New Identity

It is difficult attempting to live into my new identity when I am surrounded by my old one. It is hard to realize the coming completion of a long process when the current situation does not encourage its realization.
I remember a movie I saw a few years ago. I don’t remember the title, but it was about the final few Carolingian monks and their fight against evil (or some such thing). There was a scene where the protagonist Carolingian priest was fighting against his attraction to a women and the temptation to stray from his vows. While talking to his mentor about what he should do, the mentor asked him, “Are you a man?” His response was something like, “I am not a man; I am a priest.”
There is an element of truth or reality in that kind of response. Over the last several years, I have gone through a process that has set me aside for a purpose that is fundamentally different than that of most people. Not that I am any better or more enabled or whatever than anyone else in this new identity or purpose, but it is different. It is difficult to really feel the reality of it all when I am not doing the work – much, anyway. It is frustrating. What does it mean to say, “I am not a man; I am a priest!”?

What is Communion?

Some important theological work is going on by The Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission (IATDC) concerning communion – what it means, how we abide within it, etc. I have heard it often said the Anglicanism presents no unique theological perspectives to world Christianity. I don’t think I agree with that, although perhaps our contribution is the way we approach the issues rather than making declarative statements pertaining to the issues.
Some of the work being done now, however, shows great potential for an Anglican contribution to world Christianity’s understanding of issues pertaining to communion.
There are four Key Questions presented by the commission:

Following the publication of The Virginia Report in 1997, the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission has been charged to study “The nature, basis and sustaining of communion in the Church, with particular reference to the Anglican Communion”. Four questions have been identified which appear to underlie this issue:
1. When we speak of the Anglican Communion, what do we mean by the word “communion”?
2. What is it that makes some disputes so crucial that failure to resolve them threatens a break in communion?
3. In what ways are Christian teachings about moral behavior integral to the maintenance of communion?
4. In answering these questions we shall be asking how far does the Virginia Report meet the relevant situations that have arisen in the Anglican Communion since its publication?

There are six Propositions that they offer for consideration. These are more detailed and well worth a read-through if these issues are of interest.