Where’s the Bread?

Mark Harris at PRELUDIUM wonders in his usual thoughtful way about the alphabet soup of Anglicans and what will happen?

Remember that the long term strategy of the realignment community is a “broader and coordinated plan with other provinces to provide unity and pastoral care for those who have left or been forced out of The Episcopal Church.” That has included for several years an “internal” to TEC effort to gather like- minded individuals, parishes and bishops to work for realignment and cooperation with “external” efforts to supplant TEC with an “orthodox” Anglican entity. This latter approach has in the recent past been primarily the effort of the Global South Steering Committee, Archbishop Akinola in the fore, and the efforts of some few Anglican Provinces to jump in to “save” those who have “left or been forced out” of TEC.

What looks like a hodge-podge of realignment efforts seemingly uncoordinated and perhaps at odds with one another is being touted as a plan. There is apparent joy in Mudville with this new effort from the Global South. Bishop Duncan is happy, BabyBlue is happy, Bishop Minns’ boss is happy, Bishop Minns is happy. Nothing has been heard from AMiA yet.

The line up is happening, and come September 26th, the day after the Bishops’ fall meeting, the ACN Moderator has called a meeting to establish a “college of bishops” of all those groups in the Common Cause Network and related international partners. I gather from all the happiness that by then Bishop Atwood will be present as well.

A “College of Bishops” sure sounds like the beginnings of a new synodical gathering. The line-up is getting in place. And, if they all march off in the same direction without tripping over one another’s copes or banging into one another’s miters they just might find themselves on the way to an alternative Province in America, suitable for inclusion in a New Anglican Communion (NAC).

Mark concludes:

Meanwhile, plodding along, real ministry is being done by people in alphabet-soup-land, in The Episcopal Church, in mission organizations that can’t talk to one another, in churches that do or do not take money from the unclean, in churches in full communion and in no communion, in relief agencies across the Anglican spectrum in the Americas. Some dioceses and people in the Global South have taken to talking about ministry in spite of the unpleasantness and continuing on in ministry to those most in need.

The bread of life is getting out there in lots of different ways. The Holy Spirit is not mocked, but followed – down long paths that lead to the healing of nations and people. I believe the Holy Spirit does not actually care very much about charges and countercharges, or new bishops for strange postings, but is rather interested in getting the bread out into the world.

Years ago the chant was, “God is not dead, God is bread, and the bread is rising.” The new incursion of Bill Atwood on the American scene is irrelevant, as is that of Bishop Minns, the AMiA bishops or the gang from the Southern Cone, and for that matter as are most of our pretensions to Christian engagement through better church life. They, the individuals in this strange ecclesial world, are entirely relevant as persons and people of God, just as are we all. The question is, are we willing to be in the business of feeding the spiritually and physically starving of the world or are we bound to the sniveling of our own flocks? Marching off with this or that leader is not feeding, it is following.

Maybe we would do better to feed our enemies and our friends both. Then maybe what rises is new life.

Read it all HERE.

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