Thursday, July 17, 2008

If you blog or read Anglican Blogs READ ME!!!

(I'm not asking you to agree with me, I'm asking you to consider this perspective)

I have a newfound respect for the Archbishop of Canterbury which I, as many of you know, didn't have before.

It is very easy to criticize him from across the pond, or even from England, but meeting him and seeing how he deals with things is amazing.

Yes, I wish he would take a stand more similar to that which he did previously, but he is human and cannot work miracles by himself. He can not wave his arm and have everyone included and still have a church now. He has appeared to work on miracle however: He has designed a conference which has created a holy space and has an atmosphere of spirituality, comradary, and unity.

This conference is not a circus. It is not angry. It is not about mud slinging or being "right." Archbishop Rowan has designed a conference that is about increasing and growing ministry as a bishop. It is a "professional development" conference, for lack of a better term.

While it may be boring for the media, I could not be prouder to be an Anglican.
And I pray people (on both the left and the right) would stop writing nasty things who aren't here or can't get into the venues that only we and the delegates can get into, and don't know what they are talking about.

No, it isn't perfect. No, everyone isn't being included. But we are all trying to serve God the best we can.



Michael Sniffen said...

Allie, This is VERY well done and reflects beautifully the experience of the stewards team. Thanks so much for getting the truth out! Michael+

Jane R said...

Yay Allie! And yay Michael and yay Luiz and hurrah for all the stewards. I have been reading your writings and am deeply grateful for them and for the thoughtfulness and joy that emanates from them - and from the gathering at Lambeth.

And I feel the same way about some of the media complaints. The bishops are on retreat, right now, y'dig? The next couple of days especially are a time for prayer. It's hard to write a conflict- or issues-oriented piece in this situation. Good. It's not that we don't have issues or conflicts to deal with, but there is a deeper life going on in the Communion.

Know that many of us are praying for and with you. Loved Luiz's video of the singing stewards and members of religious orders on Padre Rob's blog, and there you were, Allie - and loved your report, Michael, on Elizabeth Kaeton's blog. Give our love to stewards from other provinces. May we all serve a hungry world, and do so joyfully and in solidarity with each other.

We believe in the Holy Spirit...

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Allie, Michael and Luiz - one word of advice. Ready:


Especially if it's been made by Rowan.

Sorry if that throws cold water on things. Let's just say that I'm remembering what the girls on the streets of Newark taught me:

"Piss on me once, and tell me it's raining."

Y'all ain't been pissed on yet.

I promise not to say, "I told you so."

Allie said...

If you don't believe if the power of Christ to redeem all things, then I don't know what else to tell you.

That isn't the rhetoric I've been told here, that is what it means to b a Christian.

If that is drinking the kool-aid, then pass out the glasses.

Chris said...

Well said, Allie.


Well said. And I'm curious who "on the left" is writing "nasty things" ... I'm trying to track "such stuff" and haven't seen much negative from the "left" so far. Clue me in!

klady said...

I think there is good reason to be wary of the outcome in light of the political machinations that are most likely to occur, despite all efforts at genuine dialogue and prayerful meditation. Nevertheless, I share your hopes, Allie, and your newfound appreciation for ++Rowan Williams.

I, too, have been very critical of him in the past. While I expect I will continue to disagree with some of his actions (and inactions), especially if he continues to press the Covenant and/or support the creation of separate structures or non-geographical dioceses for the anti-gay and anti-women factions, nevertheless, I am beginning to see something admirable in his approach to this Lambeth conference. This may sound a bit strange, but he strikes me as the best kind of mom, who calmly, patiently, lovingly, but very firmly, is telling her bickering children that they not only must behave but they must sit down and work through and with their differences. God only knows what will come of it, but it sounds like it is genuinely designed for and led with the purpose of prayerful meditation, mutual respect, and real listening. Whether this was wise or the right approach at this time, I cannot say. But I have to admire the strength of character and conviction on ++Rowan's part for insisting on doing it this way and for what appears to be giving his all to the process, including a fair measure of grace and humor, which must be quite a challenge, this all coming right after General Synod.

Thanks Allie for this. I think it did need to be said -- as you said -- whether one agrees with ++Rowan or not.

Catherine said...

Allie, I am glad to hear that the atmosphere inside is spiritual. The Spirit can do amazing things. I respect Elizabeth, but I hope springs eternal that in Christ, ALL things are possible. I pray that such miracles may happen here. Although, I'm not really expecting one of the pony-for-my-birthday types. I suspect it may be more subtle and on God's time scale rather than ours.

Jane R said...

Jim Naughton also makes a good point about media coverage and the realities of slow, quiet conferences here.

Luiz Coelho said...

Amen, Allie, amen.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Allie--I DO believe in the power of Christ to redeem all things.

And yet....+Rowan's treatment of Jeffrey John and +Gene Robinson have not given me any reason to trust him. His kowtowing to the likes of +Akinola and +Orombi have not given me any reason to trust him. I can applaud his designing a conference to build bridges, but it's going to take more than that to make me trust him.

I also think it's worth remembering that +Cantaur has made it plain bishops are the only ones who "count" when it comes to determining the future of the Anglican Communion. His Anglican Covenant will give more weight to bishops, and will bind the ability of our church to move where we believe the Holy Spirit is leading us.

That also makes me distrust him. No matter how pleasant or holy he seems in person. Actions speak louder than words. can bask all you like in the atmosphere of Lambeth---but when it comes right down to it, +Rowan is working on trying to undercut your ability, as a layperson, to have any influence in the Anglican Communion or your national church.

I am all for a conference where the bishops meet, study, and pray together, and stay completely out of the news. I am all for fellowship and focusing on what unites us.

But at the end of the day, +Rowan has made it plain that his concern is the church as an institution---and that does not bode well for any of us who don't wear collars or purple shirts.

Sorry for the cynicism, but I've been around the block enough times to have earned the right to feel it---and I suspect Elizabeth has too.


Margaret said...

Nicely said, Allie... nicely said.

jerseyjo said...

Allie, Just letting you know that I'm here with you, reading and keeping you all in my thoughts. You and your fellow and sister stewards are the future of our church, of God's church.

Love and shalom from your New Jersey home,

- Joan