01 May 2008
One day in "The Lead"
There's a very cool Episcopal media website called "Episcopal Cafe". I subscribe to several RSS feeds from the Cafe, and they're frequently good food for good thought - and not just for those of us afflicted with affectionate interest in the latest gossip and goings-on within my particular institutional church tribe. The Cafe is cool. (A good friend of mine is an editor, BTW.)
One of the major feeds on the Cafe is called The Lead. As you might guess, it's the main "news" feed. (I put "news" in quotes not to mock the term, but merely to emphasize that this particular feed is meant to be "newsy" news, whereas other feeds on the site might comment on news items but are more opinion-, spirituality-, and/or art-driven. Got it?) That said, the items in The Lead often come with quite a bit of editorial spin. Not a bad thing, just worth noting. Nothing wrong with having a point of view.
So anyway, as I read the news items coming in to the Lead feed yesterday, April 30th, I have to say my level of disgust was, well, great enough to write a disgusted blog post about it. (Note: my head-shaking was at the news itself, not at the way it was reported.) Here are some headlines; click through if you want the gory details.
These are stories about Episcopalians and Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians and Lutherans, and I hope you'll forgive me for reading them all as being largely about two things: control, and politics (which is merely the outworking of control). I love the Church very much - I really do - but I have to admit that I'm at a loss as to why in any way the Church is improved by adding these kinds of politics to it. This is why I'm a big believer in strong networks of free, intentionally diverse congregations - networked to help each other and serve the world, but with no-one trying to maintain control and uniformity among them.
Admittedly, interspersed among these political stories, on that same day, were some joyous tales of the Church being the Church, and blessing the world as Jesus meant it to do:
I'm just saying.
Denominational friends, if there's major stuff I'm missing here about the blessings that these Constantinian hierarchies carry with them that we would miss without them, please enlighten me.