End of Day 4

I attended a legislative session this afternoon and the combined hearing concerning the resolutions coming from the special commission on the Windsor Report before the special committee.
I am proud to be an Episcopalian and an Anglican. Proud, because within the various denominations I have been involved with over the years, this kind of respectful debate could never have happened. I value my years in the Foursquare Church, the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, the Assemblies of God, and a couple independent Charismatic churches, but in none of them would this kind of dialogue, debate, and difference been allowed. People spoke passionately, but they spoke well and where for the most part respectfully received.
During the opening hearing before the special committee, six at a time were called as a group to the microphone to speak. The third or so group to be called forward ended with Bishop Duncan from Pittsburgh and Bishop Robinson from New Hampshire. The crowd of more than 1,700 (including all those sitting outside the ballroom) shifted and the murmur went up, at which point the secretary (?) of the committee simply said, “I’m just reading the list.” The crowd laughed.
Regrettably, Bishop Duncan said that he did not see at this point how the progressive wing and the conservative wing of the Episcopal Church could remain together. He said, basically, that there is now no hope. I hope – I hope that this is not true. This was the big meeting, until the final resolutions are presented to the different houses for approval or rejection. My prayer is that we remain together.
I met Kendall Harman of titusonenine, who was in line with his son before the hearings waiting to sign up to speak. He was very gracious, which I expected. I was a bit embarrassed. He was talking to a friend from the Diocese of Ohio. I waited until they were done and greeted Sam, at which point Kendall said something like, “Bob Griffith – are you the blogger?” I was quite surprised that he would remember who I am, but I wanted to great him and tell him that I appreciate his blog. I am still embarrassed and surprised when I hear from others who read these poorly written and chaotic musings of mine, particularly someone as busy and proficient as Kendall.
I desperately pray and hope, somehow through God’s grace and our ability to move in humility, that we will remain together in this wonderful and incredible enterprise called Anglicanism – part of the One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
I spent a good amount of time with Jason and Jodi during the afternoon. I am very glad I got to hang (if I put “out” at this end of “hang,” does it mean I’m and old fart) with them.
I am very tired.

Day – 4

This is a last comment on this topic. Wouldn’t you know it – almost the entire Eucharist this morning was in Spanish. I resigned myself to be present in the service the same way I was present in services in different European services when I served in Europe. I could be present, but not in the way those who understood the language could be present.
I had no idea what the sermon was about, and I forgot the printout of the sermon in English at our table.
These questions still arise: What do we mean by “Common” and how is it experienced in this kind of context? What is the purpose of the convention Eucharist’s?
I do understand the desire for this church to be welcoming and hospitable to all kinds of people. I affirm that desire. But, if we do not provide space for there to be a truly “common” experience, and I understand that some will not sense the commonality like all the others (been there, done that), we will balkanize. We already see this happening concerning our current troubles.
Okay, enough about this.
By the way, I heard the U2charist was great! It is reported that around 700+ showed up – literally standing room only. I wish I could have been there.
It is great seeing people I haven’t talked to in a long time.

Day -3: Let me try to restate a past post

Since I think “out-loud,” a lot of what gets into this blog is just that – thinking out loud. It is problematic at times because some will take everything I post as being what I think is gospel truth, when in actuality it is just ruminations. Of course, in all the ruminating what I do believe at any given period in time does come through.
When I think about the past post “What is going on with me?” as I tried to express some of the unexpected anger I was feeling over yesterday’s Eucharist, I realize that this is probably what I really want to say:
When we gather together from 16 different countries and from every area in this country in a worship space that accommodates 3,500 people at a convention where approximately 10,000 participate in one form or another, in order to have any sense of “common prayer” it seems that we would want to do that which is most familiar and easiest to comprehend.
It often seems, however, that those who plan these kinds of services see them as an opportunity to do the unexpected, the unusual, the “innovative,” the different in order to expose people to new things. I understand that, but when we have the common convention Eucharist, I don’t see how doing such things enable us to worship together, even though I know that while in English and according to the established forms of the Prayer Book will frustrate and anger some.
Yesterday, there was the U2 Eucharist. At some point soon there will be the Hip-Hop Eucharist. I suspect there will also be Eucharists in Spanish, perhaps French and German, too. Okay, so what about Anglo-Catholics? What about Charistmatics? This church allows for such a breadth of piety, and I believe this strengthens us and provides for the needs of many different kinds of people. A strength, yes, but when we have a common service, it should be in a form that will speak to and meet the needs of the vast majority of those participating.
That’s just my opinion.
On another topic – the battles have begun.
It came home to me yesterday that the different sides of the most pressing issues really do not understand their opponents. That is a shame, and it hinders us from coming to any kind of compromise. The really sad aspect of it all is that too many do not even want to understand their opponents.
The way I see it, do everything you can to get into the skin of one’s opponent to truly understand their perspective. Then, one can argue against it, but one doesn’t have to demonize the other in the process. And, incidentally, the original opinion held by the one doing the investigating may actually be changed in some way. A meeting of the minds may well be able to be accomplished at that point, even if to amicably agreeing to disagree.