Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Anglican Umbrella

I've owned many an umbrella over the years -- big ones, little ones, folding and fixed, automatic and manual. No matter the type of umbrella, invariably one of the struts breaks rendering the device less suited for its task. Two or more broken struts and the device is just about useless. One common metaphor for Anglicanism is that of a large umbrella under which is gathered and protected a large number of differing points of view -- the result of Catholic and Protestant being "urged" to worship together during Elizabethan times. Seems to me in recent days (read certainly the last fifty years) that the struts of the Anglican umbrella are breaking, one by one, sadly reducing the number who can fit under the umbrella. Anglicanism has always depended upon the good will of all under the umbrella to accept and tolerate diversity. Just as the umbrella needs good struts, Anglicanism needs good will to exist and function properly. It's time to repair the struts!