There is much talk at present in the Anglican communion of a new covenant to bind us together. This is seen as a solution to our problems, to our disagreements about homosexuality. Some argue that we just need to agree to certain new “essentials”. But many of us hesitate to embrace such a covenant because we already have a covenant: our baptismal covenant. That is how we are joined together and it is based on the long-established “essentials”: the historic creeds. From the very earliest days of Christianity, baptism marked that moment when men and women assented to the Christian essentials – one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and came into relationship with those who shared this belief in the creator God, the risen Christ and the Spirit who sustains us daily. Baptism is therefore the foundation of our identity as Christians. With Paul’s words to the Galatians in our memories, we hesitate to assent to a covenant in which there will be a new distinction between lay and ordained by handing over decision-making power to the Anglican primates. Having made our assent to the historic creeds, we hesitate to create new “essentials” about an issue – homosexuality – that may be purely of this moment.
Let me suggest another response to the Anglican crisis. All we really have to do in the midst of this crazy church dispute is be awake to our relationship with a loving God.