, I do. Despite my profound disagreements I continue to pray “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” We continue to reaffirm our creedal faith together. We continue to gather round the Lord’s table together, bringing the brokenness and imperfectness of our lives into the healing embrace of our Lord who sends us out together to the poor, the weak and the hopeless. And, in the midst of our internal conflicts, they show me Jesus.

There are dozens of bishops like me in the Episcopal Church. We are not a one, or even two dimensional Church. We are a multitude of diverse theological, ecclesiological and sacramental perspectives — and the vast majority of us have figured out a way to stay together. How is this possible? I think it begins with the gift from Saint Paul, who taught us the great limitations of even our most insightful thought. We do, every one of us, “see through a glass, darkly.” And none of us can say to the other, “I have no need of you.”

One day, Saint Paul says, we will see face to face, the glory that we now only glimpse. But in the meantime, as each of us struggles to be faithful, may each of us, the Episcopal Church and the wider communion, find the courage, and the humility, to say to one another, “I need you — for my salvation and for the salvation of the world.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lambeth and Human Rights

I enjoy reading the blog of the provoost of St. Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow. Here is a quote of his recent piece on Lambeth...

I don’t actually think that the attempt to sum up the “liberal” side comes anywhere near to my position at all. The things is, its all about human rights, Rowan. This is not just about the rights of gay and lesbian people in the US, it is about all of us. It is about the rights of people in all parts of the world to self expression, to practise their religion, to live freely with dignity before God.

It's worth the read. See the post here.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I keep looking for our Bishops in the photos coming out of Lambeth Conference. Can You see Bishop Tom in this pic? Look toward the middle. Thanks to Bishop David, who I link to below, for this view of the official Lambeth Photo.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What it should be about

Jane Williams (++Rowan's better half) and Helen Wangusa, Anglican Observer to the UN, fellowship at a recent Lambeth event. This is what its all about, not headline seeking, not end-runs around leadership, and not the bigoted spew in the guise of religious purity coming from the self-righteous. If only we would all be willing to listen a little more and talk a little less, oh what a world that would be.

Watch Out for the Spin

There is an overabundance of news coming out of the Lambeth Conference. However, many of the items put out by the mainstream press and the critics are being sensationalized to make headlines. I find it more helpful to read everything, then reflect on it through the voices of the actual participants...

Here is a blogroll of Bishops to help process the information.

Two that I recommend highly are +David Chillingworth of Scotland

And +Russ Jacobus of Fon du Lac

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Lambeth

Here is a picture of the Opening Eucharist on Sunday, July 20th.

Here is a link to the daily activity of the Lambeth Conference.

Here is a link to the photo diary.

There is a lot of material coming out of the conference and lots of spin depending on the source. But all in all, it seems to be a meaningful event for those attending.

Pray for the Church.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lambeth is underway...

Can you spot Bishops Tom and Ken in the picture. This is from the opening worship.

Here is a link to find up to date info on the conference.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Women Bishops for the C of E

It has been a long road, but the legislative synod for the Church of England has voted to move forward with elevating women to the Episcopate. In doing so they will join a growing minority of provinces in the Anglican Communion that has women serving in all three orders of the historic Apostolic ministry.

Here is the official word from the Anglican News Service...

The Guardian Newspaper offers these remarks...

The church has tried hard to find a way of accommodating the reactionaries who declare, as a matter of theological conviction, that they cannot receive the Christian ministry from women. All such objections, however, embody three propositions that are ultimately unacceptable. One is that the opposition of the minority should permanently prevent the will of the majority from being put into practice. The second is that extensive special treatment for the anti-women minority - whether in the form of separate or parallel male-only structures and appointments - inevitably demeans female clergy as being lesser bishops than men. The third is the underlying indignity itself of the belief that women are not made to be bishops. The synod's concession of a code of conduct - not yet drawn up - is as far as the church should go in making concessions to its conscientious objectors.

Read the entire editorial here...

And here is one of my favorite C of E commentators, Fr. Giles Fraser, who never pulls any punches...

The debate threw up some unlikely heroes. Foremost among them the Bishop of Liverpool, who has had his troubles of late, chiefly as chair of governors of the Oxford college, Wycliffe Hall that has made the news for sacking most of its staff and going so right wing it has been nicknamed an Anglican madrasa. But his speech steered the women bishops debate to its conclusion. The job description of bishops, he argued, was to feed the body of Christ. And yet, before the body of Christ became a metaphor for the people of God, it was a women that feed Christ’s physical body and looked after him. Here was the Biblical argument for women bishops. Indeed - on this argument - the very first bishop was a woman.

Read his entire comments here...