"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)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A New Archbishop

So today the Church elected a new Archbishop for the Anglican Church in North America, Archbishop-elect Foley Beach. 

And I'm encouraged.

And most of what encourages me has to do with the currently difficult topic of women's ordination.   Archbishop-elect Beach does not ordain women to the priesthood.   But that's neither here nor there.  What encourages me is this:
  • The folks who felt marginalized by Archbishop Duncan's pro-ordination-of-women stance and practice will feel a sense of returned balance.
  • The folks who were uneasy enough to consider walking away from the table will no longer have this as a motivation to destabilize the ACNA.

Those things are good and helpful, but even more importantly, I have already seen and heard encouraging signs:
  • Everywhere I looked at today's reception I found bishops who don't ordain women greeting women clergy as friends and respected co-laborers in God's vineyard.  Do not tell me these guys are misogynist jerks; these are men who love all people but have discerned through prayer and study that they should not be ordaining women.  I may not agree with them, but I sure do respect them.
  • And then I turned to Facebook and heard from the other side of the equation, as women priests, who I also love and respect, who have long been conditioned to fear an archbishop who might not support them, poured out their support and kind words for Archbishop-elect Beach.  This election was not about their rights to an ordination (no one has a right to be ordained) but about the good of the church and goodwill among Christians and even respect for godly authority.

And so today, both sides are showing their best sides.  And I'm encouraged.  Maybe we can keep it up all week, by God's grace, and enjoy the upcoming Assembly on a high note.  Oh there will always be internet trolls, no doubt, but if we don't feed them, they will have to be quieter.

And after all, now we can say:
"Life's a Beach... and so's the Archbishop."

Congratulations, Archbishop-Elect Foley Beach.  Here's to the next five years!

2 comments:

  1. A nice tribute, Tara. I don't know the new archbishop, but everything I read about him suggests a caring and godly and effective leader. Blessings and best wishes as the new chapter begins . . . .

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  2. Thank you for the kind words, Bruce. I don't know him either, although I've met him now, briefly, twice. He seems a genuine (and truly southern) fellow. I don't mind exchanging "y'inz" for "y'all" as the latter is my native tongue.

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