As mentioned here late last week, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is spending a fortnight visiting Anglican churches in Australia and New Zealand. Her first Sunday looks to have been a fruitful one.
Anglican Taonga has the story:
Bishop John Gray kept up the humour, too.
Sunday was a sodden day in Christchurch, and on their way from the carpark to Whakaruruhau, people had dodged around the puddles and brushed past the weeds of a small, vacant site.
On that site – which is no larger than a house site – he told Bishop Katharine that he planned to build his “cathedral”.
It clearly won’t be as big, say, as Southwark Cathedral in London.
“But in my cathedral,” he told her, “you can wear your mitre.”
The discussion then turned to the wider affairs of the Communion – in particular, the Covenant. There was little enthusiasm for that by the New Zealand clergy present, particularly where Section 4 is concerned.
Some spoke of their suspicion at the ‘colonising’ effect a covenant could have – they said it was like the mother country demanding a retying of the apron strings.
Some women clergy suggested that if a covenant had been in place 40 years ago, it could have been used to squash women’s ordination – while others were suspicious that the three-tikanga constitution could have been tossed out from afar.
The [proposed Anglican Covenant], she suggested, was a type of “cheap grace”, an “enlightenment response to postmodern” era disagreement. It was a legal move to avoid the harder “work of the heart”, of building relationships in the face of diversity.
She drew chuckles when she told how, in the face of pressure from some Global primates for the immediate adoption of the covenant, some of her younger bishops had urged her: “Let’s do it. Now.”
But if The Episcopal Church had signed up to the covenant, she suggested, other once enthusiastic provinces might have second thoughts about it.
...‘For freedom Christ has set us free. So stand up and stop being a slave,’ Paul says (Gal 5:1). But freedom isn’t only freedom from ; it’s freedom for – for loving self and others. We have been set free in order that we might become that same sort of liberating love in the world, setting others free.
Freedom is directional. It moves away from slavery, and it moves toward something more, the more that God intended from creation. It has something to do with what those two guys on the podium were protesting – an end to slavery, an end to oppression, an end to poverty and systems that keep some in thrall while others profit.
Freedom also has something to do with expansion – in the same sense that Mary prays, “magnify the Lord” – let the glory and love of God in our hearts expand our capacity to be tools and servants of that greater possibility.
The freedom we have received in Christ is meant to give us larger hearts and wider-seeing eyes that don’t focus so much on our own fears. That sort of freedom gives us the ability to look for the larger good, rather than only our own...
Also, you can read of New Zealand blogger Bosco Peters' visit with the Presiding Bishop and his thoughts on Mitregate (soon to be a major motion picture).