Category : Lambeth 2008

Phil Ashey–GAFCON Gathers Bishops In June 2020 To Guard And Proclaim The Faith

…there is one development I wish to comment on: the announcement of a GAFCON Bishops Conference June 8-14, 2020 in Kigali Rwanda (prior to the July 2020 Lambeth Conference).

Of the Lambeth 2020 Conference of Bishops, the GAFCON Primates wrote:

“We were reminded of the words of Jeremiah 6:14, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” Last year in Jerusalem our delegates urged us not to attend Lambeth 2020 if godly order in the Communion had not been restored. They respectfully called upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to effect the necessary changes that fell within his power and responsibility.

We have not yet received a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury. We note that, as it currently stands, the conference is to include provinces who continue to violate Lambeth Resolution I.10 thereby putting the conference itself in violation of its own resolution: failing to uphold faithfulness in marriage and legitimising practices incompatible with Scripture. This incoherence further tears the fabric of the Anglican Communion and undermines the foundations for reconciliation.”

Let’s not forget the context. The 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops passed Resolution I.10 upholding faithfulness in marriage between one man and one woman for life, abstinence in all other cases, and rejected as incompatible with the Bible homosexual “practice,” the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions and the ordination to Holy Orders of those in same-gender unions. This Resolution was passed by a vote of the overwhelming majority of bishops of the Anglican Communion (526-70).

Ten years later at the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury decided to suspend the practice of Anglican bishops declaring the official teaching of the Church through resolutions. For the first time, the Lambeth Conference engaged in small group Indaba discussions that resolved nothing. The 2002 institution of rites for the blessing of same sex unions in the Diocese of New Westminster (Canada) and the 2003 consecration of a Bishop in a same gender union in New Hampshire USA (TEC), in defiance of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 (1998) were allowed to stand unchallenged by the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Over 300 bishops….[declined to compromise the gospel and declined the invitation to attend] in protest of that advance decision by Canterbury, published the Jerusalem Declaration and formed Gafcon instead.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Blog Open Thread: Your Thoughts on the Tenth Anniversary of the Plano Conference

Remember that the more specific you can be, the more the rest of us will get from your comments–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, GAFCON I 2008, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture, Windsor Report / Process

6 Episcopal Church Bishops visit Justin Welby out of Concern for the Anglican mess in America

…It is our vocation as Communion Partners to navigate this narrow path between two dangerous extremes as we pursue the mission of the Church “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”To that end, six Communion Partner bishops (Greg Brewer, Paul Lambert, Ed Little, Dan Martins, Ed Salmon and Michael Smith) made a visit to Archbishop Justin Welby at his residence in Canterbury, England last week.

There we prayed together and discussed a range of issues concerning the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church. Also present was the Archbishop’s Director of Reconciliation, Canon David Porter.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

”˜On the edge of a precipice’– Archbishop Welby’s doomsday warning to a feuding Church

In his most stark comments yet about divisions over issues such as homosexuality, the Most Rev Justin Welby said the Church is coming perilously close to plunging into a “ravine of intolerance”.

He even drew parallels between the crisis afflicting the 77 million-strong network of Anglican churches and the atmosphere during the English Civil War.

And he likened the collective behaviour of the church to a “drunk man” staggering ever closer to edge of a cliff.

Read it all and the sermon text being cited is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

(AP) Gene Robinson Reflects on his Time in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson says he chafed for several years at being branded the first openly gay bishop of the Anglican Church until he realized that he was wasting a pulpit from which he could advocate for equality.

“I’d been given this really remarkable opportunity and it would be selfish of me not to be the best steward of that opportunity,” he recently told The Associated Press in an interview as he prepares to retire in January. “We went from my consecration, which set off this international controversy, to nine years later seeing gay, lesbian and transgender congregants welcome at all levels of the church, including bishop.”

Robinson’s election in 2003 as the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican church created an international uproar and led conservative Episcopalians to break away from the main church in the United States.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Lambeth Resolutions from 1998 and 2008 Compared

You can find the 1998 material there and that from 2008 here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Lambeth 2008, Theology

Mark Andrus–Anglican Covenant statment made at the House of Bishops meeting

I also want to remember the statement of the Primate of Korea, who with two other primates addressed our House of Bishops on the subject of the proposed covenant. He strikingly said that the province he served would reject the proposed covenant, because, in their considered opinion, to accept would be to internalize the colonialism the has inhered in the historical relationship between the Anglican provinces of the West and their province.

