Where are we going, now?

Some fourteen years ago, I began attending an Episcopal Church in Akron, OH. I just wanted to see what a sacramental and liturgical church was like since I had become fairly disillusioned with the tradition I had been a part of.
Over time, I discovered this thing called Anglicanism. A wonderful thing, I believed, because unlike American Protestantism this church seemed to stay together despite the arguments, the infighting, and the differences of all kinds. In my humble opinion, this brought an overall balance in the functioning of the whole church.
This is my first General Convention. I am truly impressed with the level of sophistication and decorum of the committee hearings, the open hearings, and the debate in the various Houses. I am inspired by it all.
Even so, during these past fourteen years I have always had this strange sense that I don’t know where I fit within this church. That was okay when there seemed to be the understanding that we were all in this together, despite how one group or another was actually treated (and some groups from both sides are treated very poorly). If one part of this church decides to leave, then how am I to understand my place in our church, let alone within the Communion? It seems, perhaps, I will be even less sure of my place. I am glad I was ordained before this convention.
Then again, as one who knows I am just passing through this brief period of time called life, why should it really matter if I feel comfortable or secure or not? I suspect that the better sense should be that I learn to be content in all things, as Paul suggests in describing the place he found by yielding completely to the will of God.
The Anglican ethos will continue on, despite what this church decides to do or not to do. We all like to say Anglicanism is ours – is mine! – but it isn’t. I’m not disillusioned with Anglicanism, just with a lot of people who call themselves Anglicans. Anglicanism, if it is truly a legitimate expression of the One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, is God’s. I can live within that ethos and it really doesn’t matter whether I feel I have a nice, comfy nock or not. Frankly, I will probably be much better off in the long run if I have to continue to seek and fight to understand what the heck God is up to!

Day – ??? – B

Okay, deep breath.
Again, I am not opposed to Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, being our new Presiding Bishop. Within this Church, we are being consistent. My concern, however, is what this does and says to our ecumenical partners overseas and within this country – Anglican, Roman, Orthodox, and American Evangelical. What does this say to those who accuse this Church, as well as the United States in general, of being self-centered, arrogant, and unilateral in its dealings with the rest of the world?
You know, it just gets very tiring trying to honestly understand all sides (attempting to walk in the shoes of those of opposite opinion) and attempting to hold both sides in tension – seeking the ‘via media’ where a balanced understanding of things probably resides. It is emotionally draining attempting to put aside my own opinions (and I am very opinionated, as some well know, particularly my former seminary roommates), my own wants and desires. It is very difficult letting go of what I want and what I think is best.
I have a big thing about hypocrisy and inconsistency. I know that I am hypocitical and inconsistent at times, but I strive not to be and I hope that people will show me where I am being so.
My prayer, Lord help me, is that I will understand my own culturally bound proclivities, my own cultural biases. I pray that I will see and understand as clearly as possible this colored lens of American culture through which I see and understand the world. I hope that I can truly be an alien and stranger to this world, not for the sake of just being peculiar but to live fully into the Gospel of Christ – which is neither liberal or conservative, Western or Eastern, Northern or Southern, Evangelical or Anglo-Catholic, etc., etc., etc. I pray that I can be – truly be – a person that will defend anyone’s right to their opinion and freedom to express such opinion and to be at the table. I pray that I can walk in humility knowing that I see through the glass darkly and that I will not truly know until I see Him face-to-face.
That’s all. I know that I have my own ‘stuff’ to deal with and work through. In all this, as in the situation with our current government and social issues (Cultural Wars), I find too many people no longer wanting or willing to come to a common position. Too many people just want their ideology, position, theological perspective to win, regardless of the consequences to other people not of our own tribe.