26 July 2007

Four Challenges

I was reading the July/August issue of The Oregon Episcopal Church News that arrived in my mailbox the other day and came across an article about a recent lecture at Trinity Cathedral by a bishop from another diocese. The deacon from one of Portland's suburban parishes who wrote the piece said that this bishop had
challenged us to do four things: 1. Keep telling your story of salvation. 2. Keep immersing yourself in scripture. 3. Pay attention to the people Jesus paid attention to. 4. Be prepared to pay a price for your ideals.
Nothing wrong with that advice. I'm sure many, actually I hope & pray all, of the Bishops and Primates of the Anglican Communion would agree that the above advice is quite good. Even if they do think he shouldn't be a bishop.

Maybe, just maybe, if we all did those four things instead of fighting over church property and left the who gets to wear pointy hats in church decisions up to God, the Anglican Communion wouldn't be in such a mess! We pray that the Holy Spirit helps us choose the right bishop (Presiding Bishop) when dioceses (General Convention) have bishop (Presiding Bishop) elections and then when some don't get their way they suddenly decide that God didn't answer our prayers! Crazy, just crazy, in my opinion. I've mostly started to ignore those who seem fixated on what they think is wrong in The Episcopal Church &/or Anglican Communion. As of next Tuesday, I will have been a confirmed Episcopalian for 14 years and I'd rather focus on God and the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ than on all the bad news about the infighting with our Communion. Wouldn't you?

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Anonymous Bishop David said...

Yes - that's always the dilemma about conflict. Is it a time-wasting and energy-sapping diversion from the main business? Does it magnify division and erode good will? Or is its very intensity a sign that there are fundamental issues at stake? And - to answer my own question - I simply don't know. Except that there are two things I did learn to dislike intensely when I worked in Northern Ireland. One is the single issue/test case approach to life. The other is people who want me to sign up to what they regard as orthodoxy.


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