Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Archbishop's Response

The Archbishop of Canterbury today posted his longer response to General Convention and the goings on there. I was a little disappointed to see almost no mention of the role of women in the Anglican Communion, particularly how KJS's position as PB-elect is going to effect the communion. The best part of the letter was, I believe, the following:
"Both of these points are really grounded in the belief that our unity is something given to us prior to our choices - let alone our votes. ‘You have not chosen me but I have chosen you’, says Jesus to his disciples; and when we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, we are saying that we are all there as invited guests, not because of what we have done. The basic challenge that practically all the churches worldwide, of whatever denomination, so often have to struggle with is, ‘Are we joining together in one act of Holy Communion, one Eucharist, throughout the world, or are we just celebrating our local identities and our personal preferences?’"
Food for thought, definitely. I agree with the Daily Episcopalian, though, in that trying to say this whole debate is about how we make decisions and not homosexuality is like saying the civil war was about states' rights and not slavery. Right on, man. Let's just name it for what it is and go from there. That's just my opinion, anyway. If you're interested in reading the whole letter, go to http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org and check press releases. It's the first one under that, dated June 27. Happy reading.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pic of Blaine

I think I may have promised you all that I would post a picture of my nephew...Well, here he is! The most beautiful boy in the world, Blaine. He's even a little bigger now than he was in this picture! He's perfect.

Interesting Article

Here's an interesting article from a newspaper in the UK...The Guardian. The comments below are also somewhat intriguing, as they provide a more everyday perspective from the British people. I like what the author says about the American Episcopal church being a church of the people. Nice. Anyway, I recommend you read the article.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Back to the Daily Grind

Today was the first Sunday back at church since General Convention. I was half expecting Charles to preach on it, but to no avail. I also didn't hear many people talking about it. Could be because it's been half a week, or maybe because the average Episcopalian hasn't really paid too much attention to what's going on around the world. Check out some of the "Blogs I Read" for info on the conversation going on surrounding GC. I think the best point I've heard thus far is that in reality, what happens in our churches is on a very local level...and when it goes international, then it's usually one church pairing up with another. There's not really any meeting with the primates (how many Episcopalians have really known and been influenced directly by the PB? or the Archbishop of Canterbury? Or Akinola?) I just wonder how much of an effect this is going to have on the large middle ground dioceses of Episcopalians...It will be interesting to see.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Back from General Convention

That's right folks. I'm back from Columbus, OH, and the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. I went there to participate in the Young Adult Festival as well as Convention itself. Aside from the awesome young adults I met from all over the country, and my conversation with Professor Britton at Berkeley Divinity (at Yale...which is where I want to go to seminary), there were a few things that were especially good.

First, we elected the first ever female presiding bishop. AMAZING!!! I hadn't even counted Katherine Jefferts Schori as one of the contenders, because I NEVER thought that the bishops would vote for a woman. But the Spirit moved them...and THEY DID!!!! The reaction in the House of Deputies was amazing. There was literally a huge gasp when they said her name, and then everyone started clapping (which we weren't supposed to do). I had chills down my arms, and my friend Bart literally fell out of his chair. There were women crying, and men got up to speak in favor of the nomination. Thinking about it makes me tear up...as a young woman who will (hopefully) one day be ordained in the Episcopal Church, there is nothing more affirming. Nothing whatsoever.

Second, there was a TON of energy around the millenium development goals (for more info go to www.episcopalchurch.org/one). I think that there is no better way to show the Anglican Communion that we are commited to such a communion than to commit our souls and resources to helping our brothers and sisters in the global South who go to bed hungry every night, are oppressed because of their sex of indigenous status, or are ravished by HIV/AIDS, TB, or malaria. Part of this energy centered around a U2charist, which was the most amazing spiritual service I've ever been too. Seriously. 750 people packed into this ballroom. The Spirit was moving there. Michael Curry preached an amazing sermon and had a whole room of God's frozen chosen saying Amen! Then the convention voted to make the MDG's a budget priority. The PB-elect has also made them one of her priorities, which is great!

Third, we approved shared communion in the interim with the United Methodist Church. This is a great move, in my opinion, towards a more unified Church. We're not becoming Methodist, bu t we're recognising the shared heritage of all Christians. I ate lunch at a pub and the chief officer for ecumenical relations (a bishop whose name escapes me at the moment) was very pleased. So yahoo!

As for the Windsor Report, and everything surrounding it, I feel that this General Convention worked so hard to wrestle seriously with issues of communion and what that entails. Some may feel that the resolutions were not good enough, either because they went too far or not far enough. But the Archbishop can't say we didn't try. I sat in on the debates, and there was a real willingness (as far as I could tell) to work out these issues and come to some resolve.

All in all, it was an amazing experience. Anyone who can should check out General Convention in three years...

Peace ya'll