The Bishop of California: Comments on the Covenant

What is wrong with the proposed Covenant

Its origins are shallow, being primarily the Windsor Report, and the “recent life of the Instruments of Communion;” that is, rather than drawing upon our scriptural and larger tradition sources, the Covenant is based on a recently prepared report that has immediately gained authoritative status usually only granted documents tested by time, and upon recent experience of a body of leaders of the Communion.

Related to this last point, the Covenant was drafted in response to urgency, a sense of ”˜severe strain.” While at times we must recognize genuine emergencies and respond with rapidity, in crafting guidelines intended to direct the inter-life of the vast, sprawling Anglican Communion over time, we should hope for a creative climate of peace, of dynamic shalom, rather than stress and anxiety.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

26 comments on “The Bishop of California: Comments on the Covenant

  1. DonGander says:

    “….unavoidable interpretation that the draft Covenant makes the Primates the final arbiter in disputed areas.”

    That, folks, is the primary job of Primates; uphold the historic faith.

  2. Dilbertnomore says:

    [i]Deleted. Attack on Bp. Andrus with no discussion of content.[/i]

  3. Scotsreb says:

    I hate to be thick, but what exactly did +Marc suggest as his vision of the covenant, other than agreeing that the Gospel of Matthew has some neat parts in it?

    I mean, is there any *there* there?

  4. Dilbertnomore says:

    But more seriously. We really do seem to be of either a Matthew 25 or a Matthew 28 perspecitve on our understanding of what it is to be a Christian.
    I regard myself to be a Matthew 28 Christian. In that context, it is my firm belief that Matthew 25 is a subset of Matthew 28 – important but a subset. To follow Matthew 28 is to also follow Matthew 25.
    It seems to me, however, that those of the Matthew 25 persuasion prefer to ignore Matthew 28 and relegate it to domain of the snake handling ‘wierdos.’

  5. Dilbertnomore says:

    3, Scotsreb, exactly my point in 2.
    Now let all sing Kumbaya.

  6. AnglicanFirst says:

    “What is wrong with the proposed Covenant

    Its origins are shallow,…”
    What is wrong with the GLBT agenda within ECUSA?
    Its origins are shallow.

  7. Mathematicus says:

    It would seem that for + Marc, it is all about polity. I notice that he studiously avoided any mention of that pesky historical document, the (39) Articles of Religion with their annoying emphasis on “The Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation” and other unspeakable things such as “Sin” and “Hell”. They do happen to be mentioned in the body of the proposed Anglican Covenant. Perhaps he should read it more carefully.

  8. VaAnglican says:

    [i]Deleted. One-liner. Not helpful. Doesn’t discuss content. –elves[/i]

  9. VaAnglican says:

    Point taken, elves. Thank you!

  10. bob carlton says:


    how is it the role of the primate to arbitrate our faith tradition ?


    what a surreal way to look at following Jesus – it’s eaither Matt 25 or Matt 28 – the story of Jesus – the Gospel – the Good News – not simply one section of Scripture, one passage, one anecdote

    it is all of it – it is a mystery, one that only a community can grasp

  11. Br. Michael says:

    It’s also the OT.

  12. w.w. says:

    [blockquote]Sticking with the Jesus of Matthew’s gospel, a healthy Covenant would also direct us to baptize and make disciples of all nations. I would translate this into being Christians in the world in such a way that people are enabled to let go of ways of life that damage and destroy the creatures of God, and from the point of new birth, open a path into conformity with the image of God planted in them.

    Recognizing the God center in all; enabling people to enter new life; and walking with others towards the full Image of Christ – this is the Covenant I would choose.[/blockquote]

    What, in God’s name, does THAT mean??? It’s certainly not “scriptural,” as he says the Covenant should be. Instead of pulling these “translations” and interpretations out of thin air, why not try a little exegesis of Scripture itself?


  13. Irenaeus says:

    “Its origins are shallow”

    We could say the same—and much more—about most of ECUSA’s “innovations” for the past couple of decades.

