wherein warring parties
agree to stop their attacks
and live in peace forever more.
Only an armistice will rescue
The Episcopal Church from the path
to organizational suicide
that it currently pursues.
This requires that TEC renounce
its vindictive campaign to seize
church properties built and paid for
by departing congregations.
The excuse has been that
these properties must be held
for remnant groups to build upon
in succeeding generations.
That has not happened.
Again and again we read stories
of former Episcopal churches
lying vacant and abandoned.
Or worse, becoming mosques
or temples of holiness for
Christian groups antithetical
to Episcopal values and beliefs.
In some Episcopal dioceses
a few parishes have successfully
negotiated terms of release which
could be the model nationwide.
Removing the public relations disaster
should be the first step by TEC
in recognizing and relating to its
Anglican rival in a Christian way.
The prelates of the Anglican Church
bear no stated ill will toward TEC,
but reject its erroneous policy of
deposing them from the clergy.
As part of the armistice,
the Anglican media in the U.S.
must cease its criticism of
the actions of The Episcopal Church.
Local Episcopal parishes,
like their Anglican counterparts
must be free of the dead hand
of diocesan command and control.
Becoming free of constraints,
individual parishes of either persuasion
will find appropriate ways to proclaim
the gospel to the people they serve.
This is the essential message of
"People of the Way" by Dwight Zscheile
subtitled: "Renewing Episcopal Identity"
which our book group just studied.