Tuesday, January 15, 2008

CEC- International Communion!

The election of new patriarch for the ICCEC brings into focus yet again the international character of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. As Archbishops and bishops from our communion in other parts of the world write to congratulate our new Patriarch, their faces and words, remind us that others share with us the vision which is the CEC

In reality most of the faithful and clergy in this communion are not North Americans but people in what has been termed the Global South; the Church in Brazil, several African nations and the Philipines outnumber by many times those of us in the US who call the CEC home. Even prior to the divisions and defections of clergy and congregations in the last years, the church in the US was but a small minority.

Perhaps, as we look forward to a new season in the church, we would do well to look at the perpectives, experience, ideas and spirituality of our brothers and sisters elsewhere. They seem, for the most part, to have been spared the crises we have faced and continued to grow, even as many of us felt the whole church was crumbling around us. It may be that, as we go forward, their greater participation in the life of our church will be a catalyst for renewal! Maybe,the growing realization that we are but a small part of a community that extends beyond the walls of our parish, priest, bishop, patriarch or computer server, will help us set healthier priorities as we live the life of faith and engage in the mission and ministries each have been called to.

There are particular strong concerns I hold about the life of our church in the US. The aura of a growing conservatism in some areas, less accomodation to diverging theological views, a push for more unformity in liturgy. Issues of accountability, the application of Government by Consensus, limited laity participation and the exclusion of women at all levels of church government still cause me to wonder about the future. Yet, looking at the faces from across the globe, gives me some hope.

It may be that some answers to our dilemmas can come from those we rarely look to, those who in the setting of other cultures, customs, traditions and different circumstances are living the life of faith under the banner of the Charismatic Episcopal Church .

May God bless the people of the ICCEC


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