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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Lavabo Bowl reflections

Today was the annual flag football game between the Seabury Saints and the Nashotah House Black Monks...

Rain this morning, and lots of it-- Worship started late, because the weather delayed our guests' arrival.

Rite I liturgy, presided over by the newest member of our faculty. Chanting the psalm, and suddenly, unaccountably nervous as I did so.

Walking to the field, blessed by AKMA-- with Dave making grand, full circles with the censor ahead of him-- and beginning to play, in the pouring rain. Fortunately that ended about halftime.

Lost the game by one point: 22-21. Sorry, Ref; but you'd have been proud of the way the team played. I was. They made a few lovely plays, even to my untutored eyes; and set a generally high standard for sportsmanlike behavior when calls were blown or the competition had an... inappropriate moment or two.

Crowded lunch, with lots of good food. Then home-- and now a nap.


Blogger Ryan said...

"...inappropriate moment or two"

That doesn't cover it. What I saw today was one of the worst examples of unsportsmanlike conduct that I have ever seen on the intramural field...and I played fraternity ball. It's a great commentary when two fraternities play with better conduct and more respect for one another than two seminaries.


October 23, 2004 11:14 PM  

Blogger Clueless Christian said...

Obviously I didn't see the game. Nor did I care for the Nashota commentary which certainly seemed in poor taste, if nothing else.

However I do wonder at Seabury's insisting on a woman presider at a mass for folks from Nashota house. Why did they do this? Why was it necessary to rub your theology regarding the propriety of WO (a subject that I am agnostic about)into the faces of your guests?

If I invite Moslems to my home (and I have) I don't feed them pork. If I invite Hindus to my home, I serve vegitarian foods. When I have former alcoholics to dinner, I don't serve wine. Why insist on forcing your guests to betray their conscience as the price of their "welcome"?

Isn't that a trifle "unsportsmanlike" also? Just a thought.


October 29, 2004 4:54 PM  

Blogger Jerome's Librarian said...

What you describe, Shari, is an issue of hospitality. Let me suggest that, rather, this is an issue of identity. If I eat meat and I invite a vegetarian to my home, it would be hospitable not to serve meat. True. However, if I am the vegetarian, am I obliged to deny my beliefs to accommodate my meat-eating guests? Certainly not.

Or again, would you ask your spouse or partner of another race to go to the movies for the evening, if you knew or suspected that your dinner guests did not approve of interracial marriage? I would hope that you would not.

Taylor Marshall (and not the whole of Nashotah House, I would emphasize) keeps a theology that is no longer mainstream in the Episcopal Church. For us to choose a male presider would not be an act of hospitality to a guest. Rather it would be refusing an opportunity to witness to the truth.

You see, the Episcopal Church ordains women. Taylor Marhsall may not like it, that is his right. He may even refuse the pastoral services of a female priest. What he many not do is hold to the doctrine that she is not ordained, or that those who do accept the ministry of women have committed an error. He may not do these things because the ordination vows require him to be "be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this church has received them." Likewise, he must "obey [his] bishop and other ministers who may have authority over [him] and [his] work." Now, as a member of the Diocese of Fort Worth he is not necessarily crossing the pastoral direction of his own bishop in holding this view, and the exact identity of the "ministers" to whom the second clause refers is murky at best. However, the vast majority of bishops in the Episcopal Church ordain or are women (some do both!). And the Presiding Bishop (who is certainly a candidate for having "authority over...work") does as well.

Overall, we presented a liturgy that was entirely within the canons and teaching of the Episcopal Church, an act of which I am not ashamed, and for which I will not apologize. I am sorry, however that some of my brothers from Nashotah House and their families didn't feel able even to praise God with hymns and pray to God alongside us. This saddens me a great deal. This is not what the Lavabo Bowl, or Christian community, is supposed to foster. I will continue to pray that we find a way to worship together without anyone being asked to compromise. That will be a joyful day, indeed.


October 29, 2004 6:59 PM  

Blogger Clueless Christian said...

"Be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this church has received them."

As I recall, "this church" used to mean the church of Christ, and was taken to mean the Anglican Communion (where probably a majority of dioceses have reservations regarding WO).

"This church" did not used to mean a sect (or rather the majority of a sect) within the Anglican communion, (however wealthy and influential that sect might be).

It is a pity that those in leadership (and teaching) positions of the sect in question feels that WO is a question of "identity" that must be "witnessed" to and required of dissenters as an act of obedience, rather than a matter of indiference, such as the eating of "meat which had been offered in sacrifice to an idol." In matters of indifference, those who find the issue indifferent are required to give way to those with scruples on the subject.

In the US, most of TEC holds WO a matter of indifference. That was how it came to be presented and accepted, without theological justification, remember? Much like other matters that have also been pushed as being "matters of indifference".

Conservatives were promised that NOBODY would be forced to accept WO, remember? That was the promise made by the House of Bishops at Port St. Lucie, after the first illegally ordained women were presented as a fait accomplie.

It is a fact, that most of the AC considers Women presiders to be disrespectful of the Eucharist. For this reason, Nashotah resents being asked to participate in something that they have been taught (however much in error) is wrong. Now, apparently WO is a matter of canon law, and must be upheld, and forcing your Islamic guest to eat pork or walk away from your table is now considered "witnessing" to the love of God.

SWTS designed a liturgy that threw a lot of nice bones to Nashotah regarding choice of hymns, rites, singing and so forth. (I trust you marched about swinging the old incense filled thurible to make them feel properly at home?) However all of those were (to them) "matters of indifference". It is a pity that on the matters of theology SWTS was unable to resist prosteletising, even at the cost of forcing anothers conscience...even the rather tender conscience of a student, and of a guest.

Was that "honorably" done?

October 29, 2004 7:44 PM  

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