  14. Larry Morse says:

    TEC has developed a remarkble prose style which I will call marchmallowese, writing that is sweet and pretty, but soft, insubstantial and easily deformed.
    To be sure, pastoral prose has always had these inherent weaknesses, but TEC over the last few years has given the style a new reality. It takes real skill to write like this. Well, perhaps I would do better calling it “divinity fudge.” Think how much we have slogged through these last few years.LM

  15. Christopher Johnson says:

    In other words, you don’t need to put that fire out. After it burns your house down, you and your wife just need to sit down on the blackened ruins and have a nice long conversation about how to make your next home more fire-resistant.

  16. Red Bird says:

    [i]Recognizing the God center in all; enabling people to enter new life; and walking with others towards the full Image of Christ – [/i]
    If you check out the Unity Church web page you will find that these words are almost exactly what the Unity Church subscribes to.

  17. Kevin Maney+ says:

    Irenaeus wrote: “We could say the same—and much more—about most of ECUSA’s “innovations” for the past couple of decades.”

    Took the words right out of my mouth (although I could add this is the pot calling the kettle black!) 🙂

  18. Christopher Johnson says:

    I thought

    Here I think we must seek to understand the real meaning of “poverty of spirit” that some follower of the Way added to extend, and deepen, to express the meaning intended by Jesus of Nazareth when he said, “Blessed are the poor.”

    was JUSSSSSST a tad presumptuous on Andrus’ part. Since he’s so tight with the Lord and knows what He really means, I’m kind of surprised that Andrus didn’t let us all know when Jesus is coming back.

  19. Dad Howe says:

    One thought I had as I read the Bishop’s comments was this: When, in the history of the church, has the church issued its definitive statements and creeds in a time of “dynamic shalom?” It seems to me from reading church history that nearly all of the major creeds, confessions, Articles, etc. have grown out of and been in response to periods of “severe strain.” The various statements issued over the centuries have been attempts by the church to define what the church is and believes over against some heresy or strangeness in the culture. I recall someone somewhere once commenting that conflict and strain are God’s gifts to the church to force the church to decide what it believes and how it will respond to Christ and the Gospel. Seems to me the current strains are just one such God-given moment and He watches to see if we respond in faith and obedience or just wander away with the culture.
    Just a thought…

  20. murbles says:

    I got as far as “dynamic shalom” and then quit. Back to Dorothy Sayers.

  21. rob k says:

    No. 19 – Very well put. As to Bishop Andrus’s missive, in the company I worked in for a long time we used to laugh at and shake our heads over the “businessese” used by executives and department managers, especially where issues of company morale & “teamwork” were concerned. Like the piece at issue here, the language and style of businessese was able to obscure real issues or say nothing at all.

  22. DonGander says:

    19. Dad Howe:

    Some form of those last two sentences may well end up in a sermon on Sunday.

  23. robroy says:

    “Dynamic shalom” repeated three times. Better than ipecac!

  24. Martin Reynolds says:

    I too find buzz words and the like in the writings and spoken word of our faith community more than an occasional irritant. In fact our religious language is full of jargon and too often indecipherable to the seeker.

    On a scale of one to ten “dynamic shalom” scores pretty high on my “instantly fails to communicate” scale – but also pretty highly on my “is worth thinking about scale”.

    But don’t let this get in the way of your warm encouragement of Bishop Andrus.

  25. CharlesB says:

    19, I also agree. As I understand it, the Nicean creed was created to address heresies that had arisen and were causing conflict. What a covenant could do is settle once and for at least some issue(s) that cannot otherwise be resolved, as well as set forth ways to deal with future divisive issues. The liberal agenda just keeps coming back . . .

  26. The_Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    What exactly does this article mean? I have reread it several times and I just do not follow what he is talking about. If there is a “God center in all” then what need is there of “people to enter new life; and walking with others towards the full Image of Christ” if God is already there in the center to begin with?