As indicated in the last posting, a number of people are thinking on the same lines regarding voluntary withdrawal of The Episcopal Church from Communion functions. Mark Harris even has an imaginary letter.
Mine would go further, be swifter in effect and clear the decks. Here is my imaginary letter (it leaves unstated who actually makes such a decision, nor does it state to whom it is written):
The Episcopal Church has been a willing and full participant in the Anglican Communion. In recent years, in the face of criticism from some member Churches for our welcoming and inclusivist stance as regards all our people, and because of our desire to remain in the Communion, we have exercised moratoria regarding actions of blessings of gay and lesbian people and consecrating any bishop in an active homosexual relationship.
It is now unclear how long the moratoria would be expected to continue, and we fear that decisions in the Anglican Communion towards a Pastoral Forum, a Faith and Order Commission and a Covenant (particularly on restrictive lines) would intend to prevent our welcoming and inclusivist stance from continuing.
We believe that the Lambeth Conference 2008 involved much in the way of useful listening and hearing the varied positions of Anglicans throughout the world. We have reflected upon these in depth. However, no resolutions were passed and we see no grounds for decisions made for a Pastoral Forum, a Faith and Order Commission and a Covenant (particularly on restrictive lines). We see no grounds for any transformation of the Anglican Communion towards the formation of a worldwide Church, and cannot participate in such changes.
We believe that after the Lambeth Conference 2008 a stage has been reached where we need to make changes in our moratoria and in our relationship with the Anglican Communion.
We have therefore decided that, whilst remaining nominally members of the Anglican Communion, to withdraw all participation from the organs of the Anglican Communion. We have also decided to end our moratoria and are once again actively welcoming and including all to the Lord's table, to bless relationships that intend to be loving and permanent, and to consecrate those who are duly selected for the episcopacy regardless of their sexuality.
We do, of course, continue to welcome representations from members of the Anglican Communion, particularly from other Anglican Churches. We continue to make and welcome agreements with those who share our faith and values.
We understand that the Anglican Church of Canada is making its own statement at this time. We extend our warmest greetings to the Anglican Church of Canada and look forward to working closely with this Church.
This decision is with immediate effect.
Note that there is no mention of GAFCON or any others. Their effect would be treated internally, that is to say when people leave or property is taken. This is a letter simply to the Communion and that is it, a withdrawal that is swift, clear, clean, and allows whatever follows to follow.