Thought for 06.30.11

The proposed Anglican Covenant threatens to destabilize, deface or destroy the one thing of value that Anglicanism has to offer: our polity as a comparatively loose fellowship of self-governing churches. Anglicans have little to offer world Christendom by way of doctrine, except in the choice language of some of the very best English around. We do have (variably throughout the communion) some wonderful liturgy, again in rather fine language and music (some of which has indeed been borrowed by other traditions.)

But it is the idea of being a fellowship, a communion — not a "church" or a "federation" — of self-governing churches whose individual decisions do not bind the others, even as they cooperate in mission and ministry, that forms our only peculiar offering to the tapestry of world Christendom. It is a model of service and fellowship, of work with rather than power over, commended by Christ himself as a model of churchly governance. If that is not worth preserving, then we have little else to offer.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

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