Monday, November 10, 2008

Farewell

Wednesday marks the third anniversary of the creation of this blog, a medium that has gone from strength to strength and from glory to glory, now drawing an average of more than 100,000 visits a year.

When I sat down one evening to create The Continuum, I had left the membership and ministry of the Canterbury Communion several months before that and had little more than the vaguest of ideas about what I wanted to achieve. What little I could say was a reflection of where I found myself. I summed it up in the words of what has become our famous masthead. The Continuum would be “a place where those who live in the Anglican Continuum, or who are thinking of moving there, might share in robust, if polite, discussion of matters theological and ecclesiological.”

And so it has become. It is a place of very robust and very serious discussion of theology in all its many facets, if not always as polite as I would have liked it to be. It has become a strong defender and very able proponent not only of the continuing Anglican tradition but of the very essence of the Anglican Way.

If I have made any contribution to this blog, it has been one of discovering the talents of three very special men and bringing them together to work toward a common goal of defending orthodox Anglicanism and promoting greater unity among its disparate practitioners – Fr Robert Hart, Fr Matthew Kirby and our beloved poet, Ed Pacht.

The time has come for me to move aside and for them to carry this work forward. From tomorrow, I will cease to be the owner and host of this blog, a responsibility that I have asked them to exercise jointly and one that they have accepted.

The reason for my departure is simple: My soul is much in need of healing, and my vocation as a Christian much in need of rediscovery. In my splendid isolation here on Cyprus, I have found it impossible to live the life of continuing Anglicanism effectively and sacramentally. I cannot continue to live this way.

As a consequence, I have resolved to seek instruction in the Orthodox faith with a view to eventually being received into the Church of Cyprus.

A little more than a decade ago, during my last sojourn in England, I found myself called to become a member of the The Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius. This is an organisation founded by members of the Orthodox and Western Christian Churches. It exists to pray and work for Christian unity, and provides opportunities for Orthodox Christians and Christians of Western traditions to meet and get to know one another, and so to deepen their understanding of each other's spirituality, theology and worship.

How ironic it is that, having joined the fellowship as an Anglican, I now look ahead to continuing my membership in it as an Orthodox Christian.

In the final analysis, though, I have but one goal – one of being a humble foot soldier in the army of Christ. I bid your prayers that I might serve honourably and bravely.

To all you many readers of The Continuum, both old and new, I thank you for your presence and participation here, and ask you support and prayers for those men who now carry its work forward.

As for myself and blogging, fate would have it that I created a second one nearly two years ago. φιλοκαλειν (Filokalein) has been dormant ever since, but I shall probably activate it now. Anyone interested can reach it by clicking on the link in the sidebar.

May God bless us all and grant that, one day, we might all be one.

Albion Land

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Godspeed, sir, and fair winds always--and safe harbor at the end

Gael said...

May God indeed help you. With my prayers,
the unworthy sinner,

Gael

Anonymous said...

Thank you for establishing this blog. You have done more than you know for many of us new to Anglicanism in helping to establish us in our faith.

You need to go where God is leading you, and right now that is in a new direction. My prayers go with you.

I hope you will continue to liik in from time to time, and, if moved, comment. Informed, prayed over commentary from any perspective is always helpful.

Again, thanks...

ChipB

Andreas said...

Welcome home, and may the Lord have mercy on us all.

Fr. Daniel said...

Albion, may the Lord guide you along the journey. Thanks for creating this site so that we may share news and our common faith.

Matthew Nelson said...

For what it is worth, were I more-or-less permanently in Cyprus, I am fairly sure I would do the same.

Many years!

Michael said...

Thank you for the ministry that you have exercised within the Anglican Continuum, and the grace with which you have exercised it. Your presence will be missed, but I think that you're doing the right thing.

Michael

Rkbrookescyp said...

Now I can get the comment box, I will repeat my Facebook comment. May our blessed Lord Jesus Christ go with you Albion as you join one of the earliest expressions of Christianity.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Dear Albion, my brother in Christ. The Continuum has been a great blessing to many. Thank you for undertaking and enduring this project!

There are many former Anglicans in Orthodoxy. I'm not sure about the Church in Cyprus, but you will probably find fellowship with other sojourners from Anglicanism. As one who has made that journey, I welcome you. There are no perfect churches - even Orthodox monks brawl in these troubled times. But there is perfection in Christ and He is our ground of being and our destiny. I look forward to meeting you in heaven!

