The Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church are in a mess - a big mess. There are several forces at work that contribute to the mess, but I think that one of the biggest is the issue of trust. The progressives and traditionalists simply don't trust each other. We both accuse the each other of being more interested in property and power and "winning" than in the people and mission of spreading the Good News of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. We are too ready to see the wrong that the other side does to us and not ready enough to see how "we" (whether that is the progressive we or traditionalist we) contribute to it. Over at Fr. Jakes, one commenter is activly gathering and posting information on the congregations that have asked for episcopal oversight from +Greg Venables or one of the bishops in the Southern Cone and is soliciting people to write to the governments of countries in Southern Cone to see if any finance laws are being violated by these parishes contributing money to SC. That is the level of vitriol and anger that is exists today. This anger exists on all sides of the problem.
Anger is one of the seven deadly sins and will form a shield against God's grace and love. So, what can we do to reduce the anger and to restore trust?
First, I think that a viable plan that allows a parish to seek alternative episcopal oversight from a bishop that it chooses. There should be some guidelines, such as the parish requesting a new bishop should have to lay out its case for why the Ordinary (or the Coadjudor / Suffragan / Assistant / Assisting bishop(s)) is not appropriate for the congregation. This should include specific actions and stated beliefs that are outside of mainstream Anglicanism. Examples could include the authorization of blessing same sex unions or a denial of any of the creeds (as a "reasonable man" would interpret them). There should be a list of appropriate active and retired bishops who are available and and that parishes should be allowed to choose from. The Ordinary should not have veto power over the parish's choice - unless he can show why the reasoning of the parish is faulty or that he does not hold, teach, or believe what the parish claims he does. Where there is conflict, an arbitration team composed of one person appointed by the parish, one by the Bishop, and one mutually agreed to will decide the question. No lawsuits will occur.
Second, we need to stop the lawsuits and stop them now. Bringing a lawsuit in court is no way to engage in reconciliation. Instead, we should provide for binding arbitration to work out a settlement that honors the contributions of the national church office, the diocese, and the parish. If the diocese holds title to the property, then the people can leave and the diocese have an empty building, but the parish should not be able to take its property without some consideration. Likewise, if the parish holds the title to the property, then it can leave, but some compensation should be given to the diocese and national church. Endowments and trust funds belonging to a parish should be split based on a validated vote of the congregation. For example, assume a parish has a 1 million dollar trust fund and that parish decides to leave TECUSA on a 70/30 split. In that case the "leavers" get 700,000 and the stayers get 300,000. If there is an impasse between the diocese and the parish, an arbitration team should be called in to bring settlement. Note that if we impliment a viable AEO plan, this should become significantly less necessary.
Third, we need to find a way to let clergy transfer to another Anglican province without deposing them for "abandonment of communion." If a bishop, priest, or deacon cannot stay within TECUSA, then he or she should be allowed to transfer to another province - even if that province has congregations in the geographic boundries of TECUSA. This leaves the door open for future reconciliation such that the clergy person can return to TECUSA at a future date.
Finally, we need to stop talking past each other and assuming that the other side is more interested in winning that following and promoting the Gospel. This means taking what our opponents say at face value. When they ask a honest question, give an honest answer. At all times, avoid name calling or assuming motives that are not stated.