Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Word Child

August 26, 2009

I don’t know why I picked up Iris Murdoch’s seventeenth novel published in 1975 and read it for the third time in the past week. It follows the themes of many of her novels. An ‘outsider’ tries to order his world but life keeps intruding. Hilary Burde is as thoroughly an unsympathetic character as literature has to offer, whose grand passion in the form of an adulterous affair led directly to the death of a woman and her unborn child. This tragedy defines his life as we learn when the novel begins forty years or so after the events for which Hilary finds repentance so unrealistic or elusive.

What struck me this time through however was not the standard-for-Murdoch suicidal tendencies of her characters, baptismal drownings in rivers and mud, religion without its content and so on. What struck me in particular was the ways in which the characters of this novel try and find order and perhaps a facsimile of meaning through ritual. The chapter headings are days of the week (with death often occurring on Fridays and Sundays not making an appearance until late in the story). Hilary Burde has a ‘day’ for everything. On Mondays he dines with so and so, Thursdays he sees his sister and so on. As his world unravels he recognizes that there will likely be ‘no more days’.

I think about our rituals on Sundays as telling, --or more fully, reenacting’-- the story that shapes our lives. In this sense I think of ritual as liberating, creative, something of an art form, in which we are all participants (or perhaps it is performance art for an audience of one.) But I’m also aware that many critics of liturgical worship and those who engage in it believe that it is somehow escapist and not ‘prayer from the heart’ and the like. Burde uses rituals to shield himself from the realities of life even as he insists that “There are rituals for separating out the tiny grain of penitence. There are rituals for this, even when, as anything experienced, the penitence does not exist at all. But I could not use these machines. It all remained, for me, grossly muddled up, penitence, remorse, resentment, violence and hate. And it was not a tragedy. I had not even the consolation of that way of picturing the matter. Tragedy belongs in art. Life has no tragedies.”

The only point of view he can imagine is his own. Everything else he spurns or sneers at. It might be possible to believe that some similar kind of self delusions going on in worship but I hold a reasonable and holy hope that over time that would not be sustainable as the falsehoods of life are unveiled for those of us who participate.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Health Care Reform is a Moral Issue

August 18, 2009

I have become increasingly frustrated by the healthcare conversation in recent days. At our vestry meeting on Monday night Robert ball offered a meditation on the importance of listening as a crucial part of civil discourse. What is going on at the moment in our body politic shows very little listening and very little civility. I am haunted by Robert Caldwell’s concluding words form his book on Islam in Europe. (See entry for August 13.) He wrote: “When an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter.” I don’t’ think we have insecure leadership but there is an opposition to health care reform that dresses itself up as ‘anchored, confident and strengthened by common doctrines’, when the real agenda is not reform but defeating the President at any cost. I’m reminded of a similar sense with the defeat of President Clinton’s early initiatives, but in those days we did not have the specter of race playing a role or people showing up at town hall meetings carrying semi automatic weapons. Another difference is that health care reform matters to everyone in this country, like it or not, and the debate needs to be not about ‘whether’ but about ‘how’ to get it done.

We know that our current system and its ever increasing costs are not sustainable. We know that there are terrible aspects of our current system that make it very difficult for huge numbers of people to get insurance and therefore decent medical treatment, and we know that these are not just the indigent or poor, but people who are unemployed or who are refused coverage because of ‘pre-existing conditions’ and the like. Healthcare reform can probably be brought about in any number of ways and a vigorous debate about how that should happen, the proper role of government and the like are necessary and welcome. But we seem to be losing sight of the moral imperative that in this nation we need to take care of each other as a matter of pride in the kind of people we are. We need to take care of each other so that no one can be subject to discrimination because of this or that illness. (Jonathan Alter points out in Newsweek of Aug 24 & 31 that this is a civil rights issue.)

Somehow those vices that are destructive and invasive function like a cancer and should be called to account, especially when they are the voices of those elected to govern the country.

