The bar debate last night was about the following resolution: “Resolved: The Anglican Communion is too progressive.” I’ll have more to say about this discussion another time. I’d like to make a rather different comment now.
The liberal-conservative, progressive-traditional split in the Episcopal Church which was the subject of the debate tends not to be present in most parishes, especially in Manhattan. Here, the individual churches tend to one side or the other, and the rectors follow that pattern. So do the assistants appointed by the rectors.
Here at Incarnation, we have almost always had rectors on the conservative side politically and assistants on the liberal side. I’ve been asked more than once why I don’t appoint a fellow conservative as a colleague. This is, I believe, the universal practice in the other Manhattan parishes.
My answer is that I want laypeople of all political persuasions to feel comfortable at Incarnation. One way to insure that comfort is to provide and breadth and inclusiveness to the clergy. I think that’s the best way to go, even if some questions remain unresolved. –J. Douglas Ousley