My own memory is of having participated in the Lambeth Conference, 2008, a conference where it was made widely clear that we would have a non-legislative meeting ”“ no voting. There were a series of meetings held on the proposed covenant, all of which I attended. The points of view expressed about the fourth part of the proposed covenant, which contains a mechanism whereby errant (in the judgment of some larger part of the Communion) provinces could have their status as full and equal members of the Communion reduced, were strongly negative. In our daily Indaba groups (discussion groups of about 40 bishops each), the proposed covenant was a discussion topic on one day. Though there was no voting, as advertised, amazingly the report that came out from Lambeth regarding the content of the conference said that a majority of participants favored an Anglican covenant. No mention was made of the opinions expressed in the meetings focused on the proposed covenant.

Read it all.

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

Tom Wright–Rowan Williams: An Appreciation

Rowan’s style has been private and unstrategic. Once, questioned about strategy, he responded crossly ”˜I believe in the Holy Spirit!’, seemingly oblivious to the possibility that the Spirit might work through long-term planning. Maybe that’s what we needed then. Certainly nobody doubts that he leads by example in his life of prayer and self-discipline. But we now need consultation, collaboration, and, yes, strategy. Despite routine pessimism, the Church of England isn’t finished. In a sense, it’s just getting going. We need someone with vision and energy to pick up from where Rowan’s charismatic style has led us and to develop and deepen things from there.

A new Archbishop must be allowed to lead. Yes, there are deep divisions. Part of the next Archbishop’s task will be to discern and clarify the difference between the things that really do divide and the things that people believe will do so but which need not. But, at the same time, there are problems of structure and organization that slow things down and soak up energy, problems that can and should be fixed so that the church and its leaders can be released for their mission, and to tackle properly the problems we face.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

(BBC) Trevor Timpson–The Rowan Williams approach to Anglican controversies

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

A Look Back–Paul Elie's Atlantic Article in March 2009 on Rowan Williams

As Williams began his tenure as archbishop in 2003, though, the ordination of Robinson sent the issue of gay bishops to the head of the agenda. By last summer, with the Lambeth Conference approaching, schism seemed inevitable. Some bishops opposed to homosexual clergy held a rival conference in Jerusalem, denouncing Williams as a liberal pawn. Traditionalists announced plans to “go over” to the Roman Catholic Church or form their own church unless Williams got rid of Robinson. Gay activists circulated an old essay by Williams in which he had eloquently celebrated gay and lesbian relationships; the commentariat mocked him as a holy fool for some approving remarks he had made about Islamic law. Friends of Williams said he might resign. “God has given you all the gifts,” one friend told him, “and as your punishment, he has made you archbishop of Canterbury.”

The schism hasn’t come””not yet. The Anglican Communion, the world’s third-largest group of Christians after the Catholics and the Orthodox, is still standing””a “hugely untidy but very lovable” body, in the words of its most famous member, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African Nobel laureate. But its unity has been compromised. In December, a half-dozen bishops broke with the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and announced their plans to found a rival Anglican Community for North America.

It is now, with his office under pressure from both left and right, that Rowan Williams’s real work is beginning….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

(Living Church) New Film Advocating TEC's new Theology Coming to an Aunt Betty Near You

…a sort of evangelistic outreach is planned in conjunction with the rollout of the documentary. Robinson said moviegoers should not expect to see Love Free or Die in many theaters. Instead, the plan is to make a DVD available to individuals and congregations through the film’s website, with an emphasis on group showings for “the movable middle.”

“We are asking that everyone who sees the movie invite a person ”” a family member, a coworker, a former classmate ”” who are among that large group of people who for the most part love us ”” they know us, they think positively about us ”” but they still go in the voting booth and vote against us,” Robinson said. “You know about that here in California.”

Robinson repeatedly referred to an iconic “Aunt Betty” as the film’s target audience. “Make it your project this year to call them up and say, ”˜Aunt Betty, you remember how we had that little altercation at Thanksgiving? Can I get you out for coffee, and let’s talk about that?’” Robinson said. “And then, it looks as if this will be showing on PBS in the fall, and ”¦ we’re working on getting it shown on Thanksgiving weekend. So you’ll be at home with Aunt Betty, and you can have a better conversation this time.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Media, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

(Thisday) Nigerian Archbishop Okoh Speaks on Marriage and Slipping Sexual Standards

“It’s through marriage that people should enter into true sexual life. It’s not the process of re-inventing the third person because God did not invent the marriage between two same-sex persons as the cases in homosexuality and lesbianism.” He admonished those practising it to repent and come out of it because it’s evil.

