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Hallo again to all.

We have been thinking much of the marginalised. Two recent votes have rocked the Anglophone world, first Brexit and now the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency. The media has wasted no time comparing the two, perhaps aptly, as xenophobic reactions. Both have also sparked waves of violence against minorities and foreigners in Britain and the US that we would say need no recounting, The Compass Roseexcept they are so contrary to the Gospel that they surely do need to be spoken and acted against. Loudly.

Xenophobia is at its core deeply anti-Christ. Paul wrote truly, 'There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.' As Anglicans we hold firmly to the idea that we are all God's children. C.S. Lewis gives the example of Emeth, the fictional officer who, though he worshiped the evil god Tash, in reality through his good works worshiped Aslan—the Christ figure of the Narnia tales. We have not always lived up to an abiding respect for the differences of others. Colonialism is a stain on the legacy of the Communion and all its churches.

Yet, we have also held up better instincts with our own missionary efforts such as the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, the SPCK, the Church Missionary Society, and more recently Anglican/Episcopal Relief and Development.* We have moved through many peoples, combining our branch of Christianity with existing cultures and bringing news of the world home.

The admirable impulse to reach out to the world, to make things better, not to withdraw into our own fears and worst instincts, is quintessentially Anglican. Perhaps some of our readers will think, 'But, surely you must acknowledge the freedom to disagree politically!' We do. The pain and economic dislocation that the Brexit vote and US elections reflected are real, but this reality does not mitigate the strength the outcomes have given to our worst angels. We are minded in this instance of the Anglo-Catholic movement to bring the church into the working-class streets of the city. Mission fields need not be abroad always, either.

To give in to xenophobia, to forget our Anglican heritage, would be to turn ourselves inward. We hope that this is not the course the Communion will choose to take on so many issues, whether our internal disputes or in relation to the bodies politic of which we are members.

We think back to the enthronement of Abp Welby. He was welcomed into Canterbury Cathedral, the historical heart of our tradition (though it points ultimately and only to the Cross), with the cultural traditions of many parts of our Communion. This does not mean we need surrender our identity as Anglican, as Christians, or as members of what Bishop Curry of the US Episcopal Church has called 'the Jesus movement'. Instead we recommend this: looking at the ways in which we can risk knowing 'the Other', risk defending them as those beloved by God, and looking for ways we can do so in our own communities and countries—the differing contexts of communion.

See you against next week,

Our Signatures

All of us at Anglicans Online

13 November 2016

*This listing is far from complete, of course.

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