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Reminder, it’s been Covenant week at the Café

Reminder, it’s been Covenant week at the Café

As was noted at the beginning of this week, there’s been a series of three essays posted on Daily Episcopalian each of which invites the readers to take a close look at the Anglican Covenant the Episcopal Church is expected to respond to in the next few years.

If you missed them this week, here they are again in order. They’ll make excellent holiday weekend reading:


First: The holy mess that is Section Four by Sally Johnson

Second: We are ignoring the covenant we’ve already got by Gay Jennings

Third: The covenant before us is not the covenant we need by Winnie Varghese

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tobias haller

I second Bp Epting. As I’ve also pointed out we have not engaged in a process such as the Covenant foresees for making important decisions concerning the whole Communion. To adopt a document that calls for a process by means other than what the document calls for seems a terrible way forward.

We’ve had a hub and spoke model of “input” but little or no collective cross-provincial discussion. The tendency is towards intramural discussion in our own little boxes — witness England voting by dioceses — where such a momentous decision would be better addressed by a real Anglican Congress. The very small drafting committee and all of the “input” was not “consultation”!

Chris Epting

Yeah, I remain somewhat “of two minds” about this. Part of me wants us to sign on to Parts 1-3 and reject Part 4 and see what the Communion makes of that. Part of me wants to stick it to GAFCON by signing on, continuing to make our decisions after consultation but in full provincial autonomy (as we keep being assured we can do) and let the chips fall where they may. If we are challenged by some action deemed “incompatible with the Covenant” then we go through the steps of defending our actions. Part of an overall educational process for us all. Dunno. It’s a quandry.

Tom Sramek, Jr.

Jim: By “the whole thing” I meant the Anglican Covenant, not the Anglican Communion. Frankly, I don’t think TEC is going to get kicked out of the Anglican Communion (whatever that means…). I think England would have toe be right behind us in line for the axe, if that ever happened. Even if we were, we would still remain in communion with those provinces who wished to remain in communion with us.

The question is whether we want to remain in the discussions of the covenant and possibly influence its implementation and possible modification or whether we just want to chalk it up (to use an English expression) as a “bad job” and put it behind us.

Jim Naughton

Tom, can I ask why you think that not signing the Covenant would constitute “dumping the whole thing”? Our ongoing membership in the Anglican Consultative Council is not contingent on signing the Covenant.

Tom Sramek Jr

Well, there is this one by The Rev. Dr. Philip Turner:

http://www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com/2011/05/the-covenant-what-is-it-all-about/

I think there are plenty of people who are still on the fence on this one. The decision between dumping the whole thing and walking away or staying “in the game” and helping to shape the future direction of things is not an easy one for many.

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