I'm not going to go into great lengthy analysis of the latest round of communication from the Archbishop of Canterbury because it reads like more pandering to the mob in Africa. And I don't understand why the ABC can't leave well enough alone the good things that seemed to be happening at Lambeth. Others in the blogosphere who pay attention to all things Anglican may have a different take on the bishops meeting. Certainly, some of them were a lot closer to the ground than I was. But from the bits and pieces I was gathering via the Internet, the indaba discussions seemed to be key and critical for there to be a dialogue about tougher issues for the attendees. Millennium Development Goals, of course, were important. Fighting global poverty, better education, curing HIV/AIDS....those are all causes that any bishop anywhere in the world ought to be able to rally around. Human sexuality isn't comfortable because then we have to think about the fact that some people might be (gasp) having sex.
But, as I said, I am not going to get into this because it occurs to me that to waste time, energy, and space on the ABC and his angst is pointless. And getting all wound up over the machinations of humans does one thing and one thing only: it makes us sink like Peter because we've taken our eyes off of God as we walk out onto the water!
And so, realigning my focus, what I look at is the power (again) in the words of Paul's letter to Romans 12:
For as in one body we have many members, and not all members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.
To me, this is like the ultimate: "We're all in this together, and we all have something to contribute to the make up of the whole". And, another way I took this passage: we must be ourselves, and in being true to who we are, we contribute to the completion of the whole. When I meditate on those two thoughts, what comes to me is the importance of those of us who seek God and a deeper knowledge of God to recognize that there are other seekers of God who share that bond with us...even if they have no other commonalities with us. Each one of us is being invited into a place to bring all of who we are to bear because the whole of who we are may be the very necessary component to complete the wholeness of the community to which we belong.
Simple translation, from my lay lesbian perspective: gay people of faith have gifts...both because we have certain skill sets acquired from learning...but we are people who, many of us, have endured a great deal of pain and rejection and thus bring to the mix a sensibility and sensitivity that the majority may simply not be aware of because they haven't walked in our shoes. In a similar fashion, gay people can gain a lot from their straight brothers and sisters...starting with an appreciation that not all straight people of faith view us as pariahs. And each of us, gay and straight, have the common experience of being human and can be there for one another as part of the human family. That's what I believe it means to "love one another as Christ (God) loved us".
OK, let's say you're still fuming about the ABC and his insatiable appetite for an Anglican Covenant to define "Anglicanism" and risk excluding some members of the body, and his insistence on moratoria.
Last time I checked, the Archbishop of Canterbury was still a mortal. He hath eyes, and he doth bleed when you cut him. And the more we care about his pastoral letters, such as they are, the more power we vest in him as if he had any sway over us to begin with. The power, the focus, the important "thing" here is the love of God. And that is the more important pastoral letter that we should be following in our own lives.
In the words of St. Porky Pig, "Th-th-that's all, folks!"