Keeping everyone at the table

From Anglican Journal:

Rowan Williams said on his recent visit to Canada that his job as Archbishop of Canterbury—the spiritual leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans—is to get people around the table and keep them there as long as possible.

Of course, in ecclesiastical terms, Archbishop Williams’ words carry two meanings: he is attempting to keep all parties around the meeting table, continuing to talk about the challenges surrounding human sexuality and the authority of Scripture that threaten to divide them forever. He is also faced with the task of trying to keep all members around the eucharistic table. In some respects, he can record some success and some failure on both counts.

The recent meeting of primates in Tanzania is one marker of his progress. While there in February, seven leaders of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces boycotted a communion service to symbolize the “brokenness” of the communion. Granted, the number of absentee bishops was about half that which declined to share communion two years earlier at the same meeting in Northern Ireland. But it nevertheless shocked some observers, who could not fathom why church leaders would refuse to partake in the greatest gift to believers: the body and blood of Christ, simply in order to make a point.

Read it all here.

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