September 8, 2010

Questions and Slogans

Last night, I was reading various Anglican blog posts—both new and old—and the comments they elicited. Most of the posts involved Anglicanism, the Anglican Communion, and the proposed Anglican covenant. I was struck not so much by the diverse views of what we—The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, etc.—should do, but by the underlying views and assumptions of those thoughts. Serious discussions, such as those that will take place at the 2012 General Convention of The Episcopal Church, should seek to clarify those underlying presuppositions before deciding on a course of action. The General Convention (and the bodies that prepare reports for it) are not particularly good about this, partly, I think, out of a misplaced concern that someone, somewhere, somehow, might take offense. (Get over it!)

My reading led me in two directions: I began writing a list of questions to which we should have answers before we ask, for example, what we should do about the proposed Anglican covenant. I was also pulled in a more mischievous direction, where I began writing slogans for The Episcopal Church. The slogans, in part, reflect possible attitudes implicit in the answers to the questions. They also challenge us to decide how we want to represent our church to the world.

I have no definitive answers today and might be hard pressed confidently to answer all the questions for myself. My slogans are serious, whimsical, provocative, and perhaps even mean or angry.

What do you think?

The Questions

  1. What is Anglicanism?
  2. What has it been?
  3. What is it becoming or might be becoming?
  4. What is the Episcopal Church’s view of Anglicanism? (What does this question even mean?)
  5. What is the Anglican Communion?
  6. What has it been?
  7. What is it becoming or might be becoming?
  8. What do we want the Anglican Communion to be?
  9. How important is the Anglican Communion to The Episcopal Church?
  10. What is The Episcopal Church willing to give up to remain a part of the Anglican Communion?
  11. What is the relationship of Anglicanism to the Anglican Communion?
  12. What are the major movements within Anglicanism today?
  13. Where does The Episcopal Church (or Episcopalians) fit into such a classification?
  14. How important is “unity,” and “unity” with whom?
  15. What is the proper relationship between church and society, and how much does that change across societies?
  16. How much influence (and what kind) should one Communion church have over another?
  17. Is the proposed Anglican covenant an instrument of concord, a weapon in the church wars, a roll of the dice, or something else?
  18. Within the Anglican Communion, should The Episcopal Church seek peace or victory for its own point of view?
  19. Is a connection to Canterbury really important, and, if so, why?
  20. Do we believe that leaders within the Anglican communion are acting in good faith?
  21. What are the consequences of the answer to the previous question?

The Slogans


  1. It's hard to pick a favorite. Is it "vague but committed" or "More Anglican than the Anglican Communion"? I just can't choose. So brilliant.

  2. Anglican and not proud of it stood out for me. Vague but committed might be my favorite, along with not responsible for the Anglican Communion
    As for the questions, if dealing with them was pre-requiste to discussions on covenant, sexuality, unity; we'd never hear of those issues again. a lifetime would not be long enough to exhaust the answers to your thoughtful questions

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