23 January 2007

40 Days Email.

A quick email exchange:

[We] are interested in participating in the 40 Days of Discernment program. What exactly does it involve? Are we going to have special Sunday school lessons in addition to focused sermons and daily readings? Does the program recommend separation or lean towards separation? Can you provide more information?
My response:
My Sunday school class during the 40 days will be part of the program. There will be special prayer services on Wednesday evenings, and other special events as well. I expect that after the 40 days, we will have 2 or 3 or as many as we need parish meetings for discussion and discernment of alternatives and for every voice to be heard, and to reach some consensus as to how t move forward.

I would say that the "40 Days" program - put together by the Falls Church and Truro Church in the Diocese of Virginia certainly leans toward separation. One distinguished colleague (who is sympathetic) calls it "40 Days of Persuasion." That's a little strong, I think - but the drift is certainly clear. I think it's the best tool we have, though, and I will be encouraging everyone to say their prayers and with thinking caps firmly on interact critically with the materials - and certainly with my own teaching as well. This is part of what it means to love the Lord with our minds.



Blogger Thunder Jones said...

Thanks for dealing honestly with what the curriculum is and not pretending that it is a neutral actor. I took a look at it and the pedagogy is setup to move a congregation from denial of crisis, through the grieving process, and acceptance of seperation. It is clearly gears towards churches looking to seperate in the same manner that the publishing churches seperated from TEC.

I think that the use of the spiritual term discernment within it is pretty shameful.

The question is where do you go from TEC? Is it proper to discern as a local church whether or not you are part of recognized ecclesial authority?

This isn't a move like the foundation of Anglicanism in which the church was setup in a manner that would dislocate itself from the confusion of of political authority that existed in the 16th centurty.

Rather, the goal of the curriculum seems to be to join CANA...

I mean when you see a statement in the last week like:

The Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA) is another option. This is an initiative of the Anglican Church of Nigeria which offers a domestic episcopate, an emerging ecclesial structure for the American context, and full membership in a province of the Anglican Communion.

It is presented as the best option. You can seperate from the recognized Anglican authority in the nation, but relocate into CANA and stay Anglican. The truth of the matter is that that CANA is an unauthorized interloper in dissonance with the Windsor Report.

I did curriculum work for a while after seminary and I have to say that this curriculum seems to be a red herring.

That said, I hope that the patience and leadership of (soon to be) +Bauerschmidt keeps St. Joseph of Arimathea in the diocese of Tennessee and rightly located within the Anglican Communion.

23 January, 2007 20:24  

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