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Dark Night of the Soul for the Anglican Communion

December 14, 2007

In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

+++Rowan’s Advent Address makes me feel like the Anglican Communion is having a long, dark night of the soul, and dragging me along with it.

My heart feels really heavy today.

As a “reasonable” person, I can say I see and understand both sides of the dividing issues.

But it seems to me that there are far too many “unreasonable” people involved, and that the dividing issues involve basic human rights.

Rowan is looking to Rome for answers? And cowtowing to biblical literalist Evangelicals for what reason?

I see no “reasonable” answer to this dilemma. Like Christ did, I think it’s time for TEC, and other provinces with similar divisive issues, to voluntarily remove themselves from this bullshit fracas, and move forward to spread the gospel.

In his book Dark Night of the Soul Thomas Moore says that dark nights can be a place of growth – a place where much deep spiritual and personal learning can occur.

I hope to God he’s right.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Suzer permalink
    December 14, 2007 2:12 pm

    I’m right there with ya, sister. I almost left a comment to the same effect on Susan Russell’s blog, but you’ve said it much better than I would have.

  2. December 14, 2007 3:14 pm

    When dealing with unreasonable people preaching doom, gloom, death and despair, it is neccessary to react with an unreasonable hope. Otherwise, you’re just stooping to their level, and all that gets you is a sore back.

  3. episcopalifem permalink*
    December 14, 2007 3:24 pm

    Aaaah. Hope.

    Thank you Mary Sue. I could use a reminder of hope today.


  4. December 14, 2007 3:59 pm

    Mary Sue is right about hope, though I found it quite a downer to read through. I also think that a time will come, and soon, when we say that being faithful to Christ, as we understand him, means acting regardless of what the other Anglos feel about it. My preference is to have us all at one table, but that happens by God’s grace and not by endless compromise.

  5. December 14, 2007 4:04 pm

    Eileen, just to expedite, this came to you via me from Jane R.:
    Jane R said…
    Note to Eileen the Episcopalifem on a totally (?) unrelated matter (I’m also going to post at Mimi’s): access to your blog is banned by a civil court in Turkey. What DID you say recently? Or is it the dressless lady on your home page? (If I write out the word n * a * k * e * d* poor darling Paul will get spammed. I asked one of my Turkish friends here and she says you must have said something anti-Turkish. I told her your blog wasn’t terribly political, only the usual criticisms of El Presidente, like most of the rest of our friends. Oh do tell. I left you a note in the comments section of my blog (where you last wrote) but haven’t heard from you, and I can’t find your e-mail. P.S. Hi Paul sweetheart.

    12/14/2007 12:00 PM

    Since I am so pro-Armenian, I am surprised she can reach me.

  6. episcopalifem permalink*
    December 14, 2007 4:21 pm

    INTERESTING! I have NO idea what I could have said that would be have me up for a civil banning in Turkey.

    I wonder if Jane R. can find out! LMAO

    That is HYSTERICAL.

    And here I was, wanting to GO to Istanbul some day, and I wouldn’t be able to access my blog.

  7. December 14, 2007 4:30 pm

    A second message from Jane:
    Oh, fascinating. Bishop Christopher Epting’s blog is banned here too! (he’s the Episcopal Church’s ecumenical officer — and interreligious officer too, as I recall) and so is the Handmaid Leah’s — very devout Orthodox Christian: So now my host says it must be an anti-Orthodox thing, because although the Ecumenical Patriarchate is here, the Turkish government doesn’t like it. (But they haven’t banned its website.) Eileen, doll, have you suddenly gone Russian Orthodox on us? Or Greek Orthodox? And how come they haven’t banned Padre Mickey and me, the icon posters?
    I hope they don’t go looking too closely at me now. I grew up among survivors of the Armenian genocide, and those words are enough to ban me in Turkey right there.

    I hope some day to go to Constantinople (you will notice that wording) with my ex who has been there. He studied Byzantine history and I am a medievalist and have absorbed lots of Orthodox piety. But my feelings about those I love and their slaughtered families makes it very difficult. All they have to do is acknowledge it and we’d be cool. Sigh.

  8. Suzer permalink
    December 14, 2007 5:21 pm

    “to voluntarily remove themselves from this bullshit fracas, and move forward to spread the gospel”

    That was the line that particularly spoke to me. My question to Rev. Russell was going to be “Why doesn’t TEC just pull out of the Anglican Communion altogether so we can continue to follow Jesus’ teachings as the Holy Spirit is leading us to do?”

    But, first, I knew the question is unanswerable. Or would involve a novel-length answer that I don’t have the time or inclination to read. I wish something truly revolutionary or miraculous could happen to get us out of this mess so we can more fully continue spreading the Gospel. Like, you know, we all just stop arguing about it and do it. But that seems either too simplistic, or too complicated, for the AC or TEC (or any organized religion) to do.

    So my question would be — how to remove onesself from the bullshit fracas without actually leaving church? Is it possible to continue on and ignore it all? Should we?

    Ah, again, unanswerable questions. Just the thoughts flitting through my mind today.

  9. Suzer permalink
    December 14, 2007 5:22 pm

    Of course, there ARE much more worthwhile thoughts to be thinking out there — like:

    Jodie Foster FINALLY came out!!!

    Good on her. 🙂

    (Wasn’t she one of those pics I had you post as some lesbian eye candy for us? Can’t remember)

  10. episcopalifem permalink*
    December 14, 2007 5:35 pm

    No..but maybe I should dig one up.

    I have no answer to the how to get out of the bullshit fracas either.

    The way to continue/function in the church is to deal with it at the local level – if you are fed there, stay there, and spread your love. If you aren’t move on to one that will feed you. If there isn’t one – worship God at home, and come play here with the rest of us who DO love you and see the light of your love too!

  11. December 14, 2007 6:49 pm

    Personally I think TEC should accept any and all invitations from Lambeth. The more people meet face to face with people like +Gene and those of us who find ridiculous others’ rigid adherence to only the scriptures that support their prejudices, the less they can see those they dislike or disagree with as something other than human. As long as they don’t have to come face to face, they can consider the “others” as others. If we are there in the humility that +Gene and ++Katharine display, we can force the issues gently. They can rant and rave all they want but if even one sees the stupidity in that, we have won a soul for Jesus.

  12. December 14, 2007 8:53 pm

    true pseudo.

    It just depresses me.

  13. December 15, 2007 12:40 am


    do not despair; we have one another for the comfort we may see, and know that a Loving Godde, She Who Is, is with us always.
    So what’s yer problem, Grrl?

    ((((Fluffie Eileen the Wonder Fem))))


  1. My Blog is Banned in Turkey: From Jane R. Via Paul (BB) via comments below « Eileen the Episcopalifem: Liberal, Progressive, Feminist, Episcopalian

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