Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Jersey Deputation Responds to the Covenant

From here:

...At the outset, many of our Deputation members object strongly to the use of the word "covenant" to describe what is essentially a multilateral contract between earthly churches and their designated representative bodies (the so-called Instruments), rather than an agreement between God and Humankind. They say that mis-using a theological principle smacks of puffery...

...Many are worried about the negative consequences of endorsing the Covenant. Among these consequences are the establishment of a new unnecessary hierarchy, the loss of diversity within the Communion, the loss of connection to churches that may not endorse the Covenant, destruction of the Anglican ethos, the forced abandonment of GLBTQ Anglicans, attenuation of the voice of the laity in the life of the Communion, and by putting decision-making in the hands of the Standing Committee, the hierarchical structure will reduce the incentive for churches with differing views to communicate one-to-one, as they do now. And finally, to the extent that representatives from The Episcopal Church may end up on the Standing Committee acting under Covenant Section 4.2, we may participate in being an instrument of oppression of another church within the Communion.

Yet, others are concerned that having passed on the Windsor report, there is a need to be affirmatively responsive to the continuing challenge of TEC polity by much of the Anglican Communion.

On balance, we believe that The Episcopal Church should continue to be free to respond to its own discernment, through its own established polity, of God's will. There are those among us that feel the adoption of the proposed Anglican Covenant by General Convention would seriously hinder this freedom.

In our conversation, Deputation members repeatedly expressed our deep desire to remain in the Anglican Communion and strongly connected to its member churches in conversation and mission. To that end, we believe that any General Convention Resolution that declines to endorse the proposed Anglican Covenant should {re-)state this sincere desire of The Episcopal Church to remain in the Anglican Communion and strongly connected to its member churches in conversation and mission...
A solid statement, I'd say.


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