The Rev. Richard Helmer of the Caught by the Light blog is doing a wonderful job reporting on the Epiphany West conference at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. I was especially taken by his summary of the talk by Dr. Jenny Plane Te Pa of New Zealand, a member of the committee that wrote the Windsor Report. Richard writes:
She expressed in a moving way how many provinces of the Anglican Communion still admire how The Episcopal Church organizes and carries out its mission, and articulated sadness at the way our province has been treated as of late:
how we have been, along with the Church of Canada, unfairly singled out and patronized in the present mess, and how our LGBT members have been scapegoated in overt and subtle ways
how several (male) leaders both inside and outside of the Episcopal Church have taken advantage of weaknesses in the Episcopal Church and Anglican structures to forward potentially schismatic agendas and vilify our church membership and leadership, including ++Katharine Jefferts Schori
how the Windsor Report’s recommendations against cross-jurisdictional interference have been ignored while it has, at the same time, been used as a punitive instrument — something Dr. Te Paa has clear reason to take personally
how in some quarters The Episcopal Church has been conflated with the worst of United States foreign policy, and the complexity of our context has not been properly understood or taken into account
how The Episcopal Church has shown enormous grace and restraint in voluntarily withdrawing from Anglican structures (i.e., the Anglican Consultative Council) at the request of the Primates, and has tolerated and taken care to provide room for internal dissent
And, most critically, she noted how historically marginalized peoples in the Anglican Communion have most identified with the challenges we in The Episcopal Church now face.