Christians have something to bring to the conversation without saying anything and that is our sure and certain knowledge that the worst thing in life is not death. Rather it is breaking faith with the One who made us. Remembering that God is trustworthy in all things can help us set aside any fear we may harbor about how reform will affect us personally and whether or not it will be negative or costly for us in some way. Instead we can look to the good of the whole and serve as leaven in the loaf, a non anxious presence in the midst of an anxious world, --even if we don’t’ have anything to offer the policy conversation or the mechanics of reform. We can model civility and listening. But more than that we can be what the doctors call ‘partners in our own healthcare’ and call to account elements that seem destructive when we have heard them in our offices or homes or coffee shops or wherevever. That is ministry.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


August 16, 2009

A book and an article from the past week have stirred some thoughts on evangelism, especially in relation to the previous two posts. One is an article from Episcopal Life by William H. Stokes urging us to make evangelism the church’s top priority. The article translates the word ‘evangelism’ into “strategic branding, marketing and advertising.” Stokes says that the Episcopal Church has “an amazing story to tell” but doesn’t really push very far as to what that story might be. I have no particular objection to strategic branding, marketing and advertising. I even think such concepts might have some benefit to evangelism. Evangelism, however, cannot be reduced to techniques and strategies. Evangelism is not even presenting the story of the Episcopal Church and our particular way of living the faith, (although that story and our practices are not irrelevant to evangelism.)

I was recently part of a conversation in which one person saw inviting people to become involved in the life of the parish as evangelism and another was asking,”but are people being saved?” I understand evangelism as presenting the story of Jesus in compelling ways and inviting others to commit to sharing in the community that follows him, (primarily expressed outwardly and visibly as Baptism and Eucharist.) In other words becoming part of a worshipping community and engaging the spiritual practice of that community can lead to commitment to following Jesus. Becoming part of a community of faith and spiritual practice is critical for many of us in finding that were are able, by the grace of God, to live ever more toward that which is of ultimate worth. At the same time, I know of no substitute for some kind of conscious chosen response that is commitment to follow Jesus for salvation.

The presentation of the story of Jesus can and usually will include our personal testimony and I continue to believe that we, art All Saints’ will need to be much more confident about proclaiming and professing our own faith, without believing that we will somehow be insensitive to people of other faiths. I was helped with this by Gustav Niebuhr’s book, Beyond Tolerance (Penguin, 2009) in which he recounts reflections and stories of confident Christians and others responding to people who are different , seeking understanding, and growing in their own faith without becoming relativists about those commitments. This is the kind of faith that will help us face, and offer confident leadership, in an increasingly diverse world, and the kind that we will continue to nurture at All Saitn

Multiculturalism and Leadership

August 16, 2009

Following on from the August 13 post:

This is less an ‘essay’ and more a serious of reflections/reactions to Caldwell’s book.

Some of you may recall my involvement with Visions Inc. whose work is about ‘recognizing, understanding and appreciating difference’. It was fairly common for us to point out that our governing image for American society is no longer that of a ‘melting pot’ in which every immigrant becomes essentially American in some more or less recognizable way across cultural backgrounds. We are now more of a ‘salad bowl’ in which every ‘difference’ adds its own color and flavor to the national identity. I’m fine with that image as far as it goes, but I cannot bring myself to believe or hope that there will be no dominant taste. I still want to know whether the spring onion or the green pepper is in charge and I want to know what to do about ingredients that are rotting and corrupting the whole salad.

It seems to me that what is required is self confident, self-differentiated leadership that stays connected with every ingredient and persuades the ingredients of their need to resist those elements that are corrupting or invasive.

In our work at All Saints’ befriending refugees who are settled in Atlanta we have learned that what they need as much as anything else is American friends. We know how hard those relationships can be to forge across language, cultural and historical lines, but how rewarding they are for those who make the effort. Because we tend to resettle immigrants near each other (often in places that have become ‘undesirable’ to the host population—something Caldwell addresses in his book,) it does not take long fro us to have the happy challenge of having more immigrant families seeking friendship than we have people willing to offer themselves for this work. So one clue for dealing with different cultures in respectful ways, but also ways in which challenge the isolation of those cultures, is the seeking of real connection and friendship for our own well-being as well as theirs.

The key here is that American culture need not be in Caldwell’s words ‘insecure’, ‘malleable’ and ‘relativistic’. Nor need it try and emulate a culture that is ‘anchored’, ‘confident’ and ‘strengthened by common doctrines’ when those doctrines are at odds with the prevailing norms and values of a culture that is open to change and development. We do not have to be embarrassed by our commitment to expanded or equal choice of roles for women. We do not have to be coerced into showing that we are ‘more moral than thou’ in order to be clear about our beliefs and values. And we don’t have to live in fear of a back lash if we criticize cultures with alien values that choose to settle in America.

