But it is the idea of being a fellowship, a communion — not a "church" or a "federation" — of self-governing churches whose individual decisions do not bind the others, even as they cooperate in mission and ministry, that forms our only peculiar offering to the tapestry of world Christendom. It is a model of service and fellowship, of work with rather than power over, commended by Christ himself as a model of churchly governance. If that is not worth preserving, then we have little else to offer.The highlights are mine. The words, the very capable words, are Tobias'.
Then, in a recent post here at Off-Topic Allowed, Mad priest and I had a heartfelt exchange that cut to the quick of this communion issue. Here is where it drew to a point: This is MadPriest writing:
It is my contention that the New World is no longer geographically located in the same way that the Kingdom of God is not geographically located. But, in respect of New Anglicanism the main locus is in the Americas and is strongest in the USA. In fact, I do not think it is strong enough anywhere else to survive, let alone thrive. Outside of the Americas the "New World" is dependent on its success in the USA and this is why we absolutely need TEC to include the rest of us within its God-given destiny. Of course, this will be painful for the Church in the US, and like Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane you can choose to accept or reject this role. But the goal, if eventually achieved, will bring TEC far more joy than breaking away and going it alone ever would.In other postings at other times many have put an emphasis on "saving the Anglican Communion". I have contended from the beginning that the Episcopal Church just move forward and if any other province wants to tag along, then fine otherwise -- oh well.
Tobias Haller and MadPriest along with Mark Harris The Pluralist and a few others have made an impression to the point I have reconsidered my approach. The basic facts remain the same, the implementation of those facts is what becomes a little different.
So, what do we do? Well, we call a "special plenary session" of bishops and lay leadership to meet in a neutral site, say, New Orleans, Louisiana (you are welcome Mimi) to consider a New Anglican Covenant. This special session will be hosted by the Episcopal Church of the United States and chaired by a group from The Episcopal Church of the United States, The Anglican Church of Canada, The Church of England, and the Anglican Church of New Zealand. Everyone is invited from all corners of the world. The sole purpose of this special session is to create: a model of service and fellowship, of work with rather than power over, commended by Christ himself as a model of churchly governance.
No one leaves the conference until a new Communion is born that allows for inclusion of all God's children and an approach to modeling Christ like behavior that involves resolving issues within one's own province prior to telling other provinces what needs to be done in their province. The honors each other's decisions as appropriate for them though not necessarily appropriate for all. That embarks upon the worldwide work of eliminating hunger, disease, child abuse and torture and terror. That we live those goals at home as we seek to eradicate them abroad. That those who can fund and finance do so and those who can staff and work do so in a spirit of love and forgiveness. This is not just our God-given destiny but all those who claim Christianity as their own.