A tale of two churches perhaps.  It was a great privelage to attend the inaugral Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America.  I confess I was nervous about it.  I feared that the pundits would be correct in their assertions that the issue of Women’s Ordination and the disagreements between the Evangelicals and Anglo Catholics would result in a fractured and fractious meeting.  Not so.  The differences are real, no one pretended they didn’t exist.  They will, in God’s timing be dealt with.  This assembly was characterized by open and respectful dialogue, and the passage of the Constitution and Cannons of the Anglican Church in North America.

A sense of mission permeated the air.  Differences while real, seemed small, in light of our shared commitment to rebuilding an authentic and vibrant Anglican witness in North America.

Now we wait and watch our ecclesiastical cousins, The Episcopal Church, as they prepare for their 2009 General Convention (GC2009).  Anglicans around the world will watch carefully.  Will GC2009 abide by the moratoria passed by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) or will they choose independence over interdependence.  The ACC

affirms the request of the Windsor Report (2004), adopted at the Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007 and 2009) and supported at the Lambeth Conference (2008) for the implementation of the agreed moratoria on the Consecration of Bishops living in a same gender union, authorisation of public Rites of blessing for Same Sex unions and continued interventions in other Provinces, and urges gracious restraint in all these areas.

The first and second moratoria will be debated at GC2007.  The first, having to do with Bishops, will now be the subject of two hours of debate in the House of Deputies acting as a “Committee of the Whole”.  This will be a fascinating debate and decision making moment. The Anglican Curmudgeon has a blog entry about this unusual development.

It is a curious possibility that the existence of the ACNA might slow down the theological drift of TEC.  The fear of being supplanted as the Anglican Province in North America may well cause some to put the brakes on.  On the other hand the loss of so many members, congregations, and diocese have not had that effect.

In other curious developments concerning GC2009, The Archbishop of Canterbury has not being invited to preach at the Convention.  This makes him the first ABC to attend a GC and not be invited to preach.  Interesting.