Friday, February 16, 2007

"Do not be afraid"

I've been following the Anglican Primates' meeting a bit while visiting my folks in Indiana. Having been on vacation for more than two weeks, I'm feeling a bit disconnected from all the drama playing out over what seems to me to be a non-event thus far. I take this to be a sign of health on my part.

Despite all the dire predictions, what I gather thus far is that:

1. Our Presiding Bishop has been seated without too much fuss as the duly elected Primate of our Church.

2. The report on the TEC's response to the Windsor Report gave us at least a "B" grade with a "needs improvement" on the blessing of same-sex unions. While I don't think we should be scoring points for banning gay and lesbian priests from the episcopacy, and while I hope we don't backtrack on GC2003's support for "local option" with respect to blessing same-sex unions, there is nothing here on a first reading to cause grave concern. It is just one more step in the reception of the Windsor Report, which is commendatory rather than binding.

3. Seven Primates (out of 36 present) refused to share Holy Communion at the same table with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. One report mentions that two others attended the service but didn't communicate. At the Dromantine Primates' meeting, 14 Primates refused to celebrate Holy Communion with Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold. Seems to me we are making progress.

I continue to pray for all the Primates gathered this week. Much remains to be decided, but I'm hopeful. Archbishop Rowan Williams appears to be holding the space well, keeping a somewhat fragile Communion in play while refusing to capitulate to bullies afraid of getting cooties if they play with girls - or heretics - or sinners - or . . . (fill in the blank).

Who knows what the final outcome will be. Thankfully, it isn't under our control. Ultimately, it is in God's hands.

So, let our motto be that of the angels: "Do not be afraid."

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