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Jan 13, 2005

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Chris Tessone

11) Its a good place for people who've been abused by other denominations, or are skeptical of "authority" generally, while wanting order

I have been attracted to the ECUSA ever since I worshiped in an Episcopalian parish in Providence, RI, a couple of summers ago, but is it really a good place for those skeptical of authority? I get the sense that you-all are suffering from the same polity problems we Lutherans arenamely, true "local options" are never possible, because ultimately bishops get too much say to e.g. allow a progressive parish in a conservative synod/diocese to call a gay pastor/priest.

This problem is very acute for me, because I'm living in a place where the Episcopalian diocese is uber-conservative and the ELCA synod isn't much better. I'm going to a UCC church at the moment.

Jason

10) You're average Episcopal priest is pastorally sensitive, eager to serve and pretty good at making ethical judgements.

I serve on a pastoral counseling staff with two "retired" Episcopal priests. They are heart-warming, humorous, and often heretical; and, I love every minute I spend with them. Their forward thinking and fresh perspectives gives me hope for my own Presbyterian church...

thanks for a great top 13...

grace and peace
jason

David Huff

I agree with Chris' comment above. While the majority of ECUSA members may feel that John's point #11 is valid, living in an AAC/"Network" diocese (as I do) makes a great deal of difference.

I don't think the church as a whole really understands how nasty it is for us mainline-types in a diocese like this. If we don't see some support soon, I suspect many of us will start leaving, or simply disengaging & not participating (not that our bishop would mind, I'm sure he'd be quietly pleased by the development).

bls

I'm glad you're bringing this stuff to the surface, though, Chris and David, and sorry for your pain. I live in the Diocese of Newark and just don't see the kinds of things you're talking about, but we all need to be aware this is happening.

I've seen similar plaints and complaints from people in certain areas of ECUSA - Dallas and Pittsburgh are the ones I'm thinking of right now. I wish we - the laity, I mean - could do something to help you; maybe the thing to do is to bring this to the attention of somebody in the national church and figure out what can be done about it short-term and long-term. I guess there's a certain amount of mess right now about "boundary-crossing" of dioceses, though, which might be a problem.

I wonder if all this isn't going to create new configurations within the Church as a whole along a sort of "virtual alignment" basis, one not dependent on geography. Maybe that's the solution to everything.

Anyway, at least we should try to get some attention focused on the issue, and some support out to you guys, if only online.

kyle

i have always had a deep appreciation and affection for the episcopal church. however, being a baptist myself, it has gotten me into some very heated discussions when i find myself having to defend the episcopal church against my baptist counterparts. your top 13 will help me in further debate. thanks!

Chris

bls, I think what you're going to see is definitely a geographical realignment. Either the ABC sticks with the ECUSA and the bulk of the Anglican Communion leaves, or the ABC ejects the ECUSA from the Communion and recognizes the Network as the American branch of Anglicanism, and the ECUSA becomes an independent organization, free to do all those things for which they have been criticized.

I don't see any other plausible scenarios.

bls

Chris, there are other national Churches who are going to have the same issue in front of them quite soon, if they don't already. It's not only ECUSA, and it's not going to be.

And within ECUSA, within dioceses, there are dissenting churches as well. That means "virtual" alignment, and in the era of the internet, what would be so difficult about that?

It actually doesn't matter at all to me whether ECUSA is "recognized" as the American branch of Anglicanism. Canterbury is "first among equals" - but let's not forget the "equals" part. ECUSA is as Anglican as anybody else is.

Chris wrote: "...or the ABC ejects the ECUSA from the Communion and recognizes the Network as the American branch of Anglicanism,"

Uhh, I thought you said "plausible scenarios." ;) About what ? 10% of all of our dioceses have joined this schismatic "Network" thing ? and you think the AC will only recognize that group as the "real Anglicans" ?

While I think your first prediction may have a greater chance of coming true (well, anything's greater than zero ;) , I think you're committing the fallacy of the False Dilemma here.

Better yet, “Our daughters can sleep around without feeling ashamed.”

Surely the glory of the EC is that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and to/with whomever you want? Just imagine a world without Bp Spong’s Living in Sin?

JulieVW

John, thanks for this post. I don't know enough about anything to agree or disagree with your other commenters - but I liked what you wrote.

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