Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kirk (and Payne): A Mission-minded Agenda

The Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith of Arizona wrote to his diocese:
Let me emphasize that the subject of the Communiqué (namely human sexuality) was not discussed in our gathering AT ALL. What was discussed with alarm was the process that we were being asked to follow; indeed which the Archbishop of Canterbury has already begun to put into place by the creation of a Primatial Vicar and Pastoral Council, which would exercise oversight over our own American church. This notion was soundly rejected by the majority of both liberal and conservative bishops. The issue was not our participation in the Anglican Communion, which we unanimously wish to continue, but the legality of the tactics used by a minority of Primates to enforce their views upon us.
and this terrific observation:

What is even more important is that none of this be allowed to get in the way of our far greater mission. Bishop Claude Payne pointed out that "the maintenance of the Communion is important, but that is still a maintenance agenda, not a mission agenda, and Christ does not call us to maintain the institution but to grow his Body."

And so, as the last sentence of the Bishops' Comment to the Church concludes, "it is to that mission that we must now determinedly turn."

I think that we have now seen a sampling of liberal, conservative and moderate Episcopal Bishops (here, here, here and here, just to name a few) agree with remarkable consistency: the Primates Key Recommendations missed the mark by a wide margin. The Primates Standing Committee and the ABC have a chance to make it right.

(Hat tip to Entangled States.)

No comments: