Saturday, January 27, 2007

Future-TEC

MCJ has up a new post about an unsuccessful proposal at the Diocese of Washington's convention. The part that interested me the most was not so much the foot-stamping over Rowan Williams, but the hints that TEC is preparing to jump before they're pushed:
RESOLVED, that this Diocese calls upon the Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, and the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, to form a commission to examine whether continued membership in the Anglican Communion is any longer beneficial to the core task of proclaiming the Gospel in this country.
I call this trying to have your cake and eat it, too, while declaring "I don't really like cake anyway." There are starting to be louder murmurings about cutting loose the tiresome old Anglican Communion, and reconstituting with the churches of Canada, Scotland, South Africa, New Zealand and a few other "progressive" branches. The incoherence is palpable: on the one hand, belonging to an international Communion is not important at all, and the Americans are ready to shake the dust off their feet and get on with their very important mission. On the other, they'll no sooner free themselves from the shackles of the AC, than they'll turn around and form a NEW "Communion", of more agreeable churches, presumably to help them get on with their very important mission.

But what makes me laugh is the naivete of the Americans, in thinking that this is going to be a more comfortable fit than the old situation. How long will it be before the other churches are chafing under the burden of American dominance and bossiness? Especially as the TEC leaders are exceptionally humorless, haughty authoritarians (most atypical of Americans, as far as my experience goes). Have these people learned NOTHING from the way the rest of the world acts? They're eager to castigate their own country for throwing its weight around when it comes to politics, but they think that somehow it'll all be different when they're playing big sister Susan to a collection of runty, discontented Edmunds.

4 Comments:

Blogger Ellie M said...

"There are starting to be louder murmurings about cutting loose the tiresome old Anglican Communion, and reconstituting with the churches of Canada, Scotland, South Africa, New Zealand and a few other "progressive" branches."

That's nice. Of course, what would be even nicer would be actually consulting with people at parish level. A decision that momentous needs more than just a synod; it should require a plebiscite. (And if revisionists reply, "But we've never done anything like that BEFORE," I really am going to crack up!)

2:44 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Yes, well, the mechanics of all this are still pretty hazy. I suspect that a plebiscite is the last thing anyone will suggest; it's not part of the almight canons or General Convention, which between them contain all wisdom. And I know people are saying, "Oh, it won't make any difference, people just want to remain ensconced in their own little parish, and hardly anyone knows or cares of anything beyond their borders." But I think the reality might be a little different. Except for crazy parishes that are already almost running their own religion, people tend to find it unnerving to be detached and exposed, even if they've never given much thought to the bigger community they've always belonged to. I think a lot of people will find it very disturbing that they're suddenly cut off from anything bigger than themselves.

4:16 pm  
Blogger Min O'Pause said...

"Except for crazy parishes that are already almost running their own religion,... "

Sort of like Falls Church and Truro, CANA, no?

Why not start your own Evangelical hybrid of the Episcopal church, hold court in school gyms, use a big Powerpoint presentation, a projector and screen, hold snakes, speak in tongues, denounce everyone but yourselves as evil Satan worshipers, but still have responsive readings, recite the Nicene Creed, etc.?

Call yourselves "Episcoevangelicals". How would that strike you?

Feel free to comment on my blog, as well, because I certainly will not think of you as a troll at all. I welcome your comments.

Love,
Min
(haughty American troll)

4:37 pm  
Blogger Ellie M said...

Dr Mabuse, I strongly suspect that most Anglicans know little or nothing about what's going on. Very few are reading the blogs and other Internet sites, and most probably just scan the "Anglican Journal" before tossing it in the recycling bin, IF they read it at all. Most Anglicans ARE "ensconced in their own little parish": most are too busy with their jobs and families to spare much time for following church politics. Sunday attendance and the occasional committee are the likely limits of their involvement.

So when their rector suddenly announces that their parish has formed part of a breakaway "new Communion" there won't likely be much protest at first. After all, everything at the home parish will be the same: the liturgy, the decor, the faces in the pews.

But as the new regime really takes hold, emboldened by the lack of any opposition or criticism, expect to see a precipitous drop in membership. Political activism is no substitute for religion, and never will be.

11:26 am  

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