Daily Archives: July 21, 2008

Lambeth Report #4: 20 minutes with Rowan

q Gene Robinson was not invited but his consecrators were. Why? I faced that question squarely. Some of his consecrators have expressed sorrow and asked for forgiveness; some have retired. The American church through their house of Bishops asked for forgiveness and I sent their letter to each Primate. Just over 50% felt it was an adequate response, as did the Joint Standing Committee. So, they were invited.

q Follow up question: CAPA bishops said they would not come if the consecrators were invited and their voices represent the majority of Anglicans in the Communion. How did you make that decision? I told each of them that their voice matters and we need to hear from them. I can’t invite the bishops of 70 million and not invite the bishops of 2 million. We don’t have that kind of parity or power politics in the Communion. Every voice counts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008

Today's Quiz: Can you name all the Bishops in this picture at Lambeth?

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

Notable and Quotable

Lambeth resolutions have acquired an influence at times “so close to authority as hardly to be distinguishable from it,” according to Cambridge University historian Owen Chadwick in his introduction to Resolutions of the Twelve Lambeth Conferences.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Lambeth 2008

Anglican Curmudgeon–Lambeth at the End of the 20th Century: The Rest of the Story

We come now in our survey to the last of the Sunday bulletin inserts prepared by Episcopal Life from a longer series (Part IV of which is here, with links to the earlier parts) by the Reverend Christopher Webber which appeared on the former Episcopal Majority Website. In many ways, as we shall see, it is the worst of the lot….

The anonymous reductor(s) have let the prescribed Episcopal Life agenda completely dominate the historical reality of what happened at the 1988 and 1998 Lambeth Conferences. In short, what Episcopal Life is offering churchgoers is not history, but undisguised propaganda.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Lambeth 2008

A BBC Radio Four Today Programme Audio Segment on the 2008 Lambeth Conference

Is there an argument for weakening the authority of Canterbury over Anglican churches in other countries? Theologian Theo Hobson and the Right Reverend Nick Baines, the Bishop of Croydon, discuss the importance of international relations within the Church.

Go here and head down to the segment for 08 40.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Lambeth 2008

ENS: Lambeth Conference structure meant for 'intense engagement,' planners say

Indaba is a method of engagement, said Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, who added that it “comes from where I was born” in Makgoa Kloof in South Africa. Indaba is used by the village chief when he or she perceives a problem in the community and calls the villagers together to seek a solution.

“What needs to happen is not to rush to quick solutions. We need to come together to define what is this that is effecting the village,” he said. “We have borrowed that methodology and process for the Lambeth Conference.”

Makgoba said that the entire conference is an exercise in indaba. “The Bible studies, the walk from your room to the Bible studies, the fellowship when you have meals together — it’s part and parcel of the dialogue and the conversation of wanting to seek who we are and what is God calling us to be at this time,” he said.

He used the example of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well during which a conversation that began as a superficial discussion about drinking water became something more profound. “That is our hope that indaba holds for us,” he said.

The Rev. Ian Douglas, a member of the Lambeth Design Group, told the briefing that the aim of the conference is to equip bishops to be better leaders in God’s mission in the world. During this first week of the conference the bishops will to consider Anglican identity, the role of bishops in evangelism and social justice, ecumenical relations, abuse of power, and issues of sustaining the world in which God carries out God’s mission. The second week is meant to “come within the household of the Anglican Communion and deal with more inter-Anglican issues” such as biblical authority, human sexuality, the proposed Anglican covenant and the continuing processes of the Windsor Report.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Rwanda: Archbishop Kolini Speaks Out on Lambeth Conference

“I hope they will repent one day,” he said, likening it to a patient seeking the doctor’s help.

Kolini said this while addressing over 200 members of the Anglican Church from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda who had come to celebrate the end of 40 days of Purpose Driven life at Presbyterian Church in Kiyovu, Kigali on Thursday.

He further explained that their refusal to attend the conference was a joint resolution of Anglican leaders from Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and other countries from South America, reached at the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem, Israel earlier.

He repeated the early criticisms of the boycotting members against Canterbury for not taking immediate action against gay supporters.

“God can’t accept this because it’s against the Bible. The norms of the Bible have been breached and therefore as a Church of God we can’t allow this,” he said.

He told churches in the region to adhere to the original doctrines of the Bible.

