Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

I know, I know...I do not like to foray into church politics a whole lot on this blog...but once in a while something comes up that I have to say something. This time it is the proposed Anglican Communion Draft Covenant. The short version is: This appears to me to be a very carefully worded document filled with hidden language that appears innocuous but in reality, is not, and gives power to the primates of the AC that have never been historical aspects of the governance of the American church.

I particularly take issue to two parts of it: One, that in part 2, #5, the 39 Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer are the guiding bases of our faith; and two, under part 6, #6, it is the primates' call on when "member churches choose not to fulfill the substance of the covenant."

I'll address my last beef first.

Yes, our bishops in the ECUSA have apostolic succession, but our church is self-governed, and has been that way since we broke from the Church of England during the revolutionary period. "We the people" decide through our House of Bishops, House of Deputies, and the General Convention what our church policies are. The wonderful thing is there is lay representation in this process. Frankly, this is what is so "American" about ECUSA. We don't take dictums from higher ups, even in spiritual matters. This is the heart of what the Reformation was all about...that lay people have the power to interpret Scripture. Yes, I defer to a vicar's or a bishop's scholarship, but I don't necessarily defer to his or her view on what Scripture means to ME.

The primates of the Global South wish for a governance more like the church of Rome. This is what the heart of the impairment between the GS and the ECUSA is, but they are conveniently using the issues of ordaining the XX Chromosome Crowd and homosexuality as the whipping boys/girls of their larger agenda.

The AC needs to understand that they are a communion, not a hierarchy.

Now on to my first beef...

Ok, I am going back to the catechism in the 1979 BCP for this (italics mine):

Under "The Creeds":

Q: What are the creeds?
A: The creeds are statements of our basic beliefs about God.

Q: How many creeds does this Church use in its worship?
A: This Church uses two creeds: The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.

Our church is based on a view of Scripture as outlined by the creeds; part of the "Scripture" leg of the classic "3 legged stool of our church--Scripture, Tradition, and Reason". The 39 Articles of Religion and the 1662 BCP are historical documents, part of the "Tradition" leg of the same stool. It seems to me that certain segments of the AC want to merge these legs into one leg, and take the leg of "Reason" away from the laity, give it to the primates, and say, "Here, this is what this leg is supposed to look like. Build your three legged stool however you want, as long as the other legs match this leg."

Meanwhile, I think we have perfectly fine three-legged stool crafters here in the US, and we should be left alone to make them.



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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