Matthew the Curmudgeon said...

Albion-
MANY YEARS!
The Christian adventure in Orthodoxy will salve your wounds, I am sure. You must report in after a time to let everyone know how you are doing.
Being Orthodox from an Anglican background (esp. if you were 'high' or Anglo-Catholic)will not be a difficult transition I think.
May the prayers of the All Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary with All the Saints and Martyrs ease and giude you.

Millo Shaw said...

Best wishes to you, Mr. Land.

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

- T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

Anonymous said...

Welcome home. May God grant you many years. Antiochian Orthodox

BillyHW said...

In my splendid isolation here on Cyprus, I have found it impossible to live the life of continuing Anglicanism effectively and sacramentally. I cannot continue to live this way...As a consequence, I have resolved to seek instruction in the Orthodox faith with a view to eventually being received into the Church of Cyprus.

So what are you going to do then when you leave Cyprus?

Fr Odhran-Mary TFSC said...

Well done.

Albion Land said...

Thanks so much to all of you for your kind and encouraging words. I will continue to be a reader of The Continuum, and an occasional commenter.

To those many of you who have sent me private messages, bear with me as I sort through them and find the time to respond.

God bless you all!

Billy HW:

What kind of a strange question is that? If I leave Cyprus I will continue to be Orthodox and will worship in an Orthodox church.

Matthew said...

May God bless you in your journey. May your soul find its home.

Please consider continuing to write about your spiritual journey, elsewhere, if not here.

Albion Land said...

As for myself and blogging, fate would have it that I created a second blog nearly two years ago. φιλοκαλειν (Filokalein) has been dormant ever since, but I shall probably activate it now. Anyone interested can reach it by clicking on the link in the sidebar.

Joe Oliveri said...

God speed, my friend. Ut unum sint.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

In Cyprus the Church is the Orthodox Church, and so it has been since the beginning. The only Anglican thing to do, if you live in Cyprus, is to become Orthodox so that you may have the fellowship of the Church and receive the sacraments. To build something different would destroy the innocence of the place, that is, a region that has known only one Church since forever.

BillyHW said...

What kind of a strange question is that? If I leave Cyprus I will continue to be Orthodox and will worship in an Orthodox church.

It wasn't a strange question at all. So you would not again become a Continuing Anglican? Do you now believe that Continuing Anglicanism is incorrect somehow or not part of the true Church?

Canon Tallis said...

I can only second Father Hart's comment since I have come the other way. But in a place where one expression of the Church Universal has been from the beginning, it is wise to stay that way. God speed with all blessings.

poetreader said...

Our friend Albion has found it necessary to make a difficult decision, and, having done so has quietly anounced that he is moving on. He has not challenged anyone else, nor attacked anyone else's stand in such matters, but has withdrawn in a spirit of blessing and friendship. Mean-spirited challenges on a public board are simply not proper behavior.

Albion, we bless you in your changes, as we recognize that you wish to bless us. Godspeed.

ed

BillyHW said...

The founder of this blog, created to defend and promote Continuing Anglicanism and its orthodoxy, has chosen to leave it for the Orthodox Church, a communion which rejects Anglicanism's orthodoxy outright and requires belief in its own exclusive orthodoxy.

I don't think it is at all out of line to ask for an explanation, when time allows, and in an appropriate manner. It is frankly warranted.

This request is not out of mean-spiritedness, but rather out of genuine fascination and curiosity.

Perhaps this blog would not be an appropriate venue, but surely Albion Land can post his story somewhere appropriate.

frtomva said...

Dear Albion,

May the Lord be with you on your journey.

Tom McHenry+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Billy HW wrote:

...a communion which rejects Anglicanism's orthodoxy outright and requires belief in its own exclusive orthodoxy.

But, we don't reject them. Anglican-Orthodox relations could have a future if they would stop wasting their time with Canterbury and talk to us instead.

As for Albion, what is he supposed to do in Cyprus? Not be part of the Church? Not have sacraments? You really have no clue about traditional Anglican ecclesiology.

Rkbrookescyp said...

