Lowell Grisham (Arkansas) on Yesterday at General Convention 2009

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Dr. Te Paa served on the Windsor Commission. I started trying to type what she was saying, but I had to stop and simply listen. Her word were incredible and moving. (After we adjourned I ran to the Media Center to see if they had the text of her speech, but it was hand written. Someone is typing it. When the text is posted, I'll send the part of it that was so captivating.)

She said that as she worked on the Windsor Commission, "We were never fully apprised of your policy." She said that they didn't understand the policy of shared leadership that is so core to the Episcopal Church's decision making. She regrets the vilification of the Episcopal Church, especially its leadership, within the Windsor process. She thanked us for "Your generosity of spirit, despite what you have suffered through these years." "I am a little surprised and saddened that too many Episcopalians are being affected by their sense of loss of face or vulnerability in belonging to the Anglican Communion," she said. "I am dismayed at the extent to which that seems to be prevalent."

As the others nodded in agreement, Te Paa said, "I don't believe that that is so … it is not how I perceive the rest of the communion regarding the Episcopal Church to be honest." This is another perspective of the Anglican Global South she said of the group on the platform.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and PolynesiaEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention

3 Comments
Posted July 12, 2009 at 5:25 am

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1. Creighton+ wrote:

“Never fully apprised of your polity”

Oh, please come on, the EC has been explaining its polity to justify itself for years…well before 03….

The EC’s polity is different from most in the AC.  This is accurate.  But if the EC insists on doing its own thing it can make the choice to walk away from the Anglican Communion and there is a province in formation that is waiting to come on board.

Batter up!  It is baseball season after all.

July 12, 7:38 am | [comment link]
2. robroy wrote:

See Sarah Hey’s very amusing counter to this gushing love letter.

Non serviri, sed servire.

July 12, 9:04 am | [comment link]
3. driver8 wrote:

It’s interesting to see how the progressive minded folks are reacting. Jenny Te Paa apparently told them something they really wanted to hear. It is slightly surprising to hear that Dr. Te Paa didn’t think that the Windsor Commission understood TEC polity since she had herself lived in the USA for several years at the end of the 90s whilst she studied for her doctorate at the Graduate Theological Union.

Surely the truth is that each Province has a slightly different system of governance and in that sense each is unique. Presumably its also true that each has much in common - common enough to recognize that we share the same episcopacy, for example. It’s not however true that TEC is in some way uniquely democratic. It is differently democratic. (It functions rather more like a secular legislature than the COE democratic processes). Nor is it true that only TEC includes lay people in its democratic deliberations.

Nevertheless catholicity has, in churches with episcopates, been particularly tied to role of the episcopacy. (Hence the vows demanded of bishops when they are consecrated are not asked of all the baptized). Some within TEC want to suggest that bishops in the Episcopal church have a different role than anywhere else in the Communion (despite the normative role of the Prayer Book vows in defining TEC’s theology of episcopacy). But the potential cost is presumably that, as traditionally understood, TEC is not catholic.

July 12, 3:23 pm | [comment link]


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