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Communion Partners On Cooperation With Common Cause/Anglican Church in North America

Written by: Communion Partners
Monday, January 19th, 2009

On behalf of the Advisory Committee of the Communion Partner Rectors, and on behalf of our Bishops and Primatial colleagues, we wish to acknowledge the remarks recently published from Bishop Iker and Bishop Duncan at the Charleston conference hosted by ‘Mere Anglicanism.’ They speak of wanting the Communion Partners and Common Cause to support one another.

For our part we will continue to pray for solid progress at the level of Covenant Design Committee work and for the Instruments of Communion, especially the Primates Meeting shortly to commence. We cannot know how the efforts associated with Common Cause will turn out, including the idea of building a ‘new province,’ but we note with interest that recent news indicates the Archbishop of Canterbury has suggested ways for this endeavor to move forward in relationship to the Instruments of Communion. Together with ACI, we have been concerned that failure to attend to the integrity of Dioceses which see women’s ordination a matter still in reception, is creating unnecessary stress and strain. We ask that the wider Anglican Communion offer guidance here, as a variegated polity elsewhere appears to be both possible and charitably negotiated.

We do not know how the proposal for a new province will be received nor are we entirely clear what its proponents are proposing; that is probably unavoidable given the hardships all around. We understand that many see the situation as demanding this option. For our part, we accept the promise of those associated with this movement that they will honor our own commitments. Communion Partners will pray for the Common Cause proponents and will assume that promise of cooperation entails a charitable acceptance that another way forward is to be honored and that we can move forward on parallel tracks and not ‘recruit’ from each others’ daily purpose, honoring the jurisdictional integrities of respective bishops. God will be in charge of the next season, as He has always been.

When the Primates meet in February we anticipate that our separate ways of moving forward will be acknowledged and honored. We pledge our prayers for all involved and ask God’s blessing on all of us in a very difficult time. With gratitude for his grace and mercy, again this 2009 Epiphany we remain, yours in Christ, on behalf of Communion Partners,

(The Rt Revd) Bruce MacPherson, Communion Partner Bishops
(The Revd Dr) Russell Levenson, Communion Partner Rectors
(The Revd Canon Professor) Christopher Seitz, Communion Partners and ACI

Down In Louisiana…

We celebrate Epiphany by putting on tuxedos, expensive dresses, cheap plastic beads, and go dancing.

bilde2

Anyway, a Town Talk reporter took a picture of me and Carrie last night at the Medea ball.

Aggressive But Not Too Aggressive: Confessions of a Lawyer and Churchman

I’m to aggressive for those who want to engage in subtle negotiations to get what they want, but too nice for the crazies.

That’s where I am in my law practice and my church life.

Hard for my readers to believe, but I am just a bit opinionated and bull headed. My mouth has gotten me in more trouble than I could have imagined in the past. Over the years, I’ve learned to say less, say it less authoritatively, and just wack someone in the butt only when it really counted and where we could achieve this ever elusive “victory” that so many people want but can’t define realistically.

Yet, for certain folks, I’m no where near aggressive enough. I should have left TEC already while really getting in every liberals face when I did it, I should have gone after a poor consumer debtor at a creditors’ meeting when the only witness would be a bureaucrat and I would have only made myself look like an (well, you know) and done nothing to benefit the client, or argued with a witness I was deposing about being evasive to my questions when I just got him to hang himself by admitting six of the twenty allegations in his petition were absolute falsehoods despite his affidavit attached to the petition to contrary.

All I know is that I’ve got to do things the best way I know how while still maintaining my Christianity, which includes treating others as a Christian would treat them. Yet, I lack the judgment of our Lord, who knew when to have mercy on a prostitute and when to chase the money changers out of the temple.

Aggressive but not too aggressive? Aggressive at the right time and the right way?

The one thing I do know about myself. I can’t be aggressive for a cause I do not believe in, personally. I should be able to turn aggressiveness on and off like a switch, but I just can’t do it. What would be even better would be to know the exact right time to throw the aggressiveness switch and when not to. For me, that knowledge of when to throw the switch or not comes from fear and feeling, rather than rationality.

