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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Primates Meeting in Tanzania: In Hope Against Hope

Well, the news hype continues to grow with regards to the Primates Meeting in Tanzania this week. Undoubtedly, the decisions made there will cause pain and probably more division. I am not sure what God is doing in his Church today, but I know the level of division runs very deep. As a member of the Church of England and a future priest within the C of E, all of this is quite painful on the global scale. Yet when you walk through the villages around Durham and talk to people, it is actually the last thing on their minds. Most do not even know it is happening. So much is needed here in the way of ministry. There are places within England where the people barely make it each week. Giving £5 a week to the church is often more than they can spare. Church attendance is down and the amount of the "unchurched" in this part of the world is shocking to be honest.

I am concerned and do approach this week with a heavy heart, if I am really honest. But whatever happens at the Primates Meeting, the people in my diocese will still need faithful priests to love them, teach them and exercise the sacramental ministry of the Church on their behalf. Major decisions of discipline against the Americans may cause further divisions within our beloved C of E. That possibility gives me the most concern. No matter what takes place, I feel called to stay the course and serve Christ's Church here in England while I still have the breath and energy to do so.

This week of mine will be committed to prayer for repentance and unity that will create a new space for a restored Church and the healing of broken relationships. Many are hoping for justice--hoping that the American church gets their due. I am hoping for mercy because I know what justice will say about what is due me on the last day. Of course, I pray the Church remains faithful to the Faith once delivered to the saints; and that includes the manner in which she approaches human sexuality. But it will not be a high-five slapping event if the North Americans are removed from the Communion. It will be another tragedy and black mark on the Church in history.

May God bless the Anglican Communion, our bishops and all who love and serve the Lord Jesus. Heal the brokenness within all of us, Father, that we might become wounded healers for a broken world! God be with our Primates!

2 Comments:

Blogger wyclif said...

One of the many things that disturbs me about the American "reasserters" is the smugness you're referring to. It occurs to me that if TEC is pruned from the branch-- as Bishop Tom has put it, without making predictions himself--the appropriate reaction from those of us in conservative Anglican circles should be anguish, not celebration.

8:03 am  
Anonymous Antonio said...

"I am not sure what God is doing in his Church today..."
When I think about the Anglican Communion these days,I have the same feelings. Anyway, I promise to keep the Tanzania meeting in my poor prayers.
Even in these terrible time, "may God lead us all into full communion".
Your "Roman" reader,
Antonio.

9:42 pm  

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