Sunday, August 1, 2010

Church of England and the Episcopal Church

The troubles and stresses in the Episcopal Church (TEC) are no mystery. This past week while studying at an Episcopal seminary I picked up on the frustration of many within this denomination, but also from a priest within the Church of England who served as my professor. Then I read in my most recent issue of Christianity Today that this frustration has risen all the way to the upper leadership of the Anglican church. Apparently the tipping point came with the ordination of a lesbian assistant bishop in Los Angeles. In light of this Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has recently requested that TEC withdraw from ecumenical dialogue and rescind its voting rights on an Anglican doctrinal committee claiming that the ordination breaks guidelines aimed at calming tensions in the worldwide church. Predictably, however, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori defended the ordination showing concern over what she called "colonial attitudes."

Well, Schori may scoff at her English neighbors, but she must truly be out of touch with the growing dissent and defection within her own denomination over this issue. This past week I ran across a number of those from the breakaway Anglican Church of North America (ANCA) who chose Nashotah House to prepare for the ministry or to pursue graduate education. England is not the problem, Schori. Rebellion against the clear word of God is. And many within your church are realizing this and leaving. You may want to address this before looking down your nose at your English cousins.