> Do you see the possibility of the Episcopal Church USA to break away > from the Anglican Church? XXXXXX, I would prefer that we stay in the Anglican Communion until they cut themselves off from us, and I hope that won't happen. In staying, we should not allow the Communion a juridical role in our polity that it does not now have. If the Communion insists on seizing jurisdiction, let that be their action not ours. The Communion is not a church, but a loose fellowship bound together only by affection. Affection is in much too short supply at the moment. We cannot control the decisions and actions of others; we can control our own. Let us be tender-hearted one to the other, forgiving, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven us. The Communion is the legacy of the evil system of colonialism, but it hid a gift, namely a network of believers world-wide. Communionhas often been more of an idea than a reality for most Anglicans, so focused are we on getting on with our own lives, so remote are we by distance, so divided are we by traditions and cultures. Yet with modern travel and modern communication, the Communion offers unprecedented opportunities for us to be mutually supportive and much more "up close." I rejoice that Lambeth 98 was the first in history where bishops of color outnumbered the Caucasians. It is no surprise that they wanted to flex their muscle and mark their new influence. I grieve that they chose to scapegoat gay and lesbian people; but they hold no special monopoly on that exploitation. This too shall pass. It would be a grave mistake for us to leave. Gays and lesbians in places much more hostile than The Episcopal Church will have little hope and no voice were ++Katharine Jefferts Schori not to be at the Primates' meetings. I know first hand how difficult it is yet again to face persecution from the church. It has taken us decades to reduce our persecution in the Episcopal Church, but as we have borne witness to God's redemptive presence in our lives, Christians have listened and have opened their hearts. Much of the rest of the Communion has not had that opportunity yet. Jesus did not set a time certain after which one does not need to take up one's cross to follow God. May God give us all the patience to endure the abuse, and the love to transform it into an opportunity to bring love to those who might not see Jesus if they don't have an opportunity to see Jesus in our forgiveness of them. Joy to all through your ministry! Louie Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12d, East Orange, NJ 07018. 973-395-1068 http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew
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