2007 was a trying year for North American Anglicans. The Anglican Church in North America was two years away from commencing. With one exception, dioceses had not yet left The Episcopal Church. Orthodox American Anglicans were wrestling with what to do and where to go in light of the apostasy of The Episcopal Church.
And some of that wrestling was with each other to the point that Communion Conservatives (committed to remaining in TEC) and Federal Conservatives (of a mind to at least prepare to leave TEC) were exchanging sharp words and were *Anglican understatement alert* displeased with each other.
This was not heading in a good direction for orthodox Anglican unity. And I was concerned that the two sides might not be able to work well together in the future. And so on January 2nd, 2008, I posted “A Resolution and a Plea”. I won’t repost the whole thing, but, after expressing my concerns and confessing my awkwardness in raising the subject, I wrote:
For the sake of current and future unity and witness, both sides should step back and engage in self-criticism instead of undercutting the other side. And, yes, there has been willful undercutting of the efforts of faithful orthodox Anglicans by other committed orthodox Anglicans. That must stop.
Communion Conservatives should focus on what they are going to do in the current situation instead of undercutting what the Federal Conservatives are doing. Likewise, Federal Conservatives should focus on their direction and not ridicule the strategy of Communion Conservatives or say they are in any way unfaithful for staying.
And I include myself in that. I find some Communion Conservatives exasperating at times, and when I get in rant mode, my words can be rather sharp. So if I’ve said anything unhelpful about the Comm-Cons, I apologize. I will exercise the utmost care in what I write about them from henceforth, and I invite my good readers to hold me accountable in that.
Both sides need likewise to step back and repent or at least relent lest we become an ugly spectacle that makes our divisions harsher and more permanent and causes long lasting damage to orthodox Anglican unity and witness.
The post was much read and well received, particularly over at TitusOneNine, where it provoked not a little discussion.
And it is good today to see orthodox Anglicans in and out of The Episcopal Church on better terms today. I doubt my post played much of a role, but if it had a small part, so much the better.
NOTE: Yes, I was “Newbie Anglican” for a time and still post as such in a place or two. Here is an explanation of that.