The following is an excerpt of the lead article in the Diocese of Northern Michigan’s September 2007 newspaper, entitled “Dar es Salaam, Already One in God.” The intro to the article states “On the 19th of February, 2007, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, released a CommuniquÃ©. We, as the Diocese of Northern Michigan, offer our response.” It is not clear who exactly within the diocese drafted this response. Please read it all carefully. It is noteworthy not so much for what it says specifically in response to the Primates’ demands, but its articulation of the theological convictions accepted within the diocese. This is where TEC’s Baptismal Ecclesiology can lead individuals or an entire diocese.
We invite all to God’s table. What we expect, in turn, is that those who come to the table likewise recognize the right, by being children of God, of everyone else to be at the table.
We proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ that everyone and everything belongs. We are continually being created in the image of God, in whom we live and move and have our being. Baptism confirms this most basic truth which is at once, the Good News: all is of God, without condition and without restriction.
We seek and serve Christ in all persons because all persons are the living Christ. Each and every human being, as a human being, is knit together in God’s Spirit, and thus an anointed one ”“ Christ. Jesus of Nazareth reveals this as the basic truth of the human condition:
God is more in me
than if the whole sea
could in a little sponge
wholly contained be.
We strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being, because each person embodies the living God. Life is inherently and thoroughly sacramental, which is why we love one another without condition.
We stand with Meister Eckhart who, when he gazed deep within himself, as well as all about him, saw that “the entire created order is sacred” as it is grounded
in God. We do harmful and evil things to ourselves and one another, not because we are bad, but because we are blind to the beauty of creation and ourselves. In other words, we are ignorant of who we truly are: “there is no Greek or Hebrew; no Jew or Gentile; no barbarian or Scythian; no slave or citizen. There is only Christ, who is all in all.” (Colossians 3:11).
Everyone is the sacred word of God, in whom Christ lives. This baptismal vision of a thoroughly blessed creation leads us to understand the reason for the incarnation in a new way:
People think God has only become a human being there ”“ in his historical incarnation ”“ but that is not so; for God is here ”“ in this very place ”“ just as much incarnate as in a human being long ago. And this is why he has become a human being: that he might give birth to you as his only begotten Son, and as no less. ~Meister Eckhart
Because each and every one of us is an only begotten child of God; because we, as the church, are invited by God to see all of creation as having life only insofar as it is in God; because everything, without exception, is the living presence, or incarnation, of God; as the Diocese of Northern Michigan,
We affirm Christ present in every human being and reject any attempt to restructure The Episcopal Church’s polity in a manner contrary to the principles of the baptismal covenant;
We affirm the full dignity and autonomy and interdependence of every Church in the Anglican Communion and reject any attempt of the Primates to assume an authority they do not have nor have ever possessed;
We affirm the sacramental gift of all persons, their Christ-ness, especially those who are gay and lesbian, and reject any moratorium on the blessing of samesex unions and consents of gay bishops, as it would compromise their basic dignity.
The full article is here (pp. 1-2)