There are voices in the Church of England telling the faithful it is right to stand with The Episcopal Church.
The Very Reverend Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark Cathedral in a sermon preached July 19th touching on the actions of General Convention:
The Episcopal Church of the United States has hit the headlines because of the decisions of its governing congress, people have been describing it as the slow motion train crash of the Anglican Communion. The Bishop of Durham featured in an article in The Times making much of certain elements of scripture, too much, I think he was suggesting content that is simply not there; but, signally, failing to address all the other passages conflicting with his argument. It is always the hazard for the preacher that it is too easy to choose texts and zone in on them to the elimination of other considerations….
I will never say anyone who acknowledges Jesus as Lord should leave the Anglican Church; I have always held that its unique genius lies in being inclusive of a wide spectrum of doctrinal opinion and scriptural approach, it is for all. The Church’s other great strength has been its balance between being episcopally led and synodically governed; it has neither the monolithic, and sometimes oppressive, singularity of the catholic magisterium, nor the democratic, but sometimes anarchic, congregationalism of the Free Church traditions. I will say, however, that those who are exclusive are not sharing in the generous embrace that the Anglican Church epitomises and may find themselves happier elsewhere. Inevitably I am suspicious of Anglicans who claim to be part of our catholic inheritance but deny the leadership of bishops when it suits them; or those who dissent from the authority of the Bishop or the Archbishop to set up rival conferences and councils; their ecclesiology seems to me to be so different they would be happier in what are generally termed Free Churches.
Canon Andrew Nunn, Sub-Dean of Southwark Cathedral in a sermon preached on August 2nd touching on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s reflection on the actions of General Convention:
[The archbishop’s] response that came out last week has caused distress and anger among many and particularly those who are looking to the Anglican Church in the global north to be able to respond positively to where society is. The Archbishop’s reflections on same-sex partnerships, his comments about gay and lesbian clergy and how tenable their commitment to the church is and his desire for the church to arrive at a common mind and for no part to act prophetically – my words not his – independently, have all caused this dismay and anger.
The implication is that in some way communion with the Episcopal Church in the United Stares will be impaired, and the more extreme conservatives are actively calling for a break in communion with TEC, as it’s now called. If that were to happen we’d no longer be able to gather at the altar with our American Anglican brothers and sisters, or I’m sure our Canadian ones as well, if that part of the Communion goes down a similar route.
Some Christians love to wear a wristband with the initials WWJD – what would Jesus do – on it. What would Jesus do in this situation? I believe Jesus would continue to do what he has always done – to sit down at the table and share the meal – it’s as simple as that.
Hat tip to Tom commenting at Thinking Anglicans.