Check against delivery
I’m Lionel Deimel, from the Diocese of Pittsburgh. I
am founder and Episcopal Church Convenor for the No Anglican Covenant
The Anglican Covenant is a reaction to developments in
church understandings in a fast-paced world.
Coming from Pittsburgh, I see in the Anglican Covenant
the same dynamics that nearly destroyed my own diocese. The Covenant seeks to wrest control of
worldwide Anglicanism from those who seek to keep their churches relevant to
the 21st-century context in which they operate, and deliver it into the hands
of those who believe the church should never change. The underlying purpose of
the Covenant is not to explicate Anglican theology nor to manage change, but to suppress change and preserve a mythical
“biblical Anglicanism” that never was.
Many promote the Covenant in the name of unity. But
Anglicanism is not monolithic, and is more of an ecumenical movement in itself.
We sometimes have more in common with the Moravians or Lutherans than we do
with our Anglican brothers and sisters.
Those who believe that the Holy Spirit has nothing
more to teach humanity cannot but embrace the proposed Covenant. Those who see the Kingdom of God as something
in the process of becoming , cannot but be dismayed by the prospect that our
church might adopt the Covenant, now or in the future.
Those who study innovation know that change does not simply
happen when everyone agrees. It happens slowly, as new ideas are embraced by
early adopters, often at great personal cost, and are tested in the real world.
Widespread adoption comes only after the more timid see the advantages of
innovations and become convinced that embracing them is both safe and
advantageous. This applies to personal computers and to institutions.
The Episcopal Church has been an innovator, though not
a speedy one by secular standards. Many of our innovations have been a blessing
to the church and to the world. We may not always be right, but we do not need
other churches punishing us for our modest attempts to do justice, love kindness,
and walk humbly with our God.
The Episcopal Church needs to lead on the matter of
the Covenant and take a firm stand against its adoption or further development.
The Covenant is a bad idea badly implemented, and we should encourage its quick