The cleric argued that if God considered that yet another man was what Adam needed as companion and help mate in the Garden of Eden, He would have created another man, not a woman for Adam, stressing that, “He did not do that but rather created a unique person in the form of a woman different from the man.”

He lamented that there is moral decadence pervading the labyrinth of society in so much a way that hitherto despicable acts like lesbianism and homosexuality are gradually being decorated with public appeal and now receiving tolerance and even applause in today’s society.

Read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Ted Lewis–Anglican Conciliarism: A Bright Hope Extinguished

The end of conciliarism, which accords with the practice of the early church, is to be regarded as tragic. The Anglican tragedy, like its medieval counterpart, may be seen as stemming from the reluctance of the central authority to relinquish or even dilute its control. This reluctance is not necessarily a matter of perversity, however. To be sure, the reluctance of Anglican Communion Office, instanced by their keeping the ACC in line in Jamaica, has seemed motivated by a desire to avoid offending TEC, which provides much of their funding. But from their perspective TEC’s financial support may appear essential for the proper functioning of the Communion. They have seemed concerned also to avoid alienating the liberal wing of the Church of England. But this may be not just out of ideological predisposition. It may also reflect a belief that the CofE could not afford the resulting exacerbation of its divisions.

To Archbishop Rowan himself, with his brilliant mind, deep learning, and winning personality, such considerations may have less application. The explanation in his case may lie more in his espousal of a theology militating against closure on any issue, and thus supportive of the inclinations of the Anglican Communion Office, as of the interests of TEC, by default. Charles Raven, in his 2010 book Shadow Gospel: the Theology of Rowan Williams and the Anglican Communion Crisis, made an impressive case to this effect. As for Rowan’s adherence to such a theology despite all his sophistication, being essentially an academic, without secular or even significant parish experience, perhaps limits his awareness of the outside world.

If, then, there is to be a revival of Anglican conciliarism, it will have to come not from the Instruments in their now compromised state but instead out of churches of the Global South, together with their Western allies. These churches have laid a basis for it already in Gafcon, their conference in Jerusalem in June 2008. There the Spirit was clearly at work, producing conciliarly the extraordinary Jerusalem Declaration. So far, despite the South-to-South Encounter in Singapore in April 2010 and the CAPA meeting in Uganda last August, the Global South leaders have not followed up on it. But by absenting themselves from the Dublin Primates’ Meeting and thereby sealing its irrelevance, they have taken on a responsibility to do so. For the sake of conciliarism and of Anglicanism itself, they need now, in American terms, to step up to the plate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Notable and Quotable (I)

John Sentamu needs to stay at York and not be sent to Canterbury, an archiepiscopal see of dubious seniority, anyway. He needs to stay at York because of the Lambeth Conference. This is a once-every-10-years get-together of all the archbishops and bishops of the world-wide Anglican Communion and the next such shindig is in 2008.

It will, however, be almost entirely a waste of time and money, a squabble over various matters, particularly homosexuality and, more specifically, bishops with same-sex partners.

It will be an occasion when we shall witness an almighty, ungodly showdown between tradionalists and liberals. And it will probably lead to the final break-up of the Anglican Communion, already seriously fractured over the gay issue.

–Michael Brown, the Yorkshire Post’s Religious Affairs Correspondent, in a column on October 19, 2006

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

(ACNS/All Africa) Nineteen Anglican Bishops Gather in Tanzania and then Release Joint Statement

In a joint statement issued after a “Consultation of Bishops in Dialogue” meeting held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania the church leaders said they had shared testimonies about partnership mission work. Through this a common thread had emerged “our experience of finding ourselves in each other.”

“Across the globe, across the Communion, we actually really need one another,” the bishops’ statement said. “We are stronger in relationship than when we are apart. This, we believe, is a work of engaging in Communion building rather than Communion breaking. In the words of the Toronto Congress of 1963 we are engaged in living in ‘mutual responsibility and interdependence’ (Ephesians 2:13-22)”.

The bishops hailed from Sudan, Botswana, Malawi, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Canada, the United States and England. They met at the end of February as a group of partner pairs and triads and discussed a range of issues including human sexuality, slavery and tackling poverty.

Read it all.

Update: An ENS article appears here also.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Kenya, Lambeth 2008, Tanzania

Church Times–If Jefferts Schori is at meeting, I won’t come, says Primate

Primates from the Global South are contemplating a boycott of the next Primates’ Meeting because the US Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be present.

The Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, has confirmed that he will not attend the meeting, due to take place in Dublin, 25-31 January.

Archbishop Ernest said last week that he had written to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the summer to convey his distress at the election in the United States of the Rt Revd Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as Bishop of Los Angeles. He had urged Dr Williams to exclude Dr Jefferts Schori from future Primates’ Meetings.

“There were conditions attached in that letter,” he said last week, “and I can confirm I will not attend if those conditions are not fulfilled.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Greater Cincinnati Area Episcopal priest quits over same sex union blessing issues

The Rev. Stockton Wulsin, pastor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Evanston, resigned effective Sept. 30.

He told his congregation in a letter dated July 19 – the same day the church’s Vestry issued a letter to church members confirming that it had accepted the resignation.

In his letter, which Wulsin said was not intended for the public, the priest cited two reasons for his decision. “The Anglican Communion has been in a state of crisis for several years over the choice of the American Episcopal Church to ordain bishops living in openly homosexual relationships and to pronounce liturgical blessings on people living in same sex relationships.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Ruth Gledhill: Pentecost and the Anglican schism

Christians in the West have just finished celebrating Pentecost, the feast which marks the day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and rendered them able to speak om foreign languages

But in the schism-torn Anglican Communion there has been a little less hand-waving than usual. Instead there has been the descent of the Archbishop of Canterbury in admonition of his church, in a letter where he gives tongue to uncharacteristic displeasure.

After years of suffering the spectacle of the conservative and liberal members of his Communion fight a towering Babel-like war of words over sexuality, in which neither side has ever seemed truly to understand the others, Dr Rowan Williams has finally been moved by the spirit of the times to act….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

The Presidential Address of Bishop Tom Wright at Diocese of Durham's Synod

We have for years in the Anglican Communion operated a tacit rule of agreeing to differ about many things but trying not to do or say things which will cause other Anglicans to stumble. The Lambeth Conference has been the main instrument of this process: broad agreement can be reached on major issues while the provinces retain autonomy in their own lives. Thus, for instance, the Lambeth Conference agreed that it was all right to admit children to Communion prior to Confirmation, which then opened up the question for any individual Province to discuss, as most now have. Our own General Synod repeated Lambeth’s point, so the issue was then passed down to dioceses. Our own Diocese in turn agreed, so the issue has now become a matter for individual parishes. That is a model of how you discern that something is adiaphora, and how you deal with the issue once that has been decided, respecting consciences all the way through. It highlights again this key point: the question of whether a particular issue is adiaphora or not cannot itself be adiaphora. It wouldn’t have done for the Parish of St-Muddy-by-the-Sea to decide independently that the question of unconfirmed children receiving Communion was adiaphora and then proceeding to take its own decision without reference to its diocese, its province, or the whole Communion.

This is the point which emerges with great clarity from St Paul. He is not at all advocating what we today call ”˜tolerance’ ”“ a loose, flabby laissez-faire approach which shrugs its shoulders and says ”˜just do your own thing’. His aim is not the creation of several different communities each going its own way, but of one single Body of Christ. In that single family, practices that would divide Christians from one another on ethnic grounds are to be treated as adiaphora, however vital and mandatory they may have been for the Jewish people ”“ not least Paul himself in his Pharisaic past! ”“ prior to the coming of the Messiah. At the same time, that same goal ”“ the creation and maintenance of the one Body of Christ ”“ demands new standards of life to which all must conform, in relation to which pagans in particular will experience a considerable moral challenge. These new standards, spelt out in letter after letter, are not adiaphora. They ”“ I am thinking of patience and practical love, of purity both in speech and in sexual behaviour ”“ may not be as central as the Trinity or the Atonement, but they remain mandatory.

Here then is the point, which meets us on page after page in Paul: the move from something being mandatory to that same thing being non-mandatory (e.g. circumcision), from something being prohibited to that same thing being permitted for those who wish (e.g. eating pork), from something being essential to something being trivial ”“ that move is not itself trivial. It is of the utmost importance. It is essential for Paul that the Jewish food-laws, like circumcision and Sabbath-keeping, are non-mandatory for those in Christ””or, to put it the other way round, that the Jewish prohibitions against eating pork and so on are now lifted. And he explains, again and again, why this particular shift has happened. It isn’t, despite centuries of misrepresentation, that Judaism was a religion of harsh and difficult laws and Christianity was all about getting rid of moral rules and regulations. It is, rather, that God has in Jesus Christ created a single family composed of people from every ethnic background. There are strict new rules for this family, because this family is the new humanity, the re-creation of the human race, the new Genesis; but one of those strict new rules is the complete relaxation of the regulations that would have kept Jews and Gentiles permanently separated. So, to repeat: the question of which things are adiaphora and which things are not, what is essential and what is trivial, is not itself a matter of indifference. It is vital; it is theologically rooted; it has nothing to do with an easy-going tolerance, let alone the assimilation of the church to its surrounding culture, and everything to do with the new humanity which has come into being in the Messiah, Jesus. This is the point we urgently need to grasp in relation to several pressing issues.

