Sunday, July 12, 2009

Has the American Anglican Council forgotten its manners?

As a training for leadership deputies, bishops and ECW members are meeting together in diocesan groups to learn ‘Public Narrative’. Public narrative is a method of rhetorical leadership which involves using both heart and voice to tell ‘my story, our story, and the story of now’. This is quite a disciplined process which requires training and coaching to do well. There are three training sessions planned.

Now, imagine the scene: diocesan representatives are seated at a table during the first training session, each having two minutes to tell their story. The diocesan bishop arrives late, after the sharing has started. Taking his seat at the table he is (slightly) surprised to see that the sharing at his table is being filmed. He doesn’t disturb the narrative in already in progress to inquire about the cameraman, assuming that he is an official photographer.

But where did the video appear? Not on the official Episcopal news hub, but on YouTube, on the Anglican American website and on The Bishop in question? Who else but the Bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson.

Now the AAC website says that during Thursday’s training session, ‘Robert Lundy, AAC communications officer, randomly picked a group to observe. After he joined them, the Bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson joined the group and with permission, Lundy videotaped their practice session.’

Randomly? What a fortuitous choice. Permission? No-one remembers giving permission, but even if someone at the table had given general permission it is common courtesy, if you plan to single out one individual speaker, to ask their specific permission. Did the AAC forget their manners?

They have described their presence at Convention as ‘supporting and reporting’ (AAC update 7/10). But in April they had a different take on their activities. Chief Operation Officer Fr. Ashey compared the AAC to the Special Forces of the U.S. military. “Like Special Forces, we go behind the scenes and we blow up things,” he said, adding quickly that what the AAC blows up is principalities and powers.

We’re puzzled: Is this an example of a power? Or a principality?
Caroline Hall for IntegrityUSA

1 comment:

Bob of Atlanta said...

Manners? Did they once have manners? I don't remember any manners.