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Louie Crew
377 S. Harrison Street, 12D
East Orange, NJ 07018

Phone: 973-395-1068 h


lcrew@andromeda.rutgers.edu

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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


12/21/1974
 
8/17/2006



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Reflections of one gay Christian prompted in part by the ABC's Advent Letter



> Let's at least not pay for the damn thing. [Lambeth Conference]
> 
> I still think canon law to forbid Bishops gathering with
> extra-provincial bishops would be a good first step. Maybe let one or
> two non-TEC bishops come to them as guests, but that's it.
> 
> Maybe GenCon can declare that the Councils of Lambeth have and do
> err, and that the Archbishop of Canterbury hath no jurisdiction in
> this Province of the Episcopal Church.
> 
> Lambeth was thought a bad idea at the beginning, and it has proved to be so.
>
>         -- Bryant Hudson

Some mornings I wake up agreeing with you, Bryant.  It certainly seems
unhealthy to pay extensively to keep afloat an organization that batters
people, an organization as filled with toxicity as the Anglican Communion
appears to be right now.

However, by the time my coffee hits bottom and my prayers ascend, I usually
come to the opposite conclusion:  It is immature for me to play "I'm gonna
pick up my paper dolls and go home" just because things are not going my
way.

My commitment to the Communion is sealed by the fact that if The Episcopal
Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada do not stay at the table 
thousands of lgbts (lesbians, gays, bisexual and trangendered) elsewhere 
in the Communion will not have a voice at all for a very long time, if 
ever.

I learned long ago that if you leave a body, you forfeit your ability to
influence that body.  (The Anglican Communion Network will learn that 
hard lesson very soon.) And for what, the pleasure of hearing the door 
we slammed shut?

I believe TEC should never voluntarily drop out of the Anglican Communion.
If others must expel us, force them to violate the integrity of their own
constitution and canons to do so.  Don't do their dirty work for them.

Does that mean TEC has to fund and support every thing demanded of us?
Certainly not.  I believe that Executive Council and General Convention need
to look much more closely at how the ACC uses the money contributed by the
General Convention, but we need to do that as members at the table, not as
people who have left.  (There are major other contributions from dioceses,
from parishes, from individual Episcopalians over which GC and Executive
Council have no influence and should not control.)

I feel strongly that no funds from GC should be used to fund primates'
meetings.   When I was a guest of the Anglican Consultative Council at their
offices in London during the week before the last General Convention, I was
told that most primates pay their way out of funds provided by their
provinces, and some individual primates subsidize the travel of other
primates from provinces too poor to pay the full bill.  There are no line
items for primates' travel in the ACC budget. There is no central accounting
system for this network of support outside their budget; nor would I be
comfortable giving to the ACC oversight of funds not within its
jurisdiction.

Successful collaboration depends on trust.   The Anglican Communion now has
a crisis of trust.   Many don't trust us, and there are many bishops in the
Communion -- including the Archbishop of Canterbury -- whom I do not trust.
I hope that the conversations that Dr. Dubya plans for Lambeth 2008 will
allow candor.  I hope that the trained facilitators won't duck either the
economic or the spiritual bonds of affection.

Many outside North America see TEC as like the US government -- throwing our
weight around, insisting on having our own way or threatening to leave.

Look at the way the US has refused to commit to many  international
agreements -- regarding the environment, regarding military weapons,
regarding torture.   Many in the Anglican Communion think that TEC
manifested the same mindset in the consecration of +NH and in GC's
resolution that those who bless relationships are within the range of
Christian response, albeit not a canonically authorized response.   "Those
Americans are at it again!  Throwing their power and their money around!"

But in several major particulars, TEC is not behaving like the USA -- ways
which we should emphasize again and again.

1) TEC has not thrown money around to get its own way.  GC has continued to
pay TEC's assessments.  ERD has been on the scene immediately to help with
disaster, and long-term in development projects.  Dioceses and bishops have
continued to support mission financially and with increasingly more
face-to-face encounters with disciples around the world.

2) TEC has not insisted that other provinces do as we do.  We are insisting
instead that they live into the promises they have made repeatedly, that
they listen to the experiences of local lgbt Christians.

3) In its affirmations of lgbts, TEC is not standing on the side of the
powerful, as the USA does, but on the side of the vulnerable and the weak.

4)  TEC is not getting more power by its support of lgbts.  It is giving up
power.  Others have reviled us, invaded us, crippled some of our vital
ministries to the poor in their own countries, have said all manner of evil
against us falsely because of our stance for Jesus' unbounding love for all.

Jesus wrote the script for what our response should be:  Rejoice, and be
exceedingly glad, for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

Some lgbts live with the mind-set we had before GC 2003.  Many lgbts have
not noticed that we are not alone, that a majority of TEC now stands with
us -- in most instances not to patronize us, but to be faithful disciples of
Jesus in solidarity with us as faithful disciples.

God loves absolutely everybody! I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
nor Primates, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will
be able to separate tblgs, or anyone else, from the love of God in Christ
Jesus our Lord.

Blessed are those who in spite of all have the courage to be joyous!

They also serve who sit in the corner and lick their wounds.

Louie Crew

Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12d, East Orange, NJ 07018.  973-395-1068
http://www.gracechurchinnewark.org/  Home of the hymn "America the Beautiful"

See Dr. Hudson's response to this comment at 
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/hudson.html





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