Living up to Anglican Ideals

A quick post today on some developing thoughts:

I was at an Episcopalian 'ministry resource day' on Saturday, where I had a short but interesting conversation with a guy who had been attending an Episcopal Church for a few months (at the behest of his wife, I gather), but didn't feel particularly attracted to the Episcopal Church's liberal character. Or, more accurately I guess, he's still a Conservative Evangelical, and has picked up very quickly that Conservative Evangelicals don't tend to fit into the Episcopal Church in the Pacific Northwest. I've had similar short conversations w/a friend and colleague who was recently confirmed at an Episcopal congregation, but will be planting a church with the AMiA - Anglican Mission in America (a viral evangelical mission commissioned by the Diocese of Rwanda).

My evangelical friends aren't delusional of course - the liberals are the dominant voice in this church and diocese, and aren't usually particularly friendly towards conservatives/evangelicals. This of course is a violation of the heart of Anglicanism that undermines its comprehensive genius. We are an iconic community that holds together disparate and sometimes incompatible voices in shared worship. Or, more clearly, we're supposed to be a church(maybe the only Christian Church)that recognizes and represents God's bigness by our own commitment to comprehensiveness. It's one of our key distinctives.

Which leads me to believe that it is a major task for the emerging Anglican community to figure out ways to find space for evangelicals, and to get the liberals to stop being dicks to them.

My hope is that twenty years from now the AMiA folds back in the the Episcopal Church b/c of the progress we've made.