I don’t have an answer as to how to ensure that those who immigrate transfer their loyalty to this nation above other commitments. Caldwell outlines how Muslim immigrants in Europe and elsewhere frequently keep their primary loyalty to the Islamic World. I am an immigrant who has not yet been prepared to take citizenship that requires an oath renouncing all other allegiance, but I do not question the desire and need of the US to want its citizens to be American in allegiance and not merely in status. It is not possible in freedom to demand someone’s heart, but I don’t like it when fellow citizens of the UK take US citizenship while emotionally crossing their fingers at the renunciation.

I do see parallels here with our inter-Anglican debates and long for clear and confident leadership that honors the breadth of Anglican opinion and takes seriously the shift in anthropology that accepts gay and lesbian people as they are and recognize that what ever our interpretation of scripture, this is a new thing. If and when we accept it as such, the moral question is not one of sexual behavior and more one of whether the church will follow the great commandment and great commission with respect to GLBT people. We heard a lot about how Christians in Africa are in some kind of competition with Islam for the hearts and minds of the people (at leas those who are willing to forgo animist beliefs). My passing acquaintance with the Sudan and Tanzania leads me to agree with this assessment. What I dispute is that we have to compete with Islam on their terms. We are a faith that preaches God’s grace and we need to do so courageously and without apology, embracing those of our brothers and sisters who differ from us in significant ways and not fearing Anti-Western or Anti-American backlash. This would be somewhat parallel to our wanting to stay in relationship with sisters and brothers in Tanzania in spite of their very different norms with regard to the role and status of women in their Church and society, for example. I am among those who see the controversial resolutions of our last General Convention to be examples of the kind of self differentiated generous clarity that I’d like to see and hear in those parts of the communion in which I would hold a minority position.

Finally, for now, I do worry that in spite of this clarity The Episcopal Church (along with some other provinces of the Communion including the Church of England) can be insecure, malleable and relativistic. Here I am with our internal critics who want to make sure that we still believe in the saving power of Jesus as the Son of God. More on that in a post to come.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Immigration and Islam

August 13, 2009

Christopher Caldwell, who writes for the Financial Times among other journals, has written Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West (Doubleday, 2009). I don’t know the terrain enough to know whether or not this is an ‘important book’ in its field. I do know that it is and will be an important book for me as I try and digest its implications. He addresses, without polemic or drama, many of the threads that have changed the face of Europe through immigration. He points out things such as the idea that people from the third world may immigrate to Europe because “they want a better life” but that does not mean that they want a European life. He believes that many want a third world life and culture with a European standard of living.

Caldwell points out the lack of a coherent philosophy and therefore coherent policy or set of policies for immigration in Europe. (He contrasts the issues in Europe with those of the U.S. which he sees as being around whether immigrants are ‘legal or not; and Canada whose policies are that highly educated people who “have seen the inside of a church” may immigrate and others may not.)

He points out the inherent potential weakness of a liberal and rather libertarian society whose non negotiable norms include liberated womankind for example, but who welcome (more or less) people who are shaped by fundamentally different cultural norms and expectations and who, for a variety of reasons, some but not all of their own making, live separately within their host countries. Once granted citizenship they are no longer ‘guests’, but that does not mean that their first allegiance is to the country in which they live. This is particularly true, says Caldwell, of Muslim immigrants, who are largely critical of what they perceive as ‘moral laxity’ in the West, and who are participants in a religion which has been the enemy of all things European for centuries.

The book is full of statistics and anecdote which somehow manages to make for compelling reading. His concluding words are these:

“…all cant to the contrary, (Islam) is in no sense Europe’s religion and it is in no sense Europe’s culture. It is certain that Europe will emerge changed from its confrontation with Islam. It is far less certain that Islam will prove assimilable. Europe finds itself in a contest with Islam for the allegiance of its newcomers. For now, Islam is the stronger party in that contest, in an obvious demographic way and in a less obvious philosophical way. In such circumstances words like ‘majority and ‘minority’ mean little. When an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter.”

