Kevin Martin: TEC is “an anxious and reactive community”

Posted by Kendall Harmon

So, what are we to do? When I suggested in a previous post that it will be 2010 before we will have the opportunity to move beyond our present stuckness, one reader, Sarah, stated her opinion that this will go on much longer. It certainly could. The result of such on-going anxiety will be the essential demise of our community. Sure, a remnant will remain, but it will be the remnant so burned out and dysfunctional that it will have no future.

Or we could simply have it out by fight or flight. The 2009 General Convention could be an essential sweep of the issues even at the expense of our membership in the wider Anglican Community. I have certainly heard this attitude expressed by some Progressives. We could see the withdrawal of more leaders, congregations and even dioceses. We (and they) kid ourselves if we think that such flight does not affect those who leave. I think a few folks who have left have managed to move beyond our present situation, but most clearly have not.

The answer in another way is quite simple, keep engaged and refuse to either win or withdraw. This is not a very easy road to take, nor a very comfortable one. Finally, one way to survive this is to surrender “the illusion of control.” As I said in my sermon May 25th, most human beings greatly over-estimate what we can really control. Worse, in believing we can control, we only create greater anxiety in ourselves and in our communities. Here is my summary comment for myself and the church I love, “When control is the issue, Jesus has left the building!”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts

Posted May 28, 2008 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Robert Dedmon wrote:


May 28, 1:47 pm | [comment link]
2. Choir Stall wrote:

Immutable Facts:
God will still be whether we are or not.
Jesus is Lord no matter what.
The earth is round.
TEC’s structure breeds dysfunction and its national leadership is abusive towards its members.

May 28, 2:16 pm | [comment link]
3. Rev. Patti Hale wrote:

Well, it was a nice try.  However, there remain those both inside and outside (now) TEC who choose not to remain in endless conversation at the table when the outcome of that conversation has already been predetermined.  In my Diocese we are told simply ‘get over it’ and that it is only a matter of time before all the protest over human sexuality and the rigid theological tradition are overcome and we will all just get along and get on with ‘mission’.  Mr. Martin is correct in pointing out the obvious that schism is harmful to the Body of Christ in body, mind and spirit.

May 28, 2:32 pm | [comment link]
4. Cennydd wrote:

“Anxious and reactive?”  You bet they are….and that’s why they’re acting the way they are!  They’re scared to death!  They’re lashing out….and they’re hurting themselves in the process.

May 28, 7:39 pm | [comment link]
5. montanan wrote:

It is true, I think, that reaction is happening on both sides.  However, Kevin Martin is in an orthodox diocese.  The oppressive actions in other dioceses make not reacting far more difficult.  When no orthodox candidates are approved to move on for seminary training, nor any orthodox clergy approved for parishes in a diocese, staying in and working for renewal appears futile.  The “conversation” and “listening process” have little intent in that scenario but to prolong things long enough for the reasserters to leave or die out.

May 28, 8:21 pm | [comment link]
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