and Minds to Follow Where Law Has Led
I was hoping you'd write more about what happened at General convention, an eMo reader wrote. I'd really like to hear your thoughts.
But you are hearing them. Just about every eMo since I got back has been about what General Convention did. Can't you tell?
No. Yesterday's was about flowers and weeds. The one before that was about parenting. Not a cleric in sight. Okay, there was the one that began on the floor of the House of Bishops. And you mentioned it, sort of, in the one about manna and quail in the wilderness. But what did the one about different kinds of butterflies have to do with the Episcopal Church?
Well, that's easy. Butterflies are very territorial.
The recent eMos were about trust. About not prejudging things of which you have no direct experience. About fear of the unknown. About how scripture might be read and understood. That's what we did at General Convention -- talked of those things.
are a great way to talk about God, maybe the only way--since any direct
statement we might want to make about God is bound to fall seriously short
of the mark. Even Jesus didn't try to tell his hearers directly about
God, and He had the language to do so. It was always a story: "The
Kingdom of God is like a man who went out to sow....The Kingdom of God
is like a mustard seed....God is like a
didn't emerge from our gathering in Minneapolis. Consensus never emerges
from church councils. It grows afterwards. When St. Athanasius returned
home from the council of Nicea, which articulated the summary of complicated
relations within the Godhead that we recite together at every Sunday Eucharist,
he sat down and wrote a book called "Athanasius Contra Mundum"
We have always
lived without consensus. Unity has not meant uniformity of opinion among
us since there has been a Church of England -- it was Elizabeth I who
said, "I have no wish to open windows into men's souls," erecting
a standard of freedom of conscience that has endured among us, interrupted
only by the brief and censorious Puritan era, which was put aside with
great relief as soon as it was possible to do so. There are Anglicans
who understand their faith to be very similar to that of their Protestant
friends and neighbors, and Anglicans who feel much more Catholic in their
approach to it. There are Anglicans who find unassailable support for
conservative politics within the pages of scripture, and Anglicans who
Now we live in what we have done, and walk a while to see how it fits.
Now hearts and minds follow where law has led -- or they find that they
cannot. The story continues, either way.
© 2003 Barbara Crafton
From The Almost-Daily eMo from the Geranium Farm, e-mail messages sent by Episcopal priest and writer Barbara Crafton. Crafton's eMo's are published in book form by Church Publishing. Visit her Web site at http://www.geraniumfarm.org
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