"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Indigestion

I'm sure its just the fact that my dinner took place at the county fair last night, but I feel miserable.

It doesn't help, however, that I looked at today's news. The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh is reporting that All Saints' Rosedale has had to vacate their property. Of course in the never-ending media he-said-she-said game, the Episcopal Diocese says they never forced anyone to go anywhere, as if cuddly ol' TEC would be glad to just let bygones be bygones.

But the bottom line isn't money, it never is and never will be. The bottom line is that my good friends in Rosedale refused to turn their back on the Anglican Church in North America. Yes, Rosedale has publically stated that they couldn't afford the TEC diocese's price on their building, but disaffiliation with the ACNA is a non-starter for most everyone I know over here in Anglican Pittsburgh. There's not a price low enough that most of us would be willing to turn our back on our brothers and sisters. TEC needs to understand and get used to that.

We've already been through one split, where we have to turn and walk away from friends and loved ones with whom we shared our ministry and our lives. We didn't walk away from those relationships lightly, we preferred not to walk away from them at all. Don't our friends in TEC see how much we loved them, how we grieved to lose them? Why would they think we'd then so lightly be able to walk away from the friends in ACNA with whom we've been through so much, whom we love with the same love. We've lost enough, relationships that will never be the same. We know we can't go back again.

Do they not understand that nothing short of the cross of Christ could have ripped us from our friendships in TEC? If we were following the Cross when we left, how can we turn from it now. We have paid the cost in our friends, what a petty price is a building.

I'm honored to serve alongside my friends in Rosedale, who now will abandon the building they've loved and cared for and worshiped in for generations. They're the real deal, and they get to prove it by paying a visible price.

I can't presume to speak for a diocese, or even for my little parish. But I can speak for myself... on the one side I see friends willing to make sacrifice for the Gospel, for their friends, for generations yet unborn. On the other, I see the institutional equivalent of a petulant teenage boyfriend who whines "If you really love me... " And as every girl knows, such boyfriends aren't worth keeping.

Thanks, TEC, for yet again confirming my decision to leave.

I'll try to remember that the nasty feeling I have inside is the result of dinner at the county fair.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this, Tara. And I would just say that I feel some indigestion over here on this side of the stream as well. My own view is that questions about interest in property and assets need to be discussed and negotiated carefully, this whole issue of "disaffiliation" is, at the least, inappropriate and unnecessary. And I would personally use stronger language.

    Dave Rucker is a long-time friend, a fine priest, and someone for whom I have just an abundance of continuing affection and respect. My prayer is that in this new chapter he and the people of All Saints Verona will find opportunities for a renewal of life and ministry.

    Blessings,

    BruceR

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  2. I know this is hurtful and difficult for you, too, Bruce. I'm glad you posted. I think its easy for us to forget that TEC is doing spiritual and emotional damage to their own folks, too. Its not just that this is a temporal set-back for ACNA congregations, the set-backs are far more spiritually dangerous for our friends in TEC. That's both a call to prayer and a warning, lest we let the spiritual danger of coveting physical things leak into our mindset also.

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