Day 1 – Sunday & Day 2 – Monday

Day 1 – I flew into Columbus yesterday (Sunday) morning. Just a bit after arriving at the hotel, I changed into clericals and went to the Church Pension Group (CPG) “booth” in the exhibit hall for General Convention. If CPG wanted to downplay the perception that many have of the organization – aloof, pretentious, overly wealthy, etc., this “booth” will certainly not dissuade such belief. It is really big, if simple, and quite luxurious. Anyway, I worked the booth for a few hours.
The attitude of most people I’ve encountered is good. I know that the majority of people are not as worked up as the perhaps 10% of both conservative and liberal “Anglican fundamentalists.” Yet, convention has not really started and yet and not until Tuesday are they really going to begin dealing with issues.
Day 2 – I am still concerned (at times distressed) over the outcome. In the end, will the “anti-” people have the day – whether those who are “anti-“ – anti-conservative or anti-liberal, those who are anti-inclusion of gay people or those who are anti-tradition/orthodoxy? Trying to use words to define all these different groupings of people and their attitudes and intentions is nearly impossible. There are a lot of alliances, but many of them are alliances of convenience because there is a perceived common enemy.
Perhaps another area of concern, for me at least and I know for some others, is that if a chunk of the church leaves, then we will become the dreaded and marginalized “conservatives/traditionalists.” Dreaded and marginalized by those who tend to be of the 1960’s era “Age of Aquarius,” nothing old is good, “we have to remake everything in our image,” down with institutions, politically-correct bunch, many of whom are in control of this Church. Again, change and reform and different ways of looking at things are good at times, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some people are now trying to find that baby and rescue it! Poor little thing…
This new “conservative” group would be those who are still open to change and who do not necessarily take a strong stand concerning some pressing social issues, but who can say the Creeds and say the liturgies and honestly believe them. Who can say with integrity that we are not Universalists, the Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation and is central, rightly handled in light of tradition and reason, and that our cosmology is not closed but open to God doing whatever God wants to do. Some of us do not necessarily buy into Modernist notions any longer. Some of us believe that mystery, always kept but not always acknowledged or respected, is making a comeback.
The simple fact is that we, as humans, are fallible, sinful, and even at our best tend to get things wrong. Why do we think we have it all figured out, correct, and right at this point in time, now, during the beginning of the 21st century? This is what drew me to Anglicanism – traditionally we say we could be wrong and that there will be an allowance for differences in opinion and piety so that we can all move forward into a stronger and more solid, reasonable, and faithful understanding of God, ourselves, and the world. Will this survive? By the grace of God, I hope so!