The church is a happening before it is an institution
“Church, it has sometimes been said, is what happens when people are touched by Jesus, and I’ve always thought it is a happening before it is an institution." – Archbishop Rowan Williams
As my recent posts on GAFCON show - heck, as my recent posts on anything show - I can be strident and hard-changing, with a flame-thrower strapped to my back. Such tactics have their place, but they are undoubtedly the wrong approach for these probing spiritual issues that touch hearts in Rwanda as surely as they touch them here. There is something to be said for the Archbishop of Canterbury's calming, reassuring tone. This clip is admittedly four months old and unrelated to the Communion "crisis," but perhaps that makes it all the more important. Let us step back for a moment to breathe, and reflect on the deeper issues that bind us together in the first place.
I like the Archbishop’s reflection, although I have always been partial to the belief that the church is its members, doing what they do and going where they go. “We are the church,” so to speak. But that is, of course, the complexity of Christ and the beauty of the Anglican Communion: on an issue even as deep and touching as this, there is room for both of us to be right.
A hat tip to Father Warren of Breaking Fast on the Beach.