Wednesday, January 21, 2004


I have a friend from a former parish that was going through his discernment process about the same time as me. Due to distance, lack of communication, whatever, that has slipped more into "acquaintance" mode over the past few years. During the summer of '01, he packed up his family and moved out to Ambridge, PA. During the summer of '01, I packed up my family and moved out to Evanston, IL.

For those of you who don't know, Ambridge is home to Trinity seminary -- a conservative/evangelical Episcopal seminary. Evanston is home to SWTS, a not so conservative/evangelical Episcopal seminary.

We received their family New Year's letter (apparently they missed Christmas, like probably 85% of other people I know) the other day. For the most part it was standard stuff: this is what our two kids are up to, this is what Tricia is up to, this is what Kirk is up to, etc. etc. I had to smile when they wrote, "Kirk continues to do his security job at the seminary every night." I wonder if boots and shorts are part of his official security garb?

It was his paragraph on the current ECUSA crisis that got me thinking. He referred to this as a "reformation along the fault line of Biblical truth" and said, "It's exciting that the reformation is occurring, though it is also very painful to see the church being ripped apart. We hope the Lord will have a ministry for us within the Anglican Mission in America when Kirk's done with his training here . . ."

I guess.

I was bothered by that. Was it his use of the term exciting reformation? His decision to go into the AMiA? The fact that I realized we were both seniors and when I talked with the bishop about my ordination he (the bishop) said that there were two of us being ordained (the other one from CDSP {who happens to be the one on the right}), which means Kirk isn't being sponsored by my diocese? Or the fact that he's throwing out terms like 'biblical truth' without knowing which version of the 'truth' he's bowing to? I don't know.

It's one thing to sit in a parish and talk this issue out with people who either haven't thought about it or are looking for information in order to make a decision, as I did last summer in Walla Walla. It's quite another thing when the controversy hits this close to home. The problem with delivering a really good sermon is that sometimes you actually have to practice what you preach (see Between Games below).

I'm wondering how this scenario will play out. I'm wondering if we'll decide to go our separate ways. I'm wondering if we'll stay in contact but agree to not discuss this issue. I'm wondering if I can do this with a graceful understanding.



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