The great re-arrangement has begun. We enter a new phase, as other parishes and dioceses will no doubt either jump on the bandwagon--the goal being to overwhelm us with legal and property claims that we will not be able to keep up--or wait to see how the wrangling in the Old Dominion plays out.
It is a sad day for the church. We are witnessing estrangement seeking to over come unity, doubt overshadowing faith, and fear leading over faith. We are watching Christians throw down what had been raised up, and work their will over God's plan of salvation. It did not have to be this way. Many people offered these folks alternative roads.
But what they want is a new denomination with a new kind of Anglicanism. So perhaps this day was inevitable.
Since they have chosen this path, pray for them. They are still part of Christ's body. They are still witnesses for the Gospel. If they have an ounce of integrity, the clergy will voluntarily renounce their orders in this Church and have them accepted in their new home. If they are at all mission minded, they will now set aside the funds they will want to use to pay for lawyers and find themselves some buildings so that the faithful Episcopalians in their parishes. If there is an ounce of pastoral sensibility, they will allow those who voted no either by ballot or with their feet to be cared for in their own parish. This is my hope and prayer. I hope it is not a fantasy.
Here is an interview on NPR with our Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori.
Here is a fine post by Mark Harris reflecting on the turn of events in northern Virginia, and also from Father Jake. Susan Harris reflects as well. Keep with Thinking Anglicans here and here, which does the best job of sifting all the various details and perspectives.