All this means that this question, which differences make a difference and which don’t, cannot itself be decided locally.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Theology, Theology: Scripture

ACNS–Continuing Indaba: web pages now available

The arrival of Continuing Indaba on the Internet as part of the Anglican Communion web site makes visible the preparatory work already in hand for the series of pilot conversations between dioceses from different parts of the Communion to take place during 2010 and 2011.

Visitors to the new site will find an outline of the project,, which explains its origins as located within an African conversational method for resolving real or potential conflict through mutual listening and debate. The process emerges from the Indaba-style format used at the 2008 Lambeth Conference which is now being expanded to enhance the world-wide Anglican Communion in its quest to intensify relationships in the cause of shared mission.

These pages carry news of the initial series of ”˜hub’ meetings around the world during late 2009 and early 2010 whose remit is to develop resources which can guide and inform the model conversations between participants from dioceses from across the world.

There is also a growing library of the resource papers generated from and through the ”˜hubs’ in order to make them as widely available as possible for those wishing to follow the development of the Continuing Indaba conversations planned for 2010 and 2011….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008, Windsor Report / Process

Mary Eberstadt in First Things:Is the end of the Anglican Communion itself now in sight?

Once in a while comes an historical event so momentous, so packed with unexpected force, that it acts like a large wave under still water, propelling us momentarily up from the surface of our times onto a crest, where the wider movements of history may be glimpsed better than before.

Such an event was Benedict XVI’s landmark announcement in October 2009 offering members of the Anglican Communion a fast track into the Catholic Church. Although commentators quickly dubbed this unexpected overture a “gambit,” what it truly exhibits are the characteristics of a move known in chess as a “brilliancy,” an unforeseen bold stroke that stunningly transforms the game. In the short run, knowledgeable people agree, this brilliancy of Benedict’s may not seem to amount to much. Some 1000 Church of England priests may convert and some 300 parishes turn over to Rome””figures that, while significant when measured against the dwindling numbers of practicing Anglicans there, are nonetheless mere drops in the Vatican’s bucket.

But in the longer run””say, over the coming decades””Rome’s move looks consequential in another way. It is the latest and most dramatic example of how orthodoxy, rather than dissent, seems once again to have taken the driver’s seat of Christianity. Every traditionalist who joins the long and already illustrious history of reconversion to the Catholic Church just tips the religious balance more toward Rome. This further weakens a religious communion battered from within by decades of intra-Anglican culture wars. Meanwhile, the progressives left behind may well find the exodus of their adversaries a Pyrrhic victory. How will they possibly make peace with the real majority of Anglicans today””the churches in Africa, whose leaders have repeatedly denounced the Communion’s abandonment of traditional teachings? Questions like these are why a few commentators now speak seriously about something that only recently seemed unthinkable: whether the end of the Anglican Communion itself might now be in sight.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Chicago Consultation: God's Call and Our Response, Essays in regard to one L.A. Episcopal Election

Read it all (30 page pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Ephraim Radner offers some Thoughts on Rowan Williams, the Covenant and recent Anglican Meetings

From here:

I have had my own disappointments and outright disagreements with Canterbury’s chosen course of action at various points over the last few years, and I have shared this with him personally. Where some have urged a “bolder” response to TEC, within the limits of his ecclesial and moral authority, I have urged the same thing. But I categorically reject the charges made here that he has set about to undermine agreements made among the Primates, as at Dar es Salaam, or to manipulate and ignore legal processes such as those in place at the ACC last May.

In the first instance, RW was personally a key player (not the only one) at getting the Dar agreement nominally accepted, through face to face persuasion on the floor, as it were. That has been stated by several GS primates present at the time. But the agreement was also made possible by the compromise work of primates who were not personally disposed to aspects of its content, e.g. Australia. The Dar agreement, in other words, was intrinsically fragile, based as it was on temporary dynamics and uncertain internal commitments. The sense of Lambeth, it soon became apparent, was that its prosecution was thereby vulnerable from the start, and at the first sign of withdrawal of strong support outside of the meeting, Lambeth decided that pressing the agreement concretely would be counterproductive to the agreements actual aims. These “signs” included TEC and AMiA both immediately rejecting key provisions, and their allies quickly standing behind them.

