Saturday, January 15, 2005

Sports Recap from the House of Bishops Bowl

Here is the Bishops response to the Windsor Report. My play by play commentary in bold.

Anglican General's Warning: the following is rated TV-PG for sarcasm, cynicism, and random Methodists: viewer discretion is advised.

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church
January 12 – 13, 2005

Salt Lake City
To the faithful in Christ Jesus, greetings in the season of Epiphany. We rejoice together with you that God has “caused a new light to shine in our hearts” revealing God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord. The sufferings of our brothers and sisters in the aftermath of tsunamis in South Asia and flooding and mud slides in California and here in Utah where we are meeting, make us long all the more for this new light revealed to us in Christ. We are mindful as well of the suffering around the world caused by global poverty, HIV/AIDS, malaria, other diseases, and war. In this suffering world we are called to “serve and signify God’s mission to the world, that mission whereby God brings to men and women, to human societies and to the whole world, real signs and foretastes of that healing love which will one day put all things to rights” (Windsor Report, paragraph 3).

If this were football, we could call this the "why are we wasting our time worrying about how Gene Robinson spends his evenings when people are dying?" play. Obfuscation 7, Communion 0

We decided at our September meeting in 2004 to set aside this time so we might together begin to receive the Windsor Report with humility. We have met for a day and a half in Salt Lake City. We welcome with gratitude the work of the Lambeth Commission on Communion. We realize this is a long-term effort which will most likely extend beyond our March meeting. In the meantime, we aim to practice the more intentional consultative processes called for by the Windsor Report. We also anticipate the Executive Council of our church joining in this consultation.

The old hitch n' goal razzle dazzle play...Touchdown! Extra confusion on the 2 point conversion Obfuscation 15, Communion 0

In this spirit of intentional practice,

15 yard Penalty for illegal chop on #28 B.A.D. Cliche!

we affirm that all need to repent, as the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us in his Advent Letter 2004. We repent of the ways we as bishops have sometimes treated each other, failing to honor Christ’s presence in one another. Furthermore, too often we have also failed to recognize Christ’s presence fully manifest in our sister and brother Anglicans around the global communion. We honor their full voice and wisdom. We desire mutuality. We recognize our interdependence in the Body of Christ.

Field Goal attempt blocked and returned 79 yards for a touchdown on the the old We Love You Man! play, Obfuscation 15, Communion 7...but wait, penalty on the play Windsor for holding, the drive ends with only a field goal, Obfuscation 15, Communion 3. Dan, he was really trying to holding that guy's hand on that one. That may come back to haunt the Communion...

Moreover, we as the House of Bishops express our sincere regret for the pain, the hurt, and the damage caused to our Anglican bonds of affection by certain actions of our church. Knowing that our actions have contributed to the current strains in our Communion, we express this regret as a sign of our deep desire for and commitment to continuation of our partnership in the Anglican Communion.

And, lo, its the old "if you think we're going to change our minds just because you want us to, you people are nuts" play. Dan...I haven't seen that in, well, days. And for an interesting twist, not since scoring an extra point and expressing "regret" for how much the other team is hemorraging on the field doesn't constitute repentance, the point after hits the uprights and bounced off, no good. Obfuscation 21, Communion 3

We note here that our decision-making structures differ from those in many parts of the Anglican Communion and that our actions require conciliar involvement by all the baptized of our church, lay and ordained. Therefore we as bishops, in offering our regrets, do not intend to preempt the canonical authority of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. At the same time, we are keenly aware of our particular responsibility for episcopal leadership.

Dang the Canons, full speed ahead! Obfuscation 24, Communion 3

We long for the fullest expression of the gift of communion that God has given us through Christ. “The communion we enjoy with God in Christ and by the Spirit, and the communion we enjoy with all God’s people living and departed, is the specific practical embodiment and fruit of the gospel itself” (Windsor Report, paragraph 3). We rejoice in our partnership in the worldwide Anglican Communion and affirm anew our commitment to the interdependence of this church as a member of the Anglican Communion.

