With the crack in the seams of the Anglican Communion continuing to widen, and "cracks in the cracks" even beginning to appear (witness recent developments in the AMiA/Rwanda relationship), and with anxiety over who's accepting and who's rejecting the Anglican Covenant ratcheting up, this piece shared with me by Father McMichael seems salient. Speaking personally, it well defines the circle (a wide one, I think) of those I am happily eager to "do church" with.
Another Anglican Voice
The Rev. Ralph McMichael, Ph.D
We are Anglicans. We are Anglicans who are deeply concerned about our fellow Anglicans who are taking steps to “walk apart” from the Anglican Communion. Likewise, we are Anglicans who are deeply concerned about our fellow Anglicans who are overly defining how Anglicans should walk. We have Anglicans who are walking away from the Anglican Communion through unilateral actions, and we have Anglicans who stridently insist through various coalitions that all Anglicans must walk as they do. We are Anglicans who are distressed over the escalating abandonment of the essentials of catholic faith and order, and we are distressed by efforts to solidify Anglican identity through appeals to such historical documents as the 1662 BCP and the Thirty-Nine Articles. The problem, as we perceive it, is the dissipation of the Anglican catholic vision of drinking from the deep well of tradition in order to bring living water to the full scope of humanity wholly called to share in the divine life. In other words, the Anglican appeal to essential or primitive catholicity is never a search for safe harbor but a dynamic that will draw us into God’s future for the church and for the world. Anglicanism at its best nurtures a generative tradition and a faithful creativity. With this preamble in mind, we would like to address directly the current situation of the Anglican Communion.
We are Anglicans who wish to uphold the disciplines of communion, including those articulated by Lambeth Conferences, the Windsor Report, and the proposed Anglican Covenant. And yet, we hold that authentic theological reflection and debate must continue on an array of critical questions facing the Anglican Communion. We decry any province taking unilateral action of any sort that steps away from communion: the binding mutuality of all ecclesial actions. Likewise, we consider any effort toward unilateral speaking one to another to be its own kind of threat to communion: the binding mutuality of all ecclesial speaking.
We are Anglicans who desire to remain faithful members of the Anglican Communion through communion with the See of Canterbury. Some of us wish for the eventual acceptance of gays and lesbians into all the orders of ministries of our common life. Some of us maintain the traditional teaching on sexuality and marriage. All of us are committed to the disciplines of communion, ongoing vibrant theological reflection, and to the Anglican tradition of essential catholicity that generates a life of worship and mission exercised in humility and patience.
Therefore, we call on the whole Anglican Communion to enter into the disciplines of communion where we act and speak in light of the whole but not as the whole, where we act and speak always as response to the gift of communion that only God provides. The disciplines of communion are to be renewed and understood from the baptismal font and the Eucharistic table. Let us live from our roots in the Triune life into which we were baptized, and into which we participate at every Eucharist. Let us stop hacking off branches of the tree instead of tending to the roots. Let us dig deep and wide in the Holy Scriptures and the works of our own tradition. From the disciplines of communion, from our common roots, life will grow and flourish: a life characterized by glory and not anxiety, by patience and not haste, and a life of wholeness and not division. Will this solve the problems of the Anglican Communion? No, but that is not why we are here.