Enough, already

By Kit Carlson

I don’t care. I know I should. I know all the very, very, very, very important reasons why I should care about the proposed Anglican Covenant, the upcoming Lambeth meeting, the “anti-Lambeth” gathering in the Middle East, and all the machinations, argumentations, proselytizations, and disputations surrounding all of it. I know that it matters. It does. I know I could wake up in a year or two and find my beloved Episcopal Church on trial in some ecclesiastical, international tribunal that emerged seemingly overnight at the urging of a few fearful and angry Anglicans. I know, in my head, that it is serious business for the future of the Anglican Communion, how we relate to one another, and how we wield power over, or power with, one another.

Still, you know what? I’m tired of it. I’m tired of it, and I’m bored of it, and I am ready to move on.

I just don’t care.

Here is what I do care about: I care about the very real people in my very real parish who show up faithfully, week after week, to receive the sacraments, to hear the Word of God, and to laugh and cry and support each other as they walk through life together.

I care about their spiritual health, their physical health, their mental health. I care about their dying dogs and their wandering children. I care about their cancer scares, their cancer cures and their cancer deaths. I care about their doubts and fears, their debates with God, their insights into some fresh word of Scripture. I care about their ability to be in healthy relationships. (And I don’t care whether those relationships are straight or gay, as long as they are healthy.)

I care about my parish as a whole. I care about its ability to welcome the stranger, to serve the needy, to pray and to grow, to be a good steward of all its blessings, from building to staff to children in the nursery. I care about its future. I want it to grow and thrive for the next fifty years and more, and to become such a force for good, such a blessing to our community, that East Lansing would be bereft if it were suddenly to vanish.

I care about my bishop and my diocese. I care about the Episcopal Church. And I do very much care about the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has blessed my life in uncountable ways, because my home church in Maryland is filled with people from all over that Communion, people who moved to the Washington area to live and work and to worship in the Anglican tradition. My world has been expanded because I have lived in community with Nigerians, Ghanaians, Bahamians, Chinese, Indians and Canadians. My vision of God’s Kingdom has been broadened by seeing all sorts of God’s children from all over the world come to the altar rail, week after week.

And I understand that a flawed and failed Covenant could put that at risk.


I still don’t care. Because I believe that, as the old hymn says, “the love of God is broader than the measure of the mind,” and that what is good and true and Godly … in my parish, in my diocese, in my beloved Church of Our Saviour in Hillandale, Maryland, is stronger than the division, confusion and darkness flying around out there in the rest of the Anglican Communion.

The Rev. Kit Carlson, is the rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in East Lansing, Mich. In 2003, she played the apostle Paul on the world’s first internet reality series, The Ark, a project of the Christian humor website Ship of Fools.

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