Saturday, June 25, 2005

Reformed Episcopal General Council days 2 and 3

written the last day but posted the morning after the council

There’s much from the REC and APA (Anglican Province of America) meetings that ended this afternoon that I’m leaving out of my posts due to lack of time and energy.

But it has been an excellent experience. ++Venables spoke to us again for Morning Prayer yesterday. He emphasized the importance of evangelism, about which us Reformed Episcopalians still need to be nudged. Bill Atwood spoke to us today, the Nativity of John the Baptist, during Holy Communion. He spoke on the importance of speaking the truth in love, not falling into judgementalism, arrogance, or a lack of joy. It was a message all us orthodox Anglicans need to hear.

But the highlight for me these last two days was receiving the sacrament today. While REC and APA clergy distributed the elements, one of them (APA I presumed, but I later found out he was REC.) would do a little cross with the sacrament before the faces of the receivers before distributing it to them. And there were other Anglo-Cath touches mixed into the fairly low church REC Prayer Book service. At the same time behind him, a mostly Black choir from the REC Diocese of the Southeast wonderfully sang joyous gospel music.

Both the solemn Anglo-Catholic practice and the rousing old-fashioned gospel singing aided my worship. And I loved it.

And it typifies a big reason why I love orthodox Anglicanism and the REC and now the APA in particular. While remaining firm on what ++Venables on Wednesday called “the basics,” we combine the best of what faithful people of different traditions have to bring to worship under one roof. Anglicanism looks more like the whole church than any other church I can think of.

And during Holy Communion this morning, as I said, I loved it. If I hadn’t have been smiling and swaying, I might had been crying.

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