Friday, October 14, 2011
Hearing the cry and facing the challenge
This is a comment that was written to the post directly below. I could defend our record here, and debate a few points. But, I think it wiser to hear the plea and the expressed need in what this person is saying to us. What can we do to make Continuing Anglicanism available and, in the right sense, welcoming? I want us to hear the challenge and cry for help in this comment.
Why does this blog seem to fixate on what the Romans are up to? Can't we just ignore the Tiber rather than urinating in it? I just don't see the numbers defecting to Rome to merit this kind of indignation. Are there many more people leaving the Anglican Church than I realize?
Let me put it this way. I have the misfortune of living in a country where there is no ACC or other continuing Church. Thus, I must go to a mainstream Anglican parish, which is, quite mercifully, nothing at all like a TEC parish. There are a couple women pseudo-priests hidden under rocks somewhere, but they are off dry cleaning their pantsuits more often that pretending to celebrate the Eucharist. We have no 1979 BCP or the dreadful materials they use in England now--I forget the name, but it's a cut-and-paste make-your-own-liturgy software package. (Thank you, Jesus, for helping me to forget the horrors of the modern Church!). As it's not my native language, I'm familiar enough with the language of our service that I know what's going on, but not so familiar that I could point out theological errors in the text, if there are any. As I said, this is no TEC hootenanny. It is merely a bland, broad church service. (They think it's high, but it's broad. Reminds me of the Novus Ordo.)
Having said all that, I would be much more edified by posts about what the ACC is doing to bring disaffected Anglicans into the ACC rather than decrying the RCC. I don't really worry what they are up to. However, I never hear about Continuing Anglicans evangelizing to the Communion Anglicans. We need that kind of evangelization: "Hey, remember our heritage? The one left to us by our Fathers and their Fathers and their Father's Fathers? WE have it, and you can, too, if you will just take a step across the street."
It's a difficult sell to anyone in the TEC. Most are so far gone that just the thought of "being conservative" is enough to make them need diapers. But there are those, men such as my father, who suffer silently through Rite II because he has never been told by anyone in the ACC that there is an option. He often talks about how when he was in grad school (a little older than most), a priest would celebrate the 1928 Eucharist for him and his roommate.
I'm not sure exactly how to do it, but Fr. Hart, I whole-heartedly agree with what you wrote in your second comment on this page.
I would surely like to see the ACC make itself known well enough that Communion Anglicans will choose to become Continuing Anglicans. What are the challenges? manpower? Money? Romans? (really?) Real estate? I have a hard time understanding why the ACC isn't siphoning off mainstream Anglicans who realize that something is deeply wrong. Is there a pre-existing post in the Archives that might explain it?