The yodel heard round the world
As the Anglican clergy proceeded down the aisle at Colorado Community Church in the Denver suburb of Englewood, Gerry Schnackenberg let fly an echoing yodel. "The crowd roared" in response, reports The Rocky Mountain News. Apparently Schnackenberg yodeled because it's one of the things he's known for. But a yodel is also a cry of excitement that apparently began as a way for the Swiss to communicate over great distances (some believe it initially served a military purpose). How appropriate, then, that the yodelling at Colorado Community Church initiated the consecration of four more bishops in the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA)—an effort by archbishops from Rwanda and Southeast Asia to offer American Anglicans an option to a liberalizing Episcopal Church.

"We have no intention of forming a new church," Archbishop Datuk Yong Ping Chung of Malaysia said after the consecrations. "There must be unity, but unity without compromising the truth of the scriptures."

But even though the AMiA leaders see the action as preserving unity rather than risking it, some members see great importance in the move. "I think this moment is akin to the Reformation—if not greater," Shirley Morris, a deacon from Pittsburgh, tells The Rocky Mountain News. "This marks a profound return to the biblical faith, which is what the Reformation was all about."

The consecrations of these four bishops seems in some ways to be even more contentious than the original two that launched the AMiA. Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, leader of the Anglican Communion worldwide, wrote a particularly strong letter to Datuk Yong Ping Chung and the Rwandan archbishop, Emmanuel Kolini, urging them to stop. "What you propose to do is ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.