Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Synod for Communion Partner–ACNA Reconciliation

On the Covenant blog, Phillip Anderas has posted a sermon entitled "And None But Thee." Intriguingly, the sermon has this enigmatic explanatory note attached: "A Sermon to Be Preached at the Synod for Communion Partner–ACNA Reconciliation."

I am from a Communion Partner diocese. My home parish went through an AMiA split a couple of years before I started attending there. I have dear friends who attend that now-ACNA parish and are entering discernment for Holy Orders. The division among orthodox Anglicans has been a sticking point between us. To say the least it is painful.

Anderas' sermon is about repentance and reconciliation. A paragraph near the conclusion reads:
It may be that the splinters of this broken bridge will sink deeply into the holy water of baptism, and we Anglicans will find that God in his mercy has killed us only to make us alive. If he first devours us, the great Lion of the tribe Judah may not, after all, spit us out of his mouth. There is a sharp, double-edged sword that comes out from that mouth, a living and active Word; and the Lord will use it to strike down the nations. If he slays us now, he will bring us to life. If he brings us down to Sheol, he will raise us up from the dead. If he makes us poor, he will enrich us. If he brings us low, he will exalt us. He will raise up the poor from the dust and the needy from the ash heap and make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
Needless to say, I was intrigued by this thought. Was there really a Synod meeting somewhere in secret, perhaps a convocation of Communion Partner and ACNA bishops, committing themselves to find common cause again in the Gospel? When would the results of such a convocation be announced? What might that mean for me and my ecclesially-separated friends?

But, after Google searches and emails to knowledgeable colleagues, I found that, to the best of our knowledge, no convocation exists or is planned to exist. What a desperately sad realization after that initial burst of hoping for Spirit-wrought and institutionally meaningful reconciliation between our churches.

But, then again, there was that burst of hope. And that makes me wonder: is there something here? If Covenant created an imaginary synod that exploded to life in my mind, did it awaken forgotten hope in others as well? Might there be a place for such a gathering, such a convocation, such a holy assembly?

I pray there is, by God's grace.

1 comment:

Jody Howard said...

Sadly, I don't think there is either the strength or the interest for such a gathering to get off the ground. But I've been surprised before.

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