Ewww...that's a 15 yard personal foul for Narcissism. If I can't win, I won't play

We agree that one important expression of our communion would be a Communion-wide study and discernment process on matters of human sexuality as recommended by Lambeth Conferences of 1978, 1988 and 1998 and are eager to continue to respond to this challenge. This would be a sign of respect for gay and lesbian persons in our common life and of our ongoing pastoral care for them. We also believe that such a process would strengthen our communion. By doing so, we will be able to share more of the prayerful conversations and studies on the ministries and contributions of homosexual persons in the church that have enriched our experience for many years. The Presiding Bishop has already established a committee to offer a theological explanation of how “a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ” (Windsor Report, paragraph 135).

Mother of Pearl, John...we are talking old school now! Its the "Even though we don't officially recognize such a relationship and even though nobody with a brain would bet on how our "theological explanation of how 'a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ'" thing is going to turn out. And we'll "discern" anything you want for as long as you want as long as you realize that Robbie's keeping his pointy hat" play. Obfuscation 31, Communion 3

We pray our brothers and sisters throughout the Anglican Communion will forgive us and that together we may remain in steadfast relationship so we might open our lives and our hearts to one another and learn how the Holy Spirit is acting in our different contexts. We are eager to take steps to make this possible, and particularly would welcome invitations to visit other Anglican provinces to learn from them the many ways they are vital witnesses to the healing love of Christ, often in very difficult circumstances.

Ouch, John, that's not good time management. It appears the Bishops are forced to call a timeout to counter the illegal substitution of Rwandan and Ugandan bishops...sloopy football here folks!

During this brief meeting we humbly struggled in our deliberations to discern how best to receive the Windsor Report. We had an extensive discussion about a “moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges” (Windsor Report, paragraph 134). We have only begun a serious and respectful consideration of how we might respond.

Well, we seem to be having trouble with the floodlights here on the field, the play is at a standstill. Perhaps someone forgot to pay the power bill...wait, the lights have come back on now,, it can't be, the Bishops have scored again, continuing the play in the dark! Unbelieveable...Looks like the Communion Saints might challenge the play...waiting for the ref to review the instant replay...and here's the call:
'Upon review, the play is inconclusive, the touchdown stands, Obfuscation 38-Communion 3.'

Further, we have not had sufficient time to give substantive consideration to recommendations in the Report calling for a moratorium on diocesan boundary violations

Oop, 2 man right, 2 man left fakeroo. Its late in the game and it appears The Bishops have opted to run out the clock.

or the call for a moratorium and further discussion of the authorization of liturgical texts blessing same sex unions. (Here we note that there are those among us who do not agree with the statement in paragraph 144 of the Windsor Report that “the Episcopal Church has by action of Convention made provision for the development of public Rites of Blessing of same sex unions.”)

It seems after the play there was a flag, it appears to make the first down but the officials are huddled, discussing it. One official seems to be waving off the penalty, another seems to be signaling first down, and a third appears to be a disinterested Methodist. Well, no one can seem to agree on what the appropriate penalty will be, so it appears the ref is going to completely wave off the entire play, which will put the play back to 3rd and Long.

In February 2005 the Primates of the Anglican Communion will consider the Windsor Report. We commit ourselves to a more thorough consideration of the range of concrete actions identified in the Report at our House of Bishops meeting in March 2005. We do not wish to act in haste. We believe it is extremely important to take the time to allow the Holy Spirit to show us ways we can engage with people throughout our church in a consideration of all of the invitations for further reflection and the recommendations of the Windsor Report.

The clock has reached the 2 minute warning, so we will take a break. First, a word from our sponsor, Pope on a Rope, yes that's Pope on a Rope...bathe with it, go straight to heaven.

We seek together the epiphany of Christ’s reconciling love for the world, which lies at the heart of the mission we share. It is our prayer that along with Anglican Christians around the world we may be faithful to God’s mission.

And there's the gun, ending surely one of the most mismatched games in history...The game plan was brilliant for the Bishops. Their new uniforms with the pointy hats did the trick. And it was such a sporting ending witht he Bishops running out the clock to allow the other side to catch up to their brillant gameplan. Meanwhile, the hapless communion is left to ponder exactly what sort of homophobic bigots they are. And for Communion fans, its the same old story:
Maybe Next Year! From Salt Lake City, Your Final Score, Obfuscation 38- Communion 3.

1 comment:

Kyle said...

I so don't understand sports.

Or ECUSA bishops, come to think of it.

The lefties love to complain that we shouldn't be spending all this time talking about "sex" when there's so much pain and death in the world.

My question: why doesn't Mr. Robinson just choose holy celibacy (god forbid) and make it a non-issue?