John Backman, an n associate of the Order of the Holy Cross and member of the vestry of St. Paul's Church in Albany, New York, asks if there isn't a third way to approach the Anglican Covenant. This "third way" is grounded in listening and trust.
Episcopal Life Online has his essay here:
We had come to this point, according to our diocesan leadership, partly because of Rowan Williams' suggestion that individual dioceses express their wishes to their provincial churches. In response, our bishop put forward a resolution in favor of the covenant, which passed overwhelmingly in that up-or-down vote.
During the debate, however, I couldn't help but wonder if we had overlooked better options -- like not yet.
Not yet, admittedly, is not always popular. Some people see it as nothing more than a way to delay the inevitable. But that perspective misses what not yet can do: honor the concerns of the yes and no camps alike, while opening up space for deeper dialogue.
There's room in not yet, for instance, to affirm the wording of the covenant (at least the first three sections) as an eloquent statement of our faith's historic claims, an apt description of the church's vocation, and a deft treading of the tightrope between autonomy and communion. To be sure, faithful Christians from both sides can disagree on the details. But if this draft had been presented as a way for churches of mutual goodwill to walk together, I could have been persuaded to vote yes....
...Instead of debating the covenant, then, I believe we would better spend our time rebuilding the foundation -- laying aside our rigid positions and stereotypes of the "other side" in favor of authentic dialogue. Then, when we have made significant progress in that direction, we can reconsider the covenant, this time as an affirmation of our restored bonds of affection.