Hallo again to all.
Society considers conflict to be entertainment. We could say 'modern society' or 'these days', but as far back as history goes, fights, feuds, wars, challenges, and confrontation have held human interest. All societies and eras seem fascinated with conflict, suggesting that it's a core part of our human nature. Drama since the days of Aeschylus has thrived on conflict between and within human beings. Are 'Survivor' or 'Weakest Link' television shows really based on dramatic principles not known to Euripides? We doubt it. We realise that our own News Centre follows this pattern: so much of what we report is news about contention and strife. Why? Simple. That's what gets published. Recall the rather dreadful American media adage: 'If it bleeds, it leads'. We remember fondly from our youth that 'Typical Chorister' was the prize given to the most deserving choirboy. Alas, that probably wouldn't prove distinctive nowand wouldn't be an item in the News Centre.
It's easy to think of shapes by considering their edges, to write history by remembering wars, conflicts, and treaties, to see a jar, not noticing the wine inside. But we don't think that is what God wants Life to be. A friend in the grocery trade (certainly a trade in which a deep understanding of human nature can help with business) wrote recently about missionary bishops: 'I wonder if all this too-ing and fro-ing is not a gigantic overestimation of our importance and a mesmerizing distraction from Life. All this Schism versus Heresy has become a kind of NASCAR pile-up for the bored disciples. It gives us all something to do.'
There is such a temptation every week to report breathlessly on conflicts involving 20 people rather than on the ordinary life of 20 million people. We at AO are not hermits, we're part of the world, too. We confess that we do read about murder trials in newspapers, about confrontations between bishops and prime ministers, and we probably know much more about the history of crime, wars, and destruction than about growing crops. Perhaps all of us should learn to be less addicted to daily drama and junk-food news, be spiritually quieter, and Pay More Attention. Ronwen Guest writes on the experience of doing just that, and we're honoured to publish her poem about it.
The ordinary life of Anglicans in Canada will be happily altered from henceforth by the agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, just approved by General Synod. See the splendid ACC synod coverage for more: you can find links in our News Centre.
Here at Anglicans Online, much of our daily work is finding web resources and telling you about them. We always list everything that's fresh in our New This Week sectionand our friend Mimi Bennett-Aronson has generously pursued (and found) many USA parishes for us. And a host of well-worth-readings in Worth Noting includes 'Waging Peace', an article about how two often opposites in the Episcopal Church USA became friends.
See you next week. In the meanwhile, we'll be waging some ordinariness.
Last updated: 8 July 2001