Schism

I am Anglican, and proud to put my roots down into this tradition. It is the branch of the Church where I belong, the heritage that shaped my thoughts and imagination before I knew its name. There are few things more precious to me than those things that are central Anglicanism- Worship focused on meeting Christ in the Eucharist, the via media, a willingness to admit that not all pious beliefs (e.g the Ascension of Mary) are necessary for salvation, and a resistance to splintering over theological nuances.

There are few things that hurt me more than watching Anglicans rage against each other. It is excruciating to me that I can't even use the term "Worldwide Anglican Communion" anymore because so many of us AREN'T in Communion with each other....that we have begun to split hairs in determining who we are willing to break bread with, that we have started attacking each other. I'm not sure where *I* fit in this dizzying landscape; I have friends who are a part of the Continuing Anglican movement, which broke off in the 1960s, friends who are Episcopalian, friends who have found their way to the ACNA, and AMiA friends. They are all good people, good Anglicans, and lovers of Christ, and honestly,once we start teasing out the concerns about hierarchies, tradition, authority, and social justice, I can't tell you which group I agree with more.

Right now, it's my AMiA friends I hurt for most. There's been some ugly news lately:
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/28164
http://treadinggrain.com/2011/mass-resignations-of-amia-bishops-from-rwanda/
http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=15284

Adding more confusion is that when these bishops left, they apparently didn't take their provinces with them - i.e. life continues on as before for these congregations, beyond the fact that they must make a decision about which Anglican province they're going to be a part of now. Which is a much better place than many congregations found themselves in upon choosing to leave ECUSA.

Even so, it's hard. Pray for your AMiA friends and clergy - that they will know peace, that they will have wisdom, that they will be led by the Holy Spirit during this time of decision. If you don't have AMiA friends, pray for mine.

In Christ there is no East or West,
In him no South or North,
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord
Closebinding all mankind.

Join hands ,then brothers of the faith,
Whate'er your race may be!
Who serves my Father as a son
Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
In him meet South and North,
All Christly souls are one in him,
Throughout the whole wide earth.


- John Oxenham.

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