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I don't know how to feel about this. I like the Christ Church community, but - and I may get myself into trouble for saying this - Gail and I did not vote in favor of separating from the Kansas City diocese and the ECUSA, despite the accord reached between the Christ Church leaders and the diocesean leaders.
I do not have the energy to involve the theological grounds for our decision right now. In sum, however, we simply did not like, in principle, the idea that separation was the solution. In family dynamics, which I believe the Church operates under, one family member cannot pick up her toys and go home when she is not getting along with another family member.
We do realize that schisms come and go within the Church. A dear friend of mine puts it well for me, "Schisms come and go, and are always a sad reminder of how human the church is. I think Arius was a heretic, but he was wrong for theologically interesting reasons, and the church should have taken a longer term view, should have been patient, and brought a serious amount of theological attention, conversation, argument, and study to bear upon the issues involved. What is sad is that the church has not tended to behave this way -- it has not always been a wise agent in the world, nor a patient one, nor one that is capable of conversing with those who are different, even within its own life, let alone with those beyond her gates. I always think moments like this are simply to be understood as the humiliation of Christ in our day."
I believe the hard part is not at all over for Christ Church. If the rector is right and most of the 200+ dissenters do not leave the church (Gail and I do not plan to), then Christ Church has the hard task of not only forging an Anglican identity apart from the national church, but also the pastoral obligation to incorporate the voices of the dissenters into that identity. It is much more than a matter of "Whoo! That's over. Let's get on with business." The dissenting voices, if Christ Church is truly to be Christ's Church, must have a place. This does not mean that they must now "fall in line" or go somewhere else, but that they must be seen and treated as a part of the body of Christ (and Christ Church) which is always multifaceted. I pray for this as one of the dissenting voices who is trying to find a place to be in this community.
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