19 June 2006


katharine jefferts schori, bishop of nevada, is to be our new presiding bishop. for all you non-episcopalians out there, that's the person who heads up the church in this country. so it's a fairly big deal. strike that. a really big deal. as fr. jake notes, this is the first female primate of any anglican province. prayers of thanksgiving!! i am thrilled for my church.

less happily: i'm appalled at what i've heard of the behavior of the ultra-conservatives at the convention. (apparently, they walked around in cassocks and refused table fellowship with others. oy.) bp. duncan, of the diocese of pittsburgh, says that the election of bp. jefferts schori "speaks for itself," and he doesn't mean that in a positive way. his comments speak for themselves too. i don't mean that in a positive way either.

in other general convention news, john danforth's speech was apparently quite good, although i haven't found a complete transcript yet. certainly the rector of christ church new haven, who spent time at the affirming anglican catholicism booth, was impressed. i tend to worry that moderates in this church underestimate the problems that are caused by lackadaisical definitions of "tolerance," however. understanding that many conservatives are neither well-meaning nor reflective, i know that the majority of conservatives, who are both well-meaning and reflective, often feel that the church is "tolerant" toward acts and beliefs they find unChristian -- but that this "tolerance" does not extend to what they perceive as serious theological and moral debates.

my question is whether conservatives who feel marginalized would feel better if they were taken seriously in debate, or whether their definition of "marginalized" is more akin to "no longer in control." so far the balance of the evidence lies with the latter possibility. our tradition in the anglican communion is that common prayer is the tie that binds; theologically much remains unseen and debatable. i've always felt that this sort of humility is a perfect response to both general human falliblity and sinfulness and the specific tendency towards the sin of pride. we are invited to understand that there is an ultimate Truth out there -- specifically, the trinity -- and that we are called to witness our convictions about that Truth as best we can -- AND that we might be wrong.

in any case, refusing table fellowship is an act of spiritual warfare that bespeaks a serious misunderstanding of the christian mission. why not find a theological opponent you know and like, and have a conversation? failing that, why not at least be polite?!