He cited Mathew 28: 19- 20 and said: “Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Lambeth 2008

Philip Turner: TEC’s Theological Agenda and TEC’s Strategy for the Lambeth Conference of Bishops

The TEC memo is in fact proposing a post modern, de-centered church joined not by mutual recognition of belief and practice but by allegiance to a common mission. So the second core message of the memo is “When Anglicans work together through the power of the Holy Spirit, we change the world.” What the memo means by this statement is made clear at several points. In Supporting Idea Three of the first core message we are told, “the reconciling work of Christ is at the heart of our common life.” This statement is absolutely true. However, the supporting point that follows immediately on indicates that reconciliation is adequately described by “justice, love, mercy, the healing of creation, and the end of poverty.” It would appear that Paul’s statement that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” can be adequately rendered by the millennium goals. The memo renders reconciliation in entirely moral terms. The central issue before us is our reconciliation with God from whom we are estranged. This point is utterly missing from the memo’s account of what Anglicans do when they “work together.” Failure to address this point indicates that TEC’s leadership has failed to grasp the primary worry its critics from around the communion have. To be sure, they are offended by the consecration of Gene Robinson and by the increasingly common practice of blessing sexual unions between persons of the same gender. More fundamental, however, is a concern that TEC’s gospel message is not in the first instance one about the saving power of Christ’s death and resurrection but about a moral responsibility for the ills of the world. Their concern is that in TEC’s rendition of the gospel, the tail is wagging the dog and not the dog the tail.

The previous point is crucial to an adequate evaluation both of TEC’s goals at the present gathering of our bishops in Canterbury and the theology that lies at the base of these goals. The memo contends in the last supporting idea it offers, “the church has focused on its mission rather than its disagreements in order to remain faithful.” The implication is that the mission of the church has nothing to do with the matters that now so divide the Communion””that we can do mission while in fundamental disagreement about the content of the Christian gospel. Nothing could be further from the truth! To equate the Christian gospel with the moral agenda of peace and justice is as false as it is to say that the Christian gospel has nothing to do with peace and justice. It is precisely the nature of the church’s mission that lies at the heart of our present distress. To call for the communion to join in common mission and yet pass over divergent views of the gospel is in fact incoherent.

Those of us who look to our bishops to speak truthfully about our real circumstances can only hope and pray that the incoherence of what TEC is proposing will be pointed out in no uncertain terms….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Theology

First Report from Lambeth By Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina

Frankly the significant experiences for such a recently consecrated bishop as I come so fast and feverishly it is hard to keep up with it all””but between my bishop’s journal where I record daily events, and my personal journal reserved for deeper matters of the soul I’ll revisit much of this latter. I’ve met so many possible links that may provide missional relationships for the Diocese of South Carolina that my mind is running along lines of mission, strategy, and theological alignments that I belief will be mutually beneficial to our diocese and parishes and for dioceses in every direction out from South Carolina””Ireland, England, New Zealand, India, North Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, West Africa, East Africa, et al. Some of these bishops bear names you may well recognize and others humble godly servants of God who have faced incredible challenges and have kept the faith in the midst of astonishing hardship. It heartens the soul to walk with them from one venue to another, to worship alongside them, study the scriptures with them, or share a meal in the cafeteria with them.

This morning was the 10th Sunday after Pentecost. The bishops in convocation robes processed to the Choir while the spouses of the bishops along with various dignitaries””former Archbishop Carey to name one””filled much of the Cathedral nave. As we came through the Great West Door of the Canterbury Cathedral two by two, Bishop Jack Iker with whom I was paired whispered to me something to the effect””“You won’t enter through these doors very often.” It hardly needed a response from me. I trembled for a moment. Certainly not everything in the service was to my liking””and some of it more than a little disturbing. But I’ve moved beyond that for now. What lingers is the processing, seeing my wife Allison in the congregation as I processed in, going forward to receive the sacrament for resoluteness of will, and the gospel procession with the Melanesian Brothers and Sisters dressed in tribal garb dancing from the High Altar to the Compass Rose carrying the gold Gospel Book in a coracle or little boat. All I could think of was the joy that came to aboriginal people as the gospel set them free from ancient fears and now carrying the Holy Scripture as if they were carrying Jesus as their Chief and King. That is of course what the gospel did for the early Celts, Picts, Anglo-Saxons and even Vikings on these Isles, and a thousand other tribes, tongues and nations elsewhere. The gospel always needs to be inculturated into every society and every society needs to be evangelized and transformed by gospel””including ours.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

A BBC World Service Analysis Programme on the 2008 Lambeth Conference

Herewith the BBC Blurb:

This weekend the talking starts in earnest at the Lambeth Conference, the global meeting of the Anglican church that takes place once every ten years.

This year’s event is being overshadowed by fears of a split in the church – between liberals who support the ordination of openly gay bishops and clergy, and more traditionalist leaders who say that homosexuality is fundamentally a sin.

Ed Butler examines the theological basis for the rift in the Anglican Communion.


