...You'd never guess from all this that, on the local level, many of us are experiencing positive fallout from the current crises in the Communion. For one, people are a lot more curious about and knowledgeable of the Anglican Communion than before. There's also a greater appreciation of our identity as Episcopalians, even among people who don't agree with all the goings-on but can appreciate a church that's at least brave enough to discuss such matters.That's been my experience as well. In this neck of the woods, when in collar, most folks assume I'm Roman Catholic. When they find out I'm an Episcopal priest, not only do more seem to know what such a creature is than in the past, they are curious to know more about us. Within the congregation, I can never recalled talking so much about the Anglican Communion in response to questions in all of my 18 years as an ordained person.
But most significantly, I've noticed an increased interest in establishing meaningful connections with other members of the Communion. Along these lines, my parish recently joined a program called Carpenter's Kids, which links parishes in the Diocese of New York to the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. Similarly, several people have also expressed a desire to revive a partnership we formed years ago with the Diocese of Haiti.
Curious to know if the same was happening in other parishes, I floated an email to the priests in my diocese, and got quite a number of responses affirming that it was. The Rev. Alison Quin, of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Stone Ridge New York, wrote "I think there is an effort to strengthen ties even as the politics seem to be pulling us apart. Our parish recently started raising funds for an orphanage in South Africa. It's almost as though the connection has all the more meaning now that it is under threat -- I think being a world wide communion was something most Episcopalians simply took for granted." Several other priests expressed similar sentiments, and almost all who responded agreed that the effects of the crisis in their parishes were mostly positive for all the reasons I'm finding in my own parish...
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to God's purpose.