With What Do You Test the Touchstone?

A major concern I continue to have in the whole Covenant process is that it seems the individual provinces are becoming (and we are no exception) closed in on their own reactions to the Covenant. There is a kind of silent auction going on, in which no one really knows what anyone is bidding until they open the envelope, if I can provide an image.

This leads me to wonder — I'm thinking out loud here as I so often do — if we don't need more time to engage in more dialogue with our current communion partners, a step in the process that seems to be missing from the start: we had individual feedback to the various drafts from provinces, now individual adoption/subscription/accession by the same. Why isn't there more talk about this across provincial boundaries, at least regionally? It seems odd to adopt a document that is supposed to be about wider consultation before taking action, before engaging in wider consultation before taking action, no?

Maybe what we need to say at General Convention is that TEC is still considering and "in process" about the Covenant, but that we want to consult more widely with our Communion partners, rather than simply adopting. This is in itself a "Covenant Principle" — as each province commits itself

to spend time with openness and patience in matters of theological debate and reflection, to listen, pray and study with one another in order to discern the will of God... (3.2.3)

to seek a shared mind with other Churches, through the Communion's councils, about matters of common concern... (3.2.4)

to act with diligence, care and caution in respect of any action which may provoke controversy, which by its intensity, substance or extent could threaten the unity of the Communion and the effectiveness or credibility of its mission. (3.2.5)
Shouldn't we be testing the Covenant by means the Covenant suggests?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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