One of seven responses by "20-40" aged Anglican "theological thinkers" reflecting on recent statistical reports and possible end of the Anglican Church by 2040.
"We need to begin with a perspective check. As Canadian theologian Mary Jo Leddy argues, as Christians living in North America, we inhabit an imperial imagination. Simply put, the imperial imagination is a way of seeing the world that begins with the assumption that 'it's all about us'." "The imperial imagination is a problem because it runs against the grain of one of the most basic claims made by our faith: the story does not belong to us. We are neither its authors nor its principal characters. ... the Great Storyteller has already revealed to us the story's arc in the life of Israel and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Our role then, rather than authorship, is attribution. We are to live our lives as footnotes to that story". "By 2040, shifting rainfall patterns, ocean acidification and extreme weather events are expected to lead to global food and water shortages, limiting the necessities of life for a significant amount of the planet's population, and the majority of the world's Anglicans". "In terms of statistically motivated survival stories, the Anglican Church of Canada's is neither the most interesting, nor the most important". Speaking of the congregation in which he now ministers and worships, Metcalfe says: "We often meet in a small, beautiful and decaying neo-Gothic church building ... Our church hall is currently propped up by giant cinder blocks. Hot water has long ceased to flow through our bathroom faucets. We no longer use the word 'church mice' as a metaphor. As a church community, we know our institutional existence is fragile. Our buildings might decay beyond our capacity to repair them ... the church mice might finally overthrow us, subjecting us to their dominion. These are realities we must deal with, but they do not overwhelm us, because we know we don't have to make the story come out right. This frees us to focus our energy on becoming more faithful footnotes in the time and in the place that the Great Storyteller has given us".
Author is "Canon Theologian, Diocese of Quebec and Interim Priest, St. Michael's, Sillery, Que."