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Pray for Anglican Primates Meeting

The Anglican Primates are meeting in Alexandria. I urge your prayers for these church leaders. You can light a candle in the Virtual Chapel. [Eg. my candle, as yours, should stay lit for 48 hours there]. There will be plenty of reporting and discussing of the meeting on websites and blogs, probably to whatever level of acrimony you are comfortable with as a Christian. A search for the meeting, under news, blogs, or the web generally, should turn up plenty.

My liturgical interest lies around my understanding that last Primates Meeting, the Primates could not even muster up the mutual courtesy to be photographed together, let alone celebrate Eucharist together. I struggled to make sense of “Anglican Communion”, when our leaders have literally excommunicated each other. I would appreciate receiving information whether there has been any progression towards being able to celebrate Eucharist together, and be photographed together, or whether the situation is unchanged. [Update Feb 6: “Significantly, after several [Primates} refused to attend the summer’s Lambeth Conference in protest at liberal developments in the US and Canada concerning homosexual ordination and same-sex blessings, no Archbishops are boycotting this meeting of the Primates. So far, none have refused to attend the morning Eucharist service which allows them to share communion with teach other.” From Times Online]

I would also be interested in being informed if the Primates address Sydney’s revisionism.

Increasingly, it appears to me, denominational boundaries are no longer the primary “partitioning”. If one images denominational boundaries, for example, as vertical lines, then it seems to me far more significant are the horizontal lines where people receive support and encouragement from “evangelical”, or justice-focused, or environmentally-conscious, or contemplative, or liturgical – etc. And one finds those perspectives with which one resonates across denominations. Even across different World Religions. The internet, of course, fits in with this “cafeteria style” spirituality. You who visit this site may be Anglican, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Sikh, Jewish, atheist, agnostic… It is little wonder to me that the traditional hierarchical structures of our denominational divisions struggle with all that the internet opens up.

One of the treasures of Anglicanism, it appears to me, is the Elizabethan settlement which focused unity on shared spiritual discipline rather than agreed theological positions. At a time when I believe there is much appreciation of such a community in a spiritually hungry world, Anglicanism appears to be losing this insight with a concomitant clamour for a structurally Roman Catholicism lite on the one hand, and a protestant confessional position on the other. The Primates’ inability to break bread together is both a symbol and result of this newer tendency to be fully in agreement with each other first.

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