State of Anglicanism

Ordinary Time 17/Trinity 7 – Tuesday

I have kept my mouth shut for the last two weeks on this issue. I have had questions thrown at me by my Dad over this and to my future (which I leave ultimately to the big guy above to make the final call on).

It’s been a factor in the recent downturn I’ve had in my mood (though it by no means has been the sole factor; there are plenty more, and Rev Lui [RL] knows about some of them).

The guest editorial by the Church of England’s Bishop of Durham, the Right Rev’d Tom Wright on July 15 2009 in the Times Online sums it up best.

The Americans know this will end in schism

As an Anglican, the decision by The Episcopal Church (TEC) two weeks ago at their 76th General Convention has led to some ripples in the sea of the Anglican Communion.

Wait… Correction. Make that, one bloody huge tsunami in the Anglican Communion.

At the 2006 GC (the 75th), the issue over homosexual ordinations led to a moratorium (canon B033) by TEC on any further ordinations to prevent further schism in the Anglican Communion. That moratorium now is over after that canon was overturned at the 2009 GC by a margin of close to 2:1.

As a pathetic expression of my feelings and thoughts on this matter, the link to TEC that once was on my links to the right (under Anglican/Episcopal) will be removed. I feel sad for the few conservatives and moderates in TEC’s House of Bishops and House of Deputies that have been steam rolled over by the majority who could be classed as super-progressive.

It is a sad day for Anglicanism as a whole and for the whole Church Catholic as well. The conservative province in the USA (the Anglican Church in North America) that has been newly constituted has my backing (for what little it is worth as a layperson). And both ecclesiastical bodies have my prayers. One for God’s blessing upon it. With the other, a prayer that they re-examine what they have decided at GC in the light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason (in that order) and deal with it accordingly. Otherwise, I leave it up to my Lord and Master to deal with as He sees fit.

My Dad has asked me in the last week whether this has changed my view of Anglicanism as a whole and whether or not I would be better off remaining in CMCA (and by extension, a Methodist) instead. I hear hints of Rev. Col Fitzsimmons from CMCA-EMP in that question from my father.

I can’t say that it has changed my view of Anglicanism as a whole, just only part of it has changed. I still remain as an Anglican working within the bounds and canons of this particular Methodist Church communion until God leads me elsewhere (should that be the case). And I will still continue to remain open to ecumenical discussions with those in other Christian denominations (and that includes any individuals who feel that they can remain in communion with TEC).

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Last night I didn’t really feel like rocking up to the Youth Bible Study (BS) at RL’s house. I’m glad that I did force my ass to get there eventually as the spiritual conference and discussion with him after BS finished was cathartic (granted, I’m buggered today as I got home at about 11:55pm last night after a 2 hour session). There is still a burden on my soul but most of the weight has been lifted off now. Though I still feel trapped within a Venn diagram doing the tango. I will have to consider a plan that RL mentioned to me with more discernment through prayer.

I still wonder if our Lord has the most ironic sense of humor in how he has stuck an ardent Anglo-Catholic (with a very large streak of Evangelical in him) in a staunchly Evangelical parish (in terms of theology that is). And how he has taken a formerly staunch fundamentalist anti-catholic idiot (i.e. me) into someone who is now very much a (fairly) dogmatically and self-consciously Catholic Christian. How he must laugh at my plight/situation.

Still, there are many rooms in our Father’s house…

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It was good to get to Mass again today at lunch. Fr. whatshisname… dammit, I forget his name always (big giant bear of a man with a big grin on his face always) was celebrating Mass. The APBA collect for this 17th week in Ordinary Time/7th week after Trinity spoke to me yet again:

O God, the protector of all that trust in You,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy;
increase and multiply upon us your mercy,
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal
that we finally lose not the things eternal.
Grant this, O heavenly Father,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

The same goes for the readings too (Ex 33:7-11a & 34:5-10; Ps 103:6-14; Matt 13:36-43).

And then today I decided to finish up work early so as to go for the 4:30pm Evening Prayer at St. John’s Cathedral. Andrew C and Neal were both there so it was good to be able to pray the Daily Office with others for a change instead of by myself here at home. The collect after the responsorial psalm (another appropriate one, Ps 118[119]:65-88) is one that I have prayed a number of times before (though not too often as APBA is not my usual prayer book for the Daily Office) but it has been rather appropriate given the mental torment I have had for the last few weeks:

God of grace, we thank you for all your gifts to us:
grant us to accept both pain and joy in faith and hope,
and never to fail in love to you and to our brothers and sisters;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

I have learned to accept the pain and joy that comes with being a Christian (along with the inevitable questioning and sometimes groaning, whinging, complaining and anger that comes at times). But the last few weeks I have definitely failed in loving both God and my brothers and sisters in Christ (I have probably showed more love to those who have been outside the Church than those who are in it over the last few weeks). Kyrie, eleison… Christe eleison… Kyrie eleison…

I think I might make Tuesday evenings my time for a communal Evening Prayer at St. John’s. Plus, will be good to catch up with Andrew C over coffee after work to keep in touch with what has been going on in each of our busy lives and to find out more about the oblate process at St. Mark’s Abbey as well as the life of an ordination candidate of the Anglican Church in Australia.

Plus this Friday, am definitely looking forward to the evening discernment retreat at St. Francis College in Milton run by the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane’s Ministry Education Commission. The question on the flyer“God, is that you?” has bugged me ever since I finished senior high school, all the way through my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and even now as I do full-time work in the secular realm. I hope to get a bit more of a direction from God in what my calling and vocation is.

While I may want to be a priest to preach the Word and administer the Sacraments and sacramentals of the Church (I “blame” Fr. Paul B at my Anglican high school and the image of my frail and ailing grandfather kneeling on the ground before the altar while consecrating the Eucharist for sparking the flame within me :-p), that may not be where God wants me at all.

The last thing he needs is another self-serving, self-righteous, arrogant, stubborn, two-faced priest/minister in His Church that will bring Him disrepute. For all I know, he probably has enough of them in His Church already (though there are more than enough good ones out there, like RL and Ps. Lam, to show the bad ones up for who they really are).

+ 2208hrs

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