Among those heard from are Wallace Benn, Gene Robinson, Benjamin Nzimbi, Graham Kings, Colin Coward and Theo Hobson (Gene Robinson is most unhelpfully referred to as from the see city of “Boston” which will come as news to the diocese of New Hampshire).

Listen to it all (about 9 minutes)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Joanna Sugden: The Lambeth shindig begins with nerves and half-naked dancers

But what of those who had the stamina to make it to both events? The Bishop of Wyoming, the Right Rev Bruce Caldwell, compared the two. “Both were wonderful. Both were delightful in different ways. In the cathedral there was amazing architecture and voices of the choirs and singing. And here we have got a simple field and a simple wooden cross. I think Jesus was at both of them.”

There were some niggles from party-goers, however. The Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Right Rev Bob Duncan, said: “It was a glorious service, it was a gathering of the family, but there were troublesome elements ”“ the Buddhist chant, for example, and the sermon had a few challenges. A number of our brothers didn’t make their Communion.”

One Roman Catholic present, who asked not to be named, told The Times: “It was an extraordinary service, enough to make me consider becoming an Anglican.” How many and who they were may never be known as they were all huddled in the venue’s VIP area, screened off from prying eyes.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Reuters: Anglican archbishop urges Church to address divide

Anglican leader Rowan Williams has urged bishops to address the deep divisions in the Church at a summit boycotted by a quarter of them over the ordination of gay clergy.

“We must be honest about how deep some of the hurts and difficulties currently are,” the spiritual leader of the world’s 77 million Anglicans said of the Lambeth conference being staged in the English cathedral city of Canterbury.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008

Michigan Anglicans confront crossroads over gay clergy, teachings

For years, worshippers at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Livonia patiently put up with their diocese as it adopted a series of liberal changes that clashed with biblical tradition. But the breaking point came in 2003, when the Episcopal Church — with the approval of the local diocese — consecrated an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

After a testy meeting with Episcopal leaders, about two-thirds of the 300-member congregation bolted in 2006, leaving a church many of them grew up in. Two years later, they said they have no regrets.

“It just wasn’t a Christian church anymore,” explained Chris Darnell, 41, of Northville.

Those words reflect a schism playing out within the Anglican Communion — the largest Protestant body in the world — as it faces an identity crisis that threatens to split its 77 million members. Four congregations in Michigan have broken away in recent years from the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the United States that has 87 churches in Michigan, with about 24,000 members.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Telegraph: Archbishop of Canterbury to spell out new rules for Anglicans

The Archbishop of Canterbury will today spell out how he hopes a new set of rules can solve “one of the most severe challenges” in the history of the Anglican church.

In an impassioned opening speech last night to the 600 bishops gathered for the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, Dr Rowan Williams criticised both conservatives and liberals for their actions in the crisis over sexuality.

He said the “new doctrine” on homosexuality being adopted by progressive churches in America and Canada, who have elected an openly gay bishop and blessed same-sex unions in defiance of guidelines, was causing “pain and perplexity”.

But Dr Williams claimed the reaction by traditionalists, some of whom have defected from their national churches and who are now planning to create a new church-within-a-church, had also created “pressures”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

New York Times: Anglican Bishops Meet in Canterbury

This year’s conference will hold no formal plenary debates, and will vote on no resolutions. Working with a “design team” that included at least one representative from the American church, the Rev. Ian T. Douglas from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., Archbishop Williams devised a format that allotted three days, beginning last week, for the bishops to go into retreat at the cathedral, meeting in small groups to discuss, pray and listen to five sermons by Archbishop Williams. To limit the risks of discord, conference organizers say they have asked the bishops to take “appropriate care” in anything they say to reporters. In the second week, the bishops move into larger sessions to deal directly with the issue of gay and female clerics, in a session titled “Human Sexuality and the Witness of Scripture.”

The arrangements have led to criticism of Archbishop Williams from liberals and conservatives, who say his “stealth” approach to the most sensitive issues will do nothing to resolve them. The criticism has built on a frequent critique of the straggly-bearded Archbishop Williams, 58, as an other-worldly, Oxford-educated theologian who lacks the political skills, and perhaps the power of personality, to force compromise. His supporters say the divide is so wide that he has little choice but to play for time, and hope that Christian values of tolerance and understanding will foster a spirit of compromise.

Dr. Phillip Aspinall, the Anglican primate of Australia, acting as chief spokesman for the conference, offered a weary prognosis after Sunday’s Eucharist of what the talking might achieve. “The last Lambeth Conference didn’t resolve our differences, the one before that didn’t resolve them, and this one won’t, either,” he said. “That’s the journey of life, until the Lord returns, I’m afraid.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008