It will take me a while to sort out all of my responses to this book in regard to immigration policy; the strength of Islam; fundamental values I hold, (such as how wrong is the subjugation of women by men, however dressed up as leading to ‘independence’, ‘modesty’ and the like); the vulnerability of flabby liberalism to any movement that exhibits strength (the dynamic that in a power vacuum, there will be many wiling to fill it); and the implications of all this for our own conflicts within the Anglican Communion which are part of a much greater set of issues and challenges in the world. Those responses will have to come over time in future posts.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Blogosphere

August 9, 2009

Last Friday this blog was picked up in a fairly incendiary way by Jonathan Wynne Jones of The Daily Telegraph. You can read it here.

Regular readers will know that fomenting civil war in the C of E is the farthest thing from my mind. They are facing that without any help from me!

I responded with the following comment:

• Jonathan,
Thank you for taking an interest in our parish conversation at All Saints’’, Atlanta. You are quite right that no one I know has any interest in starting a civil war in the C of E. There is no real interest here in planting TEC parishes in England, but I believe that would change if the Covenant movement keeps on looking for ways in which individuals and parishes (presumably within TEC but what of others?) would be encouraged to ’sign on’ in the event that TEC did not.
I hope the powers that be at The DT would be willing to send you to the US to learn more about your subject. There is nothing wrong with the Metropolitan Community Church but we are quite different as you can begin to learn by reading this.
In the event that such a trip is of interest you have a standing invitation to All Saints’, Atlanta.

This is all good pot stirring stuff but probably not helpful in the end. Nonetheless it is hard for me to imagine the Archbishop of Canterbury using the Covenant process to foment further schism within TEC in the name of some kind of greater ‘unity’ in the Anglican Communion. If the ABC and his allies choose to create a way for individuals and parishes to sign on in the event that a province declines to do so through its formal channels will create a bigger mess than he faces now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Last November
August 6, 2009

Last November 18 I published a piece that predicted what was going to happen with the formation of a separatist province in the US. Things seems to be playing out much as I suggested then. Here it is again:

November 18, 2008
So December will see the official ‘launching’ of an additional Anglican Province for North America with the deposed Bishop of Pittsburgh (now a bishop of the border crossing province of the Southern Cone) as Archbishop. A number of primates (the usual suspects) have said that they will ‘recognize’ the new province. See the Stand Firm in Faith information here. Cantaur meanwhile maintains his customary and unhelpful silence, although The Washington Times reports that he invited Bishop Duncan to submit an application for a new province in October. If he condemns the new province as a travesty of catholic faith and order he will help formalize the fragmentation of Anglicanism and bring enormous problems upon the Church of England who are deeply divided but hanging together under the law of the land. If he supports the province either overtly or tacitly by his silence (my best bet for his initial response) he will continue the process of the Episcopal Church being cast out of the communion in some formal way for advocating and acting upon the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons as such in the life of the church. This will be seen as the price of Anglican ‘unity’ and will mean that Anglicanism will be willing to be defined, less by broad, relational, graceful, generous, inviting theology and more, (like Rome in the view of many) by what it is against. At that point the battle over who ‘represents the brand’ or ‘holds the franchise’ would not be worth fighting as we would not want to be associated with the ’brand name of bigotry’ dressed up as gospel in a kind of Orwellian twist.
I would see the recognition of a ‘parallel province’, as an extraordinary innovation, and significantly more destructive of traditional polity than ‘border crossing’. In such a brave new world I hope the Episcopal Church would move swiftly to begin seeking partners throughout the world in order to sustain the possibility of broad, relational graceful, generous, inviting catholicity. One of the first steps would be a move to begin planting churches in England in which our way of living and proclaiming the gospel would be welcomed by many as a breath of fresh air (while doubtless condemned by others as American arrogance).
My question is how we would do such a thing decently and in order. Would England (or elsewhere) become a missionary district established by General Convention? A Suffragan operation akin to the Bishop for the Armed Forces or Bishop in Europe? An extension of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe (although we would be seeking to introduce English Episcopalianism rather than extending an essentially ex-pat operation)? A somewhat random diocesan mission?
I will be writing to some friends seeking response, thoughts and ideas to this bare bones, but quite serious, proposal, and would appreciate, welcome and encourage vigorous debate and response here. (I will even break a rule of this blog and join in the responses if a real conversation gets underway.)

