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Monday, December 06, 2010

Symmetry in the Sanctuary

It's one of those mornings.

I have about 16 things in my head and a road trip ahead of me.

Which is good.

I'll get it all sorted out in the car.

When I get like this, I imagine I must be quite a scene to my fellow travelers. I mean, when I'm in the car and I've got a bunch of stuff rummaging around in my head, all vying for attention, I need to hear myself think.

So, I talk. Full throat. And, often, when I talk, I use my hands.

I must look like I'm quite insane. Sometimes, I pass someone on the road who is looking to see if there's someone else in the car with me. Sometimes, they smile shyly and wave before they move along. Very. Quickly.

The only thing more embarrassing is when I am lost in a song. You know. Singing at the top of my voice. Full stage-mode.

Don't snicker. It's happened to you. You know it has.

One of the things in my head is a letter I'm composing to Rowan Williams. Yes, the Archbishop of Canterbury. He may not think that he needs to hear from me, but I do. Obviously. Not that I think I'm going to change his mind about anything, but I just can let this rest.

This letter needs to be clear and articulate and balanced. Not that I think he'll read it anyway. I suspect he has "staff" who read these things before passing them along - or placing letters like these in "the circular file".

Actually, I think it's cartoons like the one above that have the greatest effect. Not on him, but on those who influence him. And, I trust there are LOTS of people who have influence on him. Not anyone like me. Let's just say I don't have the right "equipment."

So, I'm taking this brilliant little cartoon along with me. To ponder. To consider. To laugh - which always shakes the cobwebs from my mind. To allow the humor of it to move my creativity which happens to be stuck in frustration over the whole bloody Anglican Covenant.

So, here. Enjoy. And, if you've got a moment, I'd love to hear from you.

If you were to write a letter to Rowan, what one thing would you like him to know?

Whatever IS the problem with the Anglican Communion today?

Okay, carry on. Please try not to mess up my things while I'm away from my computer. If you take something, please put it back before you leave.

I'll expect a 500 word essay on my desk by the close of the day.


suzanne said...

I hope someday to be stopped at a red light in Rehoboth, have you pull alongside while we're both singing at the top of our lungs! What fun!

Safe Trip.

marnanel said...

I suspect he has "staff" who read these things before passing them along

Oh, you know the old line: "The bishop is the shepherd of his flock, and the archdeacon is the little crook on his staff."

Muthah+ said...

500 words huh! Don't need that many

1. First of all it is unAnglican--we are separate churches, an association of churches not ONE Church like the Roman Catholics so that we meet the needs of each culture.

2. The cost of setting up another hierarchy in London is more than the Communion can bear.

3. A covenant is not a contract--this Anglican Communion is a contract.

4. Its is a thinly veiled anti-American document by some who want to punish Americans for being Americans. This is NOT a covenant.

5. The Anglican Covenant with pt 4 will eventually destroy the Anglican Communion.

6. GAFCON has already figured out that they aren't ready to be Anglicans anyway and need to go on their own Reformed theological way. Yes, we may lose so folks, but they already have their foot out the door. The Covenant will not SAVE the Communion.

7. Quit blaming lgbtq folks for the fact that the world is changing. Listen to the younger people who will have to pay for our squabbling.

8. Wake up to the fact that the ability to discuss issues across national lines means that folks all throughout the communion can be like minded but are not going to live with "Father knows best" and that local theology is the only theology that means anything.

9.The ABC used his pulpit at Synod to bully his church. We say that "It does get better" and refuse to be bullied.

10. Since the Covenant was proposed, I have become more aware of what is going on all over the world among our churches. And their differences make my life fuller. Lock-step thinking cannot characterize the Anglican Communion without destroying our unique gift to christianity.

Brother David said...

We are also discussing this at Kiwi Father Bosco's blog;

As you will see a couple folks are way too serious.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I'm just in from a long day but I've enjoyed these posts. Muthah+, I think you exceeded your 500 word limit but thus far, you have an A+.

I'll be posting something later tomorrow afternoon. Until then, keep posting your answers. I'll be summarizing them in my own Open Letter to Rowan.

it's margaret said...

I would tell him I am theologically opposed to his choice of eyebrows.

walter said...

Now on the Mystic Wings of Comprehensive Unity: There are two dimensions in contemplating Comprehensive Unity-The personal dimension and the public dimension. In the personal dimension I must acknowledge my powerlessness thus am empowering others. This is the first step into the awareness of personal Christianity. In the public dimension We as Christians must acknowledge our powerlessness thus are empowering an intentional and inclusive Catholicism. The theological foundation comes from the first creative interpreter of Christianity, the Apostle Paul and specifically from a spiritual study on the Letter to the Romans that I am re-viewing as “The Blue Grotto Dimension: The Growing Edge of Inclusive Catholicism”. From the soul heart mind of this spiritual study I hope on our discernment of growing the post-modern application of Pauline’ theology: acknowledgement of my powerlessness to empower Christianity and acknowledgment of our powerlessness as Christians to empower inclusive Catholicism. This is talking truth to power according to Me. To decentralize a Christian Tradition who has thy heart in Canterbury would be to neglect the opportunity to contribute to the growth of American real politik with the Lordship of the European Christian tradition. I am begging of You, do not do it Rowan!

Paul Powers said...

Actually, Muthah+, a covenant -is- a contract. But I agree that the covenant's a bad idea. We Anglicans have managed to muddle our way through the past almost 500 years with the bible, the creeds, the 39 articles and the BCP. Besides, if the Anglican Communion adopts the covenant, I might have to read the damn thing.

Matthew said...

Is Rowan perhaps fetishizing the Anglican Communion, making it an idol? I'm not sure you will have a communion worth having if you have to force people into it, or kick them out if they don't follow all the rules. And, people have been coming and going in and out of the Anglican Communion for centuries because it stopped working for them. i.e. Reformed Episcopal Church, anyone? Charismatic Episcopal Church. How about the Methodists? That ongoing flow of history will happen with or without a covenant. Of course, the covenant might speed it up and make the departure look like a train wreck. But, all the same parts of the Body of Christ will still be there -- the right hand might be the left hand -- ECUSA could get separated so we would be like just another United Methodist church unmoored from the international communion -- but we will still be here as will the GAFCON types -- whether in our out of the communion. All this energy on a covenant seems so petty and small when we are supposed to be following Jesus. Really, Rowan, GET A GRIP!

Paul Powers said...

I didn't really care for The Shack, but there's a passage that kind of stuck with me where Jesus says he has never cared about institutions. What he cares about is relationships.

While the covenant may help the institutions of the Anglican Communion (although I'm not convinced it will), it doesn't seem like it will do anything for relationships within the Communion.

It may be time for the institutions of the Communion (Lambeth, the ACC, the Primates' meetings) to go. It would certainly make life easier for +Rowan Williams, who by temperament is better suited to be a theology professor at the University of Cardiff than primus inter pares of the AC.

And this wouldn't mean that the relationships within the Communion would wither away. The EC would still have close relations with Provinces like Wales, Scotland, Southern Africa, Brazil and others. Lisa Fox has written moving stories about the relationship between the Diocese of Missouri and the Diocese of Lui, Sudan. There are similar relationships on the diocesan and parish levels. No reason they couldn't continue. They may even be strengthened.

Paul Powers said...
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