Last week, because of the Episcopal Church's commitment to support the rights of all couples to be married in the Church, the Anglican Communion responded by levying "consequences" upon the Episcopal Church. In summary, for the next three years, the Episcopal Church will have a limited role in the Anglican Communion and cannot represent the Communion in ecumenical and interfaith bodies.
Tension and strife is not new to the Christian Church and the people of God. In reality, as humans, we live in a constant state of "push and pull." If tension and strife did not exist in the Early Church, Paul would have been quickly out of business as an "epistle" writer and evangelist. Remember, the Church was created by God, but is run by human hearts and minds.
As Christians, we are called to see tension and strife as an opportunity--an opportunity for greater understanding, an opportunity for greater mutual respect, an opportunity for reconciliation, an opportunity to emulate Christ, and an opportunity to share God's love.
Archbishop Philip Richardson, Primate of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia, offered the most profound reflection upon the recent decision by the Anglican Communion when he said: "In reality, though, we were all losers - because we are still fractured, broken, still inclined to mistrust. But we are committed to staying with each other. We are committed to walking together, to trying to see through each other's eyes, to stepping into each other's worlds, and to keeping on keeping on until mutual understanding grows."
Both our faith and life teaches us: When we stop understanding, we all lose. When we stop cultivating mutual respect, we all lose. When we stop working toward reconciliation, we all lose. When we stop emulating Christ, we all lose. When we stop sharing God's love, we all lose.
"Above all, maintain constant love for one another." (1 Peter 4:8a)
Respectfully in the love of Christ,
The Reverend Ryan D. Newman
Rector and Head of School