What follows is a comment I posted two days later:

I've had two comments from colleagues. The first basically suggests that we are a long way from people being willing to forgo being Anglican. I think that is probably right but the price of it will wind up being at the expense of our support for GLBT people. It will happen slowly. Some recognition from primates of the new province, silence from Canterbury, some kind of covenant which TEC will reject, some mechanism for some diocese and possibly parishes to 'sign on independently', possibly through joining the new province and voila (or viola as a a friend says)people can remain Anglican as long as they renounce any affirmation of gays. We may not like ti but as long as Canterbury stays silent on this and keeps investing in the covenant what is going to change the picture I am painting?

The second comment was that it will be sad if we become like baptists and we have to ask what kind of Anglican a particular church might be. I think that is pretty well under way and explicitly so in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. I agree that it is sad and have a real sense of loss about it, but don't wan to sit by idly as though nothing is going on. Other suggestions welcome.

A Liberal Response in the C of E

August 6, 2009

Ruth Gledhill of the Times has reported and quoted a statement of response to Rowan Williams for a coalition of progressive groups within the Church of England. You can read her blog comments here.

The statement itself is as follows:

We have read and reflected upon the Archbishop’s response to the Episcopal Church of the USA “Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future” and have a number of questions about the consequences of his response. We question whether the voices of those within the Church of England who are or who walk alongside lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people have been adequately heard within the recent discussions. These discussions have gone on in various places around the Communion, and we believe it is important in this context that the LGBT faithful and those who work alongside us speak as well.
We wish to reaffirm our loyalty to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the scriptures, our commitment to the Anglican way, and our celebration of and thanksgiving for the tradition and life of the Church of England. Above all, our concern is for the mission of the Church in our world. We have no doubt that the Church of England is called to live out the Gospel values of love and justice in the whole of its life; these values are intrinsic to the calling of Jesus Christ to follow him and it is out of this context that we speak.

While we acknowledge the intention of the Archbishop of Canterbury to seek a way forward for the Anglican Communion, we have grave concerns about the implications of his reflections in “Covenant, Communion and the Anglican Future.” For example, we consider that references to same-sex unions as a “chosen life-style”, and assertions that those who have made such a commitment are analogous to “a heterosexual person living in a sexual relationship outside the marriage bond” to be inconsistent with the Archbishop’s previous statements on committed and faithful same sex relationships and are at odds with our reading of the message of the gospel. Whilst we applaud his assertion that we are called to “become the Church God wants us to be, for the better proclamation of the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ” we find no indication of how that can be achieved for those who are not heterosexual.
We acknowledge, once again, that there are and always have been many loyal, committed and faithful bishops, priests and deacons – properly selected and ordained - and many lay people who are LGBT or who work alongside LGBT people with delight and thanksgiving. We know ourselves to be part of the church of God in England and we work, together, to bring about the reign of God in this part of God’s creation. We pray earnestly that the Church of England will continue to select, train, ordain and deploy LGBT people and enable them to exercise their calling from God in the Church of England.
Together, we reaffirm our commitment to working for the full inclusion of all people at all levels of ministry. We will continue to work towards liturgical and sacramental recognition of the God-given love which enables many LGBT couples to thrive. We will seek to strengthen the bonds of affection which exist between those in all the Churches of the Anglican Communion who share our commitment to the full inclusion of all of God’s faithful. We will also continue to work closely with our brother and sister churches, especially those with whom we have mutual recognition of orders such as the Nordic churches.
We will work to ensure that if the Church of England is to sign up to the Covenant, it has potential for rapid progress on this and other issues. We find the notion of a “two track communion” flawed in the way that the Act of Synod is flawed, and we commit ourselves to continuing the effort to find ways forward through which those who disagree profoundly on this and on other issues can continue to celebrate their common membership of the Church of England and unity in Christ.

