Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rowan Williams: "What we aspire to as Anglicans"

" ... what we aspire to as Anglicans is not to be a federation of loosely connected and rather distant relatives who sometimes send Christmas cards to each other, but a true family and fellowship in which we share our hopes and know that we are responsible for each other’s well-being and integrity before God."

~ Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, 


BC said...

Bryan, many thanks for drawing attention to this section from ++Rowan's final Advent Letter to the Communion. It reminds us again that as Anglicans we are not called to be a confederation or an association but a communion - a term whose meaning derives not from parallels with earthly polities but with the very life of the Triune God. ++Rowan has done much to focus Anglicanism on this calling: for this, amongst so much else during his time at Canterbury, we can be truly thankful.

Anonymous said...

To me the only glaring error in this statement is the word 'Anglicans', surely it should read 'Christians'? But then I am way to cynical for my own good!

Bryan Owen said...

Thanks for the comments, BC and George.

BC, I agree with you about the many ways that ++Rowan has brought focus on our calling to deeper communion. That has been a gift for which I give thanks to God. One of the tragedies of his time as Archbishop of Canterbury, however, is seeing how many Anglicans choose to say 'no' to that calling. The failure of the Anglican Covenant is one sign of that refusal.

George, I've no doubt that ++Rowan would agree that this aspiration should apply to all Christians. But we must start somewhere. And again, the tragedy is that we Anglicans can't seem to get very far these days with this aspiration, with some among us rejecting the call to communion. Which leads some to ask: if we can't achieve greater unity and communion with our fellow Anglicans, if we can't get our own 'house' in order, then how in the world can we expect to do so with Christians from other traditions?

C. Wingate said...

Or to put it in other words: if we cannot put our own neighborhood into good order, how can we expect anyone in the rest of the City of God heed us?

Bryan Owen said...

Exactly, C. Wingate!