Another Adventure in Anglicanism

It just feels like Anglicanism at every level is in the process of change. And the fact that it’s all happening at the same time is a little overwhelming, especially to someone who is new to the Anglican tradition.
At our church, we’ve spent a year looking for a new priest, and so watching how the process of calling a priest to a congregation is fascinating. Our new priest starts in August. We’ve been without a priest for nearly a year. I’m impressed with how well the wardens and the lay leaders of the church kept everything running during this time of searching, prayer and evaluating the future of this little church. And, what is cool, is our new priest has a PhD in New Testament! (see my previous post: What would it look like if more pastors had Phds)

Change. Transition. New opportunities. Uncertainty. Flux.

It was announced yesterday that our bishop has been elected to be bishop of another diocese. I had just met him and had a wonderful conversation with him May about some of the concerns and questions I have about the Anglican Church in Canada. I came away from that conversation feeling comfortable with stepping my toes into the Anglican stream and not feeling like I was diving into the United Church 2.0. (I lived through the United Church blowup in the 80’s and I don’t fancy doing that again). With the bishop leaving it raises several questions: what does this mean for our diocese? Will we get a new bishop who was as orthodox as our bishop was? A few of my friends are in the process of ordination and I wonder what this will mean for their journey. Does ordination get put on hold until the new bishop is installed?

Change. Transition. New opportunities. Uncertainty. Flux.

And of course, on the global level, the Archbishop of Canterbury is retiring, and the political machine has started as the Church gears up to call a new ABC. Whoever is called will define the future of Anglicanism especially given the tensions and cracks that are threatening the unity of the church.

Change. Transition. New opportunities. Uncertainty. Flux.

Sitting in church on Sunday, I was struck by how many of the congregants are “grey hairs”. It’s at least 60%, if not 75%. What is this little church going to look like in 10 years? I lived through a church that literally “died out” because it had a majority senior population. Will that happen to our little church?

The deconsecration of a rural Anglican church in the Diocese of Toronto made the mainstream news this week. It is closing because it is too small to be viable for the diocese.

There are a whole bunch of little churches throughout Saskatchewan. As the population shifts to the urban centres, Saskatoon, Regina, etc, it’s probably inevitable that this will end up happening across this province and diocese, especially since there’s a shortage of priests in Saskatchewan.

Change. Transition. New opportunities. Uncertainty. Flux.

  • eortlund

    Good post. It’s very sobering. On the other hand, having a totally stable situation is not always good for a church. Instability makes it hard to trust yourself!