received during the week of 27 July
should be doing church'
READ WITH HORROR THE REVISED COLLECTS
for the church year. I cannot believe that one would reduce the original
beautiful language to tabloid press language. It seems to me, the church
bent on self-destruction.
hope and pray that your House of Bishops rejects these revisions realizing
that the communities of faith are supposed to be worshiping God not
themselves. We must offer our best, whether it be language or music,
to God, rejecting this nonsense of 'feel good' theology. In short as
one bishop mentioned in a sermon, 'We should be doing church'.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Holbrook. New York, USA
29 July 2003
the basis of unity'
STRIDENT VOICES THREATENING SCHISM over issues of moral
theology and pastoral practices within the diverse churches that make
up the Anglican Communion, I suggest Anglicans everywhere, whatever
their views on these issues, consider the basis of unity adopted by
the Lambeth Conference of 1888 - Resolution 11: That, in the opinion
of this Conference, the following Articles supply a basis on which approach
may be by God's blessing made towards Home Reunion:
1. The Holy Scriptures of the
Old and New Testaments, as "containing all things necessary to salvation,"
and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
2. The Apostles' Creed, as the
Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement
of the Christian faith.
3. The two Sacraments ordained
by Christ Himself--Baptism and the Supper of the Lord--ministered
with unfailing use of Christ's words of Institution, and of the elements
ordained by Him.
4. The Historic Episcopate,
locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying
needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His
Donald F. M. Gerardi
Church of St Luke-in-the-Fields
New York, New York, USA
28 July 2003
A rhetorical technique?
HAVE NOTICED A RHETORICAL TECHNIQUE popular among many
in the Anglican Communion today. It involves the proffer of proposition
X with the explanation that the matter at issue is not really a change
to the substantive teachings of the church, but is actually a procedural
matter within the authority of, say for example, the General Convention,
synod, or the local bishop to change. For example, the Presiding Bishop
of the Episcopal Church in the USA can use this technique to assert
in a letter to his fellow bishops that the election of Canon Robinson
as bishop is not really about the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals
as bishops, but rather about the 'need to respect the action of the
Diocese of New Hampshire.'
Anglicans Online seems to have joined those using this technique when
this week you
proffer a number of excerpts from the councils of the early church,
all of which support episcopal autonomy against 'outside' interference,
but then write, “our purpose is to convince you that church governance
has, since its very beginnings, been contentious.” I think that it is
unreasonable to believe that you are not offering those particular excerpts
for a substantive, persuasive purpose, while claiming objectivity to
appear reasonable in your proffer. Otherwise, why haven’t you included
any one of a number of possible quotes from the early councils about
the suppression of unorthodox belief, irregular ordinations, or (dare
we say it) heresy? The conflict racking the Anglican Communion is a
substantive dispute that will not be settled, one way or the other,
by ducking the issues. If you’re going to take sides, fine, but be forthright
about it. I am very disappointed that you let your own bias interfere
with what is ordinarily a wonderfully objective look at the disorderly
communion that we love. As you suggest, I will certainly add the excerpts
'to the mix of what [I] know and what [I am] thinking about,' but you
should know that you have lost a lot of credibility this week with a
Truro Episcopal Church
Fairfax, Virginia, USA
29 July 2003
want my church back'
AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS THE PROPER OUTLET to vent my
thoughts, but alas, there is nowhere else to turn. I am truly, deeply
saddened by the state of our church worldwide and especially here at
home. It is truly a shame to allow a schism in the worldwide church
over the singular issue of homosexual priests, but it appears that is
going to happen.
Americans have decided to compromise the good of the whole for the pleasures
of the few. I in no way am attacking homosexual rights or the ability
of said group to enter into the communion of Our Lord, but rather I
find it distasteful to allow an entire church to be destroyed on a worldwide
scale merely to placate the behaviour and choices of a few.
conference allows [Ed. note: Convention] not just a gay priest but a
sexually active gay priest in violation of the agreements of the Lambeth
conference to become an active Bishop, I will no longer raise my children
in this Faith. I convinced my wife many years ago to raise our children
in the Episcopal faith instead of in her Catholic Church, I now regret
that and pray that I am not forced out of my own church because of the
sexual choices of the absolute minority. Perhaps we should consider
another sacrificial lamb in this context, the priest himself, instead
of the worldwide congregation. Are gay rights really so important as
to justify this pending schism? I want my church back NOW! I will no
longer tolerate this and am ready to leave!
St Michael's Episcopal Church
Dallas, Texas, USA
30 July 2003
THERE A BLACKOUT in Minneapolis?
no online edition of the Convention Daily—not even PDF
this time—[Ed. note: it's now available online and in PDF],
the ENS coverage has been both thin and late, and the official GC site,
unlike 2000, has no means to check the status of pending resolutions.
Come on, guys, three years is two generations of Moore's Law, so your
electronic coverage should be four times better, not half (or less)
coverage is no better: Anglicans Online is completely missing, the AAC's
"A Place to Stand" and the Coalition's "Issues" haven't added anything
in nearly two days (and not much before that), the Every Voice Network
coverage requires a subscription, and CNN is only running recycled Associated
Press stories from the secular press.
nothing from my Diocese (Texas). The New Hampshire diocesan site is
now a day behind. About the only thing I could find that conveyed the
real feel of the Convention was from the Rector of Holy Cross, Sullivan's
Island, South Carolina, and that is written from a fairly ideological
point of view. That leaves Center Aisle from the Diocese of Virginia,
which is also thinner on news than it was three years ago.
a policy of ignoring anything David Virtue says, but right now he is
the only voice audible to the Episcopal Church outside Hennepin County.
I am trying to follow your advice to avoid obsessing over instant news and
analysis, but it is very frustrating that I cannot even get minimal information on what may have occurred in the past 24 hours, much less
on the vital conversations that must be going on behind the scenes.
to pray in the silence.
St Richard's Episcopal Church
Georgetown, Texas, USA
31 July 2003
excuse: At AO, we're all volunteers. Of the two managing editors, one
is a deputy at General Convention, working each day from 5.45am till
midnight, and the other is in Chile. We're not sure what excuses the
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH TRYING
to drive its members away from them? I think they are.
it was ordaining women priest. Now they want to ordain a gay bishop
and vote on same sex marriages. They are going too far and I, as many
other Episcopalians say shame on what we are doing. Instead of building
our church we are tearing it down. The church is driving more of us
away each and every day I was born Episcopalian, married as Episcopalian,
and all my children baptized Episcopalian.
If this happens on ordaining a gay bishop and condoning same sex marriages,
I will no longer remain Episcopalian. I sang in choir, served on the
alter, belonged to all youth groups and was proud of my church and what
it stood for in the past. I am 71 years old and what days I have left
on this earth will not be going along with the teachings other than
what I was raised under. I think this is a sad day for all Episcopalians
if this takes place.
A very concerned Episcopalian.
3 August 2003
From the Minneapolis
Convention Centre, noon, August 3rd
THERE WAS A EUCHARIST THIS MORNING
at General Convention with about 10,000 people in attendance. It was beautiful, moving, unutterably consoling. I found myself several times
with silent tears escaping from my eyes, as I wondered how many bishops and deputies might walk out of General Convention in the next few
Lay Deputy, Diocese of Central New York
Editor, Anglicans Online
We launched our 'Letters
to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our