Saturday, May 24, 2008

What Anglicans Do Best

In the context of reflections on the upcoming Lambeth Conference, Andrew Gerns offers this list of what Anglicans do best:

We worship. We know how to find God in beauty and in the rhythm of day, week, and year. We meet Jesus in word, sacrament.

We are comprehensive. We are tolerant of a certain variety of approaches. We experience the personal costs and spiritual power that being comprehensive brings.

We think. Prayer Book spirituality requires us to be thoughtful because it is not given to handing out snappy answers to complex questions.

We are incarnational. We know that God's whole self in found in the whole person Jesus, and that he lives, and we take seriously the images of being the vine of Christ, the body of Christ and take seriously being ambassadors of reconciliation.

We are mission oriented. The other thing that Anglicans do well besides worship is that we work. We are very effective at organizing and raising money to address real problems ranging from AIDS to alcoholism to homeless to hunger to disaster relief.

We create partnerships. Even with all the division, invasions and upset, there have never been more Anglican partnerships between dioceses than there are today.

We are Biblical. We are not Biblicists, but we delve deeply into what God teaches us in Scripture and we attempt to live that out.

We are traditional. We know that we stand on a past that has been both rich and imperfect, both a blessing and sinful. In bringing forward what the Church has taught and experienced, and in attempting to make that tradition live in the present, we bring forward the teachings of Christ and his redeeming to the present and into the future.

Without whitewashing the seriousness of the disagreements and divisions that exist within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, I think that Gerns is right to emphasize the core of what we do well and share in common.

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