Signed by representatives of the following groups working together in the Church of England

Accepting Evangelicals
Changing Attitude
The Clergy Consultation
Evangelical Fellowship of Lesbian and Gay Anglicans
General Synod Human Sexuality Group
Group for the Rescinding of the Act of Synod
Inclusive Church
Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (Anglican Matters)
Modern Churchpeople’s Union
WATCH National Committee

Ms. Gledhill also reports interest among the leaders of these groups in planting Episcopal Churches in England. I know this to be accurate and believe it is time for a serious conversation to move forward.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Williams, Wright and Others

August 3, 2009

It seems I picked a wonderful week to be at the beach. The Archbishop of Canterbury has published a piece calling homosexuality a ‘chosen lifestyle’ and urging that the Communion move forward with affirming a Covenant that would, in his view, have the effect of setting some boundaries for otherwise and formerly interdependent churches and result in a ‘two tier’ set of relationships among Anglican Churches.

Among the responses is one from Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham in consultation with the Anglican Communion Institute and Fulcrum, both conservative groups. He repeats the thought that theological work has not been done on the question of ‘identity characterized as a matter of sexual preference’.

A host of further responses may be found at Thinking Anglicans and elsewhere. I found the piece by Lionel E. Deimel particularly helpful.

I am distressed by the continuing difficulty that both the Archbishop and Bishop of Durham have in addressing the question of anthropology. They keep wanting to characterize the actions of TEC as based on questions of justice and rights for a beleaguered minority and therefore as a failure to observe biblical morality. The consequence of this stance is that they perpetuate the tendency of many Christians to ‘talk past’ each other with increasingly angry and loud voices. In the process they give aid an comfort to those who believe as they do that GLBT people are fundamentally disordered and their only option for right relationship is that of any person who is not in a heterosexual marriage. They leave parish priests who think as they do crying out against the leadership of the Episcopal Church and despairing of their ability to stay with it. Don’t worry, they say, there will be some way developed for parishes and individuals who wish to be in ‘tier one’ to stay with the communion. In taking this position they would say they are responding to the complexities of current relationships in the communion but are having the effect of fomenting further schism within TEC.

There is a way to keep the communion together and it is not too late, and that is for them to take seriously the profound shift in the anthropology that underlies acceptance of GLBT people as such. (We have done this before in recognizing the evils of slavery and consequent full humanity of non white people. We have done this before, and painfully, in recognizing the full humanity of women as other than chattel even though there are still many men who would like to define proper roles for women.) An acknowledgement of the seriousness of the conversation and placing it within the history of Anglicanism would not offer much aid and comfort to those whose most basic belief is that to be gay is a ‘chosen lifestyle’ or a ‘sexual preference’ and simply wrong as a matter of morality. It would require patient teaching about the fundamental conversation that the ‘Windsor Process’ was allegedly designed to promote without causing grave difficulty for people who cannot imagine any need for such conversation (and who have consistently ignored calls to engage ‘the listening process’.)

That would be the way of leadership that I crave to see and hear and one that would make sense of calls of moratoria and restraint and the like. What appears to be going on at the moment is dressed up in extremely long ‘essays’, ‘responses’ and the like, but is basically about getting a majority of the communion to repent of such wrong headed beliefs and move forward together clear and free of having to deal with challenges of GLBT people. Schism (along with further blaming, name-calling , false characterizations of those who take a different view as somehow less than theologically considered and therefore not quite Christian) will be the consequence of this leadership if they cannot find a way to reframe the conversation such that those with whom they disagree (i.e. TEC for starters) are taken seriously as Christians.

Such leadership would be able to offer comfort to those within the Episcopal Church who are despairing of their ability to stay within the TEC and the Anglican Communion by saying ‘your view is legitimate but you find yourself in a minority within your own church whose view is also legitimate.’ At the same time such leadership could say to parishes such as All Saints’, Atlanta ‘we don’t yet fully understand what you are doing or why you are doing it but we want to learn. We know that you are part of a significant majority within your own church at this point but ask that you continue to be charitable to those in Western Tanganyika and elsewhere in the communion who cannot understand and do not like what you are doing.’

I’m not optimistic that we will receive such self differentiated leadership soon enough to avoid separation. For now I will continue to ask that we support the Anglican Consultative Council through the work of the Compass Rose Society and the Office of the Anglican Observer to the United Nations, but am aware that we may have to cease that in favor of supporting the missionary work of planting Episcopal Churches in England and elsewhere.