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Hallo again to all.

The Anglican world is steeped in talk of schism; of planning it by those who have wanted schism for years; of praying against it by those who prefer unity; and of covering the ears by what it seems to us is the vast majority of people.

Written in 2003, those words from twelve and a half years ago could possibly have been written today, though rather than 'schism' we're hearing 'suspension', 'consequences', 'punishment', and 'expulsion'. Perhaps most of all, what we are hearing is confusion. We have, this week, received emails asking if certain Not-in-Communion provinces were now in communion—or if they would be (no, and we assume not) and why was the Episcopal Church USA 'disciplined' but not the Anglican Church of Canada (we recommend reading the communiqué).

Though worship in the Church of England outside of Britain dates back to the sixteenth century, the Anglican Communion itself is a young community. At the outside, it is just over 230 years old. We have been referred to as 'a fellowship, within the one holy catholic and apostolic church' and as 'having little organizational structure out side of "bonds of affection"'. Though there are, rather officially, the three Instruments of Unity, most Anglicans instead find ourselves drawn together in common worship, common mission, and common heritage. This is not the first time there has been strife in our young communion: From issues over slavery, abortion, the death penalty, polygamy, empire, and allegiances during times of war, to those of the weekly celebration of the Eucharist, women's ordination, high churchmanship, low churchmanship, and the role of bishops in Civil Society, Anglicans have always managed to find a Via Media. It seems unlikely then, that issues of human sexuality will lead to the end of our beloved communion.

Over the next three years and beyond, we intend continue to worship, pray, fellowship, and follow the mission of the church with both brothers and sisters from the Episcopal Church (USA), the Church of England, and Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia and with those in Southern Africa, Pakistan, and Uganda. We ponder what else communion would be?

We leave you with this video and these words from July of 2005:

We wonder if there's too much of this going on at present in the church. We're focused on the questions of authority, issues of obedience, matters of conscience — all of which have their proper place in the scheme of things — but we worry that we're losing the object in front of us: advancing the Gospel of our Lord. Even if the unthinkable happens (well, not unthinkable, for it's been thought and perhaps even anticipated by some) and the Anglican Communion 'dissolves', the Church of Christ will go on. Our belief in a wise and loving God will sustain us; our willingness to live our lives in accordance with Christ, as best we can, will continue; our commitment to loving the Lord with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind will remain unswerving. Surely that is the object in front of us. Once we take our eyes away from it, we're lost in the world of our own creation. 

See you next week.

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All of us at Anglicans Online

17 January 2016


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