I wanted to leave a comment about what Fr.Hart said about Cyprus, but after a dozen attempts I gave up and posted it here: http://rkbrookescyp.blogspot.com/

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

BillyHW,

It is not true that in becoming Eastern Orthodox Albion is forced to pronounce ex fide that both the RCC and the Continuing Anglican Churches are definitely schismatic and heretical and outside the Catholic Church. I have addressed this in a more recent thread, namely, "A Worn Out Gotcha".

Albion,

My apologies for not saying anything earlier. As you know, I don't check my email or the site as often as I should! God bless you in this new direction. Since we see ourselves as Western Orthodox, this causes us no grief, though we will miss you. While I believe that Anglican Catholics have the right to establish congregations wherever English colonies and "original" missions have been established and/or already present Catholic jurisdictions do not accept resident Anglicans to Communion, I can not and do not object to you joining the local "natural" Catholic jurisdition.

It is essential that at this point I thank you for all you have done in setting up this weblog and helping it become what it is today. I am personally very grateful that you allowed me to be a part of this. We owe you a great deal. I hope we can meet "in the flesh" someday (before the final judgement and resurrection I mean!).

BillyHW said...

But, we don't reject them.

But they reject you. At least that was my understanding.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

BillyHW:

Do they reject us? If you think so, then you must have failed to read Fr. Kirby's comment in the "gotcha" article. I suggest you read it, and read again the Christmas letter from Alexandria, 1930.

Your version of reality is an illusion.

Matthew Nelson said...

Gentlemen,

AFAIK, the central and perennial positions of both Rome and the East its they reject us RELATIVELY, which implies that they accept us relatively too.

Indeed, each of the BIG TWO believe that, to some degree, we lack the fullness of the faith -- hence their self-profess appellations Cahtolic and Orthodox. But, that does not mean that believe us to be null-and-void regarding the Mystical Body of Christ.

Though I know of no contemporary consensus statement from the East or from Rome ruling directly upon Anglicans in the Chamber's Succession (a/k/a the Continuum), my personal guess is that, were either ever to take the time investigate such a tiny group of jurisdictions as ours and make pronouncements in "sobornost," both Rome and Orthodoxy would find us to be at worst schimatics and at best "parasynagues," to use the terminology of the Basilian Canons.

All in all, this would mean that both might accept our Orders upon conditionally re-ordination or with a simple confession of faith; they might accept our sacraments in case of grave necessity or only when very convenient; and likewise, they might admit us to their sacraments upon grave necessity or when very convenient for us--all as acts of Christian Charity and without repudiating their mutually-exclusive claims to fullness.

In sum, Rome and the East are very skeptical of Anglicanism in general (and who can blame them?), and probably would be less so with the Continuum were they as whole even knowledgeable of existence! I assure you that most yaya's and babushkas have never heard of us and don't really care, being more concerned with the evil of the day.

* * * * *

As for Albion, he has told us as much as desires to, and has responded to Billy's question in the way he wanted. So, let's let it rest and, in Christian Charity, let's respect Albion privacy.

He made no blanket pronouncement against the Continuum and, as Frs. Hart and Kirby have explained, no such pronouncement is implicit in his move to Orthodoxy (nor would it be for a move to Rome either!)

So there is nothing further to dispute or discuss here.

Christ's Peace,

MDN

bob said...

Albion, You were keeping good company in Ss. Alban & Sergius. Katherine Schori's mother, also an Episcopalian convert to Orthodoxy was a member. Welcome, may God bless you.

poetreader said...

I just deleted two comments, apparently from the same person, who did not give any identification whatever. They were substanceless potshots taken at ACC (not my jusrisdiction, incidentally, nor my favorite) revealing no more than that someone anonymous has a sour attitude. Sniping from ambush is just not appropriate here, especially in a thread bidding sad farewell to a good friend.

ed

Fr. John said...

Fr. Kirby,

The widow of the late John Cahoun receives by permission of the ACC and the RCC in an RC parish in Gettysburg, Pa.

I had two parishioners who lived in Turkey for many years and received communion in a Roman parish again by mutual agreement between the Diocese of the South, ACC and the Roman Church in Turkey.

My bringing up these facts is in no way a criticism of Albion Land, but simply meant to demonstrate that under certain conditions Anglican Catholics may receive communion in a Roman parish. The Roman Church has been very generous in extending Eucharistic hospitality in the instances of which I am aware.

Sincerely,
John+