Comments: General Synod - July 2009 - online papers

Good to see mission topping the agenda. Oh, sorry, my mistake. Frustrating.

Posted by David Keen at Monday, 22 June 2009 at 5:01pm BST

Still resolutely focussed inwards, I see.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Monday, 22 June 2009 at 5:15pm BST

This is a link to a video on the upcoming General Convention of the Episcopal Church

Might be worthwhile posting to explain how church governance is done on this side of the Atlantic.

Posted by Dennis at Tuesday, 23 June 2009 at 1:41am BST

Tim: quite, that was my reaction too. My goodness, it mostly looks very tedious!

Posted by Fr Mark at Tuesday, 23 June 2009 at 8:15am BST

Thanks for posting the link to explaining how we do things over here. Perhaps someone should sit the ABC down and make him watch it before he visits General Convention, as I understand he will. I also wish I could sit the American press down in front of it, before they write news stories about 'the Episcopals' etc.

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Tuesday, 23 June 2009 at 3:42pm BST

Cynthia, right on. Your last sentence is so true.
Don't these news outlets have copy editors, proof readers, or, pray tell, journalists who know what they're doing?

Posted by Jay Vos at Tuesday, 23 June 2009 at 11:44pm BST

"news stories about 'the Episcopals' etc."

News stories about Christianity, with few exceptions, are very much about being on the outside looking in and seeing the prejudices of the prevailing culture. So, the media isn't really commenting on the Episcopal Church, but on the public conception of Christianity in general. If you watch the Hollywood image of Christianity, you see it's a mixture of a few trappings of Catholicism with a variably heavy dose of American style fundamentalism. I'm reminded of Six Feet Under, when David, whose family is Anglo-catholic, is made a deacon. It revealed a woeful lack of understanding on the part of the shows writers about the whole thing. The idea that ACs could make someone a deacon and have him sit in the congo till the actual event, no vestments, no nothing, and that the act is little more than a shaking of the hand was really funny, actually. Watch South Park. They don't know us, and their stereotypes are based on the most conservative and reactionary of us. It doesn't do much good to say that Christianity isn't like that, since these people are Christians, and they certainly ARE "like that". We have to face it, as I saw a comedian say just last night, for them, Jesus only turns the other cheek to open another can of whoop-a#$.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 24 June 2009 at 1:18pm BST

What a finger tapping meeting they shall have. Will there be any entertainment on offer between the voting?

Posted by Pluralist at Wednesday, 24 June 2009 at 5:05pm BST

Good to see a briefing paper on ethics, theology, theological anthro, and the New Biology among all the offerings. But really it amounts to little more than a pamphlet that says in so many words, Go read our book.

The New Biology is another breaking Tsunami that will shortly shake, if not disrupt mightily in some domains of our theo-anthro, our legacy methods, frames, understandings.

Few in church life outside academia are looking ahead, down those roads. Certainly not the conservatives who seem to think that prayer and conformity will always stop change dead in its tracks.

The ho-hum proceduralism that threads through most of these documents seems quite unaware that conservative realignment will soon seek new weapons to divide believers in UK. We have something of a lull now as ACNA pumps up; once they feel they are up and running to their own internal satisfactions, they will no doubt press their efforts to divide UK sheep from goats.

Posted by drdanfee at Wednesday, 24 June 2009 at 7:31pm BST

It might help to remind everyone that unlike the American General Convention, what General Synod does is closely tied to the Church of England's established status. Among other things, it functions as a legislative body over which Parliament has a right of veto, and whatever it enacts by way of Measure or Canon has the force of law. Hence, it may come as no surprise to me at least that Synod does have a strong concern with legislative/procedural issues.

But if I may make a suggestion: would it not be a good thing if at least twice during the five-year life of General Synod, they have two November sessions devoted to a "Mission Conference"? This would be where broad questions concerning the mission and ministry of the Church are taken up in more detail and in alternative modes of discussion rather than the customary form of parliamentary debate.

Posted by Ren Aguila at Sunday, 28 June 2009 at 2:04am BST
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