There’s been a lot of talk about syncretism on MissionalCOG, but what passes for it in the Church of God is nothing compared to this:
Bishop Geralyn Wolf of the Diocese of Rhode Island has inhibited the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding for publicly professing her adherence to the Muslim faith.
The notice states that the diocesan “Standing Committee has determined that Dr. Redding abandoned the Communion of the Episcopal Church by formal admission into a religious body not in communion with the Episcopal Church. The bishop has affirmed that determination…”
Redding’s knowledge of Islam grew after her arrival at Seattle’s St. Mark’s Cathedral (http://www.saintmarks.org) as director of faith formation and renewal in 2001. “There was already interest in the parish about interfaith relations, and of course interest in Islam grew exponentially,” she said. She currently lives in Seattle, but no longer works at St. Mark’s. She teaches at a Jesuit seminary but is canonically resident in Rhode Island and therefore under Wolf’s authority.
While serving at St. Mark’s, said Redding in an interview, “I was facing a personal crisis and I needed to surrender. I did know that the word ‘Islam’ means ‘surrender,” but I was surprised when I received what I believe is one of the few invitations I’ve received from God in my life, and that unexpected invitation was to surrender by taking my Shahadah.
In all of the inhibitions, depositions and lawsuits that have characterised Episcopal life these last few years, I have to say that Bishop Wolf–herself a convert from Judaism–has got it right. You can’t be a Muslim and a Christian at the same time.
The immediate problem now for Redding is that Islam doesn’t have women imams, so she’s back to the mosque floor, so to speak. And then, of course, there’s this…