Wednesday, April 1, 2009

There's nothing like God making your decision for you . . .

For some time now, I have known my days as an Anglican appear to be numbered. The funny thing is, when I first became involved in my AMiA parish, I would have been happy at the outcome that is now forcing me to leave. Back then I was still a religious feminist but was rapidly tiring of the battle maintaining that position (while otherwise holding to some semblance of Christian orthodoxy) proved to be. When I settled upon AMiA , I knew they were studying the issues surrounding women's ordination and would soon decide the matter. But I told God that I believed He had directed me to AMiA and that I would accept whatever decision the committee made.

Eventually, AMiA decided upon ordaining women to the diaconate but not the priesthood. The decision was not nearly as traumatic as I expected it to be. Over the course of the next few years, without my even realizing it at times, my views changed. I changed. Through God's gracious provision of the dearest friends I could imagine and don't deserve, I came to see my rebellion for what it was. And came, with much unexpected delight, to embrace a vision of who we are as men and women that is sometimes called "sexual orthodoxy", sometimes tradition, and which I like to, a bit evocatively, call The Dance. It is a Dance where man leads and woman, not simply subordinate, completes.

About four years ago (when I attended the AMiA Winter Conference in Birmingham, Alabama), I started to hear whispers and to see cracks in the facade of orthodoxy. I told friends at that time that AMiA would be ordaining women within 5 years. I am saddened to see I seem to have been right about that. This month, St. Barnabas Church in Ontario, Canada will celebrate the "ordination" of the Rev. Susan Zakamarko to the priesthood. (see second item on this page: ). While this ordination takes place within ACIC and not within AMiA itself, an AMiA official will be in attendance and to maintain AMiA itself does not "ordain" women to the priesthood is a distinction without merit.

Unfortunately, the only doctrinally orthodox Anglican parish within an hour's drive seems to be so busy with whatever is occupying their time (some say infighting, some say the parish is just plain dying), that I can't get the answers I'd like in order to be able to make a decision about joining the parish -- which is why I say my days as an Anglican appear to be numbered.

I am glad God orders our steps, because I certainly don't know where to go from here.


Fr. Bill said...


Though this has been on the horizon for a while now, I'm sad to hear it -- sad for you, sad for the oh-so-confused sons of the English Reformation, sad for American Protestantism, most of which seems irrevocably infected with the spirit of the age.

As an Anglican, I know (and you know) that there are other options, even if you don't see them right at hand. In our case, we were blessed with a new parish; perhaps someone in your area will do the same, or has done the same.

And, there are those non-Anglican options which are orthodox (which is obviously far more important than Anglicanism). I'll be praying the LORD to guide your steps to a church home where you can flourish in His work in this troubled age.

Fr. Bill

Amanda said...

Bloomington, Indiana, of course!

Kamilla said...


You, and Carole and Rachel and Barbara and . . .

I'll be seeing you in a couple of months, by the way!