Sunday, January 20, 2008

Still more Convention: quotable quotes by Bishop Musonda Trevor Mwamba

Darn. The diocese just took down the picture of our two bishops --of North Carolina and Botswana-- in Botswana drinking tea out of china teacups. It was just too too British Empire but would have made for the perfect illustration of the quote on Lambeth and the Queen below. I'll try to track it down if it is still hiding somewhere on the diocesan website. (I'm not wild about this website; but I digress.) A Sunday afternoon p.s.: here it is, folks; alas not in color as the original was. Click here for the photo embedded in a pdf version of our diocesan newspaper. Really. You must see it. It was better with the fuchsia but this is better than nothing.

Bishop Trevor, as he is known, said, among many other things:

[In] the Anglican Communion in the context of the present turbulence [we] need to be reminded of: good manners; God; humility; respect; love for one another.

[Refers to Church Times article he wrote a while back which was] a plea for mutual tolerance among Anglicans worldwide. We must all learn to live together... [Quotes former ABC Robert Runcie's book title Grow or Die.]

Oneness does not necessarily imply sameness.

The magic of Anglicanism is holding to the pillar of the Via Media. We should seek the characteristic Anglican way... not ducking hard questions but holding together contrary views and loyalties and finding a synthesis.

Part of the answer lies in all of us experiencing a change of heart in the current standoff or stalemate... It means becoming friends. ... The person we fear or resent [is] just like me, just like us. [Quotes Maya Angelou and Eleanor Roosevelt.] ... each person you meet in a spirit of adventure. Learn to understand the soil in which their roots have grown.

God is always on the other side, in the other person.

More than anything else we need to experience God afresh.

Where would our Lord Jesus Christ be in all this debate? Where IS our Lord Jesus Christ in all this debate? The core mission of the Church is the enlargement of God's kingdom on earth. everybody welcome at the table of God. Everybody affirmed and accepted.

Why do we teaching thinking separation? Have we lost sight of the height and depth of the kingdom, the infinity of God in us?

[When] I hear hushed [the News & Record reporter heard "harsh"] noises... [he's referring to the Current Unpleasantness] by these people in purple, bishops, I ask myself, "Does anyone pray?!"

We need the grace of God to reveal afresh the oneness we possess in our baptism. It is given. It's a gift.

[Talks about the diversity among African provinces, and how they reflect most of the Anglican tradition:] Catholic, Evangelical, liberal, charismatic. To think there is one view is simplistic and a distortion of the truth.

[Criticizes] the simplistic press view of a conservative African church whose position is that it sees only devils in the Episcopal Church...

The truth of the matter is --listen carefully, I'm only going to say it once-- the majority of African Anglicans, 37 million [people], are not bothered about the debate on homosexuality and impaired communion, a fact not lost on the Windsor Commission.... The majority of Anglicans have their minds focused on life/death issues: HIV-AIDS, poverty, drought, malaria... now what the Church thinks about sexuality or what color your pajamas are. Most live on less than one dollar a day and are not aware this controversy is raging.

[Refers to CAPA meeting in Mauritius last year.] Most of the Anglican provinces are actually going [to Lambeth], led by the Indian Ocean [primate] who is the head of CAPA. I will be there enjoying a cup of Earl Grey tea with cucumber sandwiches with Her Majesty the Queen. So will Bishop Michael [Curry].

Our vision for our diocese [Botswana] is 1) development of the spirituality of our people; 2) health; 3) education; 4) economic empowerment.

The future belongs to God. So does the Church.

Let us, conservatives, liberals, Africans, Americans, get into each other's worlds.

Let us beware of excommunicating each other here on earth.
Or we shall find in heaven we are still bound together at the table of Christ's love: Archbishop Akinola sitting next to Bishop Gene Robinson! For such is the Kingdom of God.

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