Thursday, February 15, 2007

Colin Coward of Inclusive Church reports on Day 3

Report from the Primates meeting - Day 3
Thursday, 15 February 2007

by Colin Coward

There is a curious dynamic developing in the relationship between myself and Bishop Martyn Minns, Canon David Anderson and Canon Chris Sugden. This morning when Davis and I arrived for breakfast, Martyn rose and introduced myself, Davis and Caro to everyone at his breakfast table, and most especially (as if for the first time) those I already know moderately well. I appreciated the introductions, but felt that I was being sent up for my previous post about their failure to introduce me to Archbishop Henry Orombi. Fair enough.

In the realm of the Primates meeting, everyone is still waiting for something to happen. As a result, Davis became the main focus of interest for the media for most of yesterday, continuing this morning. He has been interviewed by Reuters, Associated Press, local Tanzanian newspapers, BBC African service and the BBC have started recording their interviews for the Sunday Programme and the Heaven and Earth Show. The headline in this morning’s The Citizen, Dar Es Salaam, was “Gay activists lobby for ’rights’ at church meet”. The article focussed on Davis and the interview he gave them yesterday.

I have been told that I have been very clever in bringing Davis to Tanzania and setting up the story around him, as if I knew there would be a news vacuum on Valentine’s Day. If only it were so easy! I had a suspicion (and a hope) that Davis’s presence would attract attention. I had no idea he would become the focus of interest. I shouldn’t be so surprised. The Anglican Communion is in crisis because of the desire of lesbian and gay Anglicans to be welcomed as full members of our Church. This is the agenda of Inclusive Church - to work for a church in which no group is diminished because of their gender, race or sexual identity.

Another result of the lack of news from the Primates is that events peripheral to the Primates meeting assume a greater significance than they deserve, such as my breakfast encounters with Bishop Martyn and his colleagues. What I am reflecting on is the experience of relating to Martyn, David and Chris both in the real world, here in the White Sands Hotel, Dar Es Salaam where we meet each other at breakfast, and in the online world where we are not having to engage face to face. I am writing about them again today knowing they are reading my posts, and that at breakfast tomorrow, I will have to deal with any new reaction I may have provoked. There is a curious dance going on between us, who are praying for very different outcomes from the Primates meeting, and believe each in our own integrity, that God will best be served, either by excluding the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada from the Anglican Communion, or by fully including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

The full entry is here.


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