Making partner at the firm, while an extremely important milestone, means nothing compared to what I must master to be the best person I can be, harnessing my skills, my mind, and my heart toward the right direction. More importantly, is learning to find that right direction. I pray the Lord will teach me.

A Response To Deb Milner – Why Folks Who Stay In TEC Feel Hurt By Those Who Leave

Deb made an interesting observation here:

We chose to walk apart, but in doing so, we lost many “friends” from the diocese who stayed. People we have known and have been to Cursillo and who worked Kairos with for years, have suddenly given us the “cold shoulder”, who when they speak to us at all, do so in a rather ugly fashion. It is as if some of our old friends believe that because we left, we have somehow caused them harm and they will not longer associate with us on any civil level.

While I certainly wouldn’t justify anyone treating anyone else with a lack civility, the only thing I can say is the churches are families, and when someone leaves a family it hurts the rest of the family, even those who bear no fault for the person leaving. This is a sad dynamic that Deb points out, and I bet it is everywhere, even though it isn’t talked about much in the Anglican blogosphere. One thing that is important to remember is that while the theological differences are stark, at one point we all were one family, as dysfunctional as TEC was and is. We do a great job of working the theological differences, but the emotional side of this can’t be ignored.

What I Did Last Saturday

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Winning In Virginia, Losing In New York and California – Battles For Property; Battles for the Soul

I’ve read articles from both sides of the aisle over property belonging to churches that have left the Episcopal Church. TEC continues to operate on the idea that people will stay in TEC simply because of buildings. Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles stated he was going to invite St. James Newport Beach back to the fold. It is as if the institutionalists just don’t get it…at all. The property would be nice to have, but it is not essential to mission and ministry. There are times when I’d like to take a flame thrower to every piece of Episcopal Church property in the United States (or maybe sell it all and give the money to the poor). Perhaps then the battle would become for the soul, rather than property. That is a battle worth fighting.

Look for our glorious Presiding Bishop to ride into Fort Worth on a white horse in the short term to build a rump Diocese. Good sources tell me this will happen sooner rather than later. I also think the Communion Partner bishops might have something to say about this and some other things in the short term.

The +ABC has lost his two clerical right hand men – Canon Cameron will now be a bishop in Wales, and Andrew Norman is now teaching somewhere. I can’t help but think this will mean a change in dynamic at the Communion level. Heck, the mere fact that someone else will be doing Cameron’s duties, well, doesn’t mean it will get better, but it will be different.

We are getting some rumblings here in Western Louisiana of parishes discerning whether to stay or go. This year will be challenging, and GC2009 will be a worse train wreck that 2006. We are already plotting some badges and other accouterments that will say “This is not the Church, this is General Convention” for possible sale and use during GC2009. What will be truly horrible is the aftermath. Things are ugly now, but they will get uglier.

I hate to say it, but since I’ve made partner, I’m likely to focus more on the law practice than the Anglican world. I think it is healthy to focus on what is working in your life and only doing what is necessary to taking care of what doesn’t.

I Am Now A Shareholder In The Law Firm of Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues & Rundell

Cue the Matchbox 20.

I wonder what its like to be the rainmaker
I wonder what its like to know that I made the rain
Id store it in boxes with little yellow tags on everyone
And you can come and see them when im…done, when Im done

I wonder what its like to be a super hero
I wonder where Id go if I could fly around downtown
From some other planet, I get this funky high on yellow sun
Boy I bet my friends will all be…stunned, theyre stunned
(chorus)
Straight up, what did you hope to learn about here
If I were someone else, would this all fall apart
Strange, where were you, when we started this gig,
I wish the real world, would just stop hassling me

I wonder what its like to be the head honcho
I wonder what Id do if they all did just what I said
Id shout out an order, I think were out of this man get me some
Boy dont make me wanna change my…tone, my tone
(chorus)

Please dont change, please dont break
The only thing that seems to work at all is you
Please dont change, at all from me
To you, and you to me
(chorus)