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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

First Thoughts

So, I've read the report-- once through, anyway. Here are a few things that occur to me, in no special order:

  1. I am impressed with the spectrum of thought represented by the people who were chosen, and agreed to serve, on the Commission. East and West, "Euro-centric" and "Global South," "conservative" and "liberal" (and oh, how I am growing to detest those categorizations) were all contributors to the work that was done. That these people were able to come to unanimous agreement about the contents of this document, surrounded by the increasing animosity shown by those at the ends of those spectra toward one another, is well-nigh miraculous; ample evidence, it seems to me, of God's grace and mercy at work.

  2. I am pleased by the solid, prayerful theology that they have developed as the foundation for the recommendations that are made. I know that there is a natural inclination to jump straight to the conclusions; but this is godly work, and if you do not read it, you are missing out.

  3. As the writers state in their introduction, "This Report is not a judgement. It is part of a process. It is part of a pilgrimage towards healing and reconciliation." They have not denied that wrongs have been done, nor hesitated to state clearly what they saw as the underlying issues that have led us to this impasse. At the same time, they have been committed to the Gospel imperative of forgiveness. Their suggestions to (a) apologize for the hurt we have caused one another, on both sides; and (b) to take no further action (either in the development of rites of blessing for same-sex unions and ordaining of those in same-sex relationships) until (c) some prayerful, extensive, theological work has been done, I think are wise.

I have a friend who's brother recently went in for transplant surgery. The doctors were not able to complete all the work that they had to do in one trip to the operating room, because they couldn't stop the patient's bleeding. They had to halt the surgery, send him back to the ICU, and get that under control, before they could finish the work they needed to do.

That's where we are. There are people, worldwide, that have been hurt, desparately hurt, by the actions the church has taken-- by the vote of our General Convention, which came up on so many people seemingly without warning, and by the independent action of one diocese in Canada-- and the bleeding is out of control. We need time, brothers and sisters; time to think, and prayerfully consider, "in love and charity with one another."

This does not make anybody happy, I know. One side is outraged at the thought of waiting longer for action by the church, as part of what they see as God's imperative for justice. The other is incensed that immediate retribution is not called for, again as part of what they see as God's imperative for justice.

I can't help but wonder if the fact that neither side is satisfied, isn't an indicator that the suggestions before us are on the right track.

More later...


Blogger Clueless Christian said...

For those who have not yet had time to read the 100+ report, a succinct summary, complete with graphics may be accessed here.



October 19, 2004 12:08 PM  

Blogger Mumcat said...

I think you're right. I don't think anybody is 100% satisfied with the report, but that is probably a good thing, ust as you said. It certainly encourages conversation, but I wonder how much of that dialog will actually take place?

I think it was a fair report. The summary seems to be that everybody got slapped and everybody got told to "apologize and make nice." That's a start. I hope.

October 19, 2004 6:51 PM  

Blogger Clueless Christian said...


The Windsor Report, and the Anglican Communion: When Dying Patients Still Talk

Extended comment on my blog.

October 20, 2004 9:19 AM  

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