Thursday, October 11, 2007
"...A cord of three stands is not easily broken..."
More problems and rumors of trouble in the Charismatic Episcopal Church of North America(CEC). Almost year after the communion was impoverished by the loss of 7 bishops and about a third of the congregants new allegations of impropriety in the leadership at the national level threaten to shake this community once again. The flagship communion of the convergence movement; a home for all christians seems to be shaking on its foundations...will the cord be broken...again?
It is hard for me to pinpoint a single reason for the problems that have buffetted the CEC. Some have pointed at very human flaws of its leaders and failure to deal with problems at the highest levels of authority. Others have focused on the CEC's lack clear doctinal guidelines and no liturgical uniformity. Yet for others the problem lies on the interpretation of one the foundational principles of the CEC, consensus government.
While the idea of seeking the consensus of the Holy Spirit by a group of men in relationship with one another and under the leadership of a priest or bishop is laudable, the practice has been less than admirable! There have been allegations ranging from secrecy to spiritual abuse and manipulation, a disconnect betwen the higher echelons of power centered in the Patriarch and his council and the parishes that incarnate the CEC at the local level.
This week the bishops meet in council, next week the Patriarch's council convenes and the story will be written!!! I must confess to being a little afraid of what will happen, whatever the outcome ! If nothing of substance occurrs and the staus quo remains it will signal a death for many hoping for reform. If significant problems are revealed and changes implemented, it may also be the death of this Communion as we know it.
May God in his mercy embrace all clergy and lay people in the CEC, many of which have given so much for love of him and this church. May he lead us to safety and give us joy and hope!