Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A crack in the wall?

Bob Dylan wrote "the carpet too is moving under you" and Anglican Centrist is noticing that the Episcopal Free-Thinkers (EFT) are getting some major push-back from the Ample & Generous Orthodoxites (AGO) with the apparent failure of the Bishop-elect of Northern Michigan to gain the number of consents necessary to be made a bishop. The carpet is moving all right. In fact, the carpet may have left the room.

Meanwhile, amongst much wailing and gnashing of teeth, the Episcopal House of Bishops is meeting behind closed-doors to figure out just what to do next as General Convention seems poised to bring the house down in Anaheim. So far the AGO-aligned Chair, Bishop Henry Parsley is resisting any outside interference to internal HOB discussions - no, not even from Louie himself - and what's up with that?

Are things so happy in Whoville after all? And yes, over there in the wings are the Communion Partners who have not forgotten the ill-advised EFTs sifting through privileged attorney-bishop e-mails and uploading the correspondence for public consumption. They've been the recipients of late of the sort of spewing that used to be reserved for the Voting Departed. The Communion Partners stay and get pies in the face. They glance about the room and see AGO-friendlies looking on with sympathy. Guess Dylan gets it right on that one too.

What if the Thew Forrester-vote reveals just how large the AGO wing really is in the Episcopal Church? The Presiding Bishop backed the bishop-elect of Northern Michigan - process, theology, the whole basket of zen. If dusty Anglican theology makes a grand re-entrance into the Episcopal Church polity (and musing are that the post-Boomers are far more interested then their aging Boomer siblings and the Millennials have actually of late gone missing, why - for all his rhetoric - even the President of the United States won't cross the line either - and what's up with that?) what does this loss say to her prestige and support base? Is there a crack in the wall or is it time to ring up the Little Dutch Boy?

Here's Anglican Centrist:

Several of the leading members of what I will call the 'establishment Left' are quite upset with the lack of consents in the election of Thew Forrester. They are beginning to cry, 'witch hunt,' and 'theological oppression.' Others are beginning to cry, 'but he's actually orthodox.' Still others, 'this is the beginning of the end of true intellectualism in the Church.' Still others seem to have begun a process of shaming those 'fellow liberals' who voted against Thew Forrester.

What we are seeing is the Gap between parties in the Episcopal Church who have not historically been seen to be different. The party of theological 'free thinkers' who have eschewed since the 1960s any appreciation for theological and liturgical coherence are awakening to see that there are also Episcopalians who favor the ample and generous orthodoxy of the Prayer Book and Hymnal, and are looking for a more inclusive church, but who are not looking to tweak, revise, redact or avoid the core elements of the faith, or make revision and innovation the constant modus operandi of the church either.

The party of folks who want to keep things loose, open, and 'challenging' -- are finding new resistance from those who want to keep things theologically and liturgically coherent, in and of themselves and in line with centuries of faith and practice, as well as with the global Anglican Communion.
Read it all here. With a classic tune to think by:


Dale Matson said...

We must never forget that our ancestors get a vote on what happens today too. TEC is not just a small minority in the Anglican Communion, it is even smaller in time. The ship has a large ancestral keel that sits below the water unobserved but keeping the ship upright in the stormy sea of change.

Daniel Weir said...

I agree with Dale about the ancestors' votes, but I don't think we should give them veto power.

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