I believe that RW gave up too quickly, choosing instead (as he has consistently done) to rebuild alternative consensus for change through other groups (e.g. the Windsor Continuation Group). This is fair game to debate and criticize, it seems to me. But the notion that RW was the skunk in the patch here is, to put it bluntly, a matter of sinners throwing stones. The Primates Meeting had already proved to be, in certain respects, a place where bishops behaved badly, and the fact that it was judged to be a weak reed should surprise no one. I don’t believe it needed to be left at this place, but again, that is matter for debate.

As for the ACC, we all know that the running of this meeting was a procedural disaster that has set back the ACC’s credibility enormously, fanning the flames of suspicion by all and sundry. No one can mitigate that loss of trust or the justifications in general for that loss. But there is a long way between such generally well-founded worries about the ACC’s ability to do its job fairly and well, and condemning this or that individual with deliberate and malicious intent. “Manipulation” there was, I would think, although any precise assessment of blame is not possible to come by. And Canterbury’s role in this demonstrates confusion””albeit deeply regrettable confusion””rather than strategic subversion. Furthermore, the outcome with respect to the Covenant strikes me as a sign of recognition of this fact: amazingly expeditious revision, and starkly restrained in its focus. People don’t seem to admit mistakes much anymore in public; but the manner of this outcome adds up to an admission of sorts. That is my read of the matter, and I don’t think it is particularly pollyannish. Not, that is, in the face of the anti-Stalinists and anti-Czarists faced off against each other.

I remain convinced that those leaders””bishops, clergy, and laity””who can order their service to the church for the long haul, steadily and solidly faithful, ordered, engaged in commonly established processes of ecclesial life, honest and charitable, and perseverant in their commitments within and for the sake of the people shared (not just locally), will prevail. That is a promise of the Lord, it seems, to “those who endure to the end”. People like Abps. Chew and Mouneer Anis presently, or Gomez recently; and others. And, for all my concerns about this and that, Rowan Williams too has demonstrated a perserverence that is bound to his faith in Christ Jesus as Lord, and not to self-interest. From that certainly I can be strengthened. So should others be, whether or not they can affirm his decisions in this or that particular matter.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Windsor Report / Process

A.S. Haley on Archbp. Rowan Williams, the Presiding Bishop and recent Anglican Action and Reaction

Thus ++Rowan played true to his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, while Bishop Griswold, enthusiastically supported by the same-sex activists in ECUSA, arrogated to himself the right to act in derogation of the bishops of Lambeth. Both did so despite the scorn which each thereby called upon his decision — although the collective scorn heaped upon ++Rowan has never ceased, while that allocated to Presiding Bishop Griswold ended with his retirement. By remaining on the stage, and what is more by remaining steadfastly true to the limitations of his position, Archbishop Rowan has remained the sole target on which both sides could vent their anger. Hence he is in the impossible part of a “first among equals” who is now seen as neither “first” nor “equal”.

Meanwhile, back at ECUSA, the Most Reverend Frank Griswold has given place to the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori. If Bishop Griswold arrogated to himself the right to act in derogation of his colleagues at Lambeth, Bishop Jefferts Schori seized the opportunity to so to act even before she had ever gone to Lambeth and met her equals. What is more, she has from the outset of her term in office presumed to act in derogation of her own equals in her own Church. The result has been a double usurpation of authority: where ++Griswold claimed only the right to consecrate a duly elected bishop in defiance of the advice of Resolution 1.10, ++Jefferts Schori has not only announced that she will do the same if the requisite consents for Canon Glasspool are received, but she also has made herself the sole arbiter of whether a bishop who transfers to another Church in the Anglican Communion thereby renounces his orders.

In presuming to claim that the Right Reverend Henry Scriven so renounced his orders in transferring from the Diocese of Pittsburgh to the Diocese of Oxford, and in recently declaring that the Right Reverend Keith Ackerman had done the same in resigning the Diocese of Quincy and going to work under the Bishop of Bolivia, the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA has effectively declared that she alone will be the judge of who can become, and who can remain, a bishop in the Episcopal Church (USA) — regardless of what her equals in the Communion may believe. They are, to that extent, no longer her equals, but only bishops to be tolerated if they stay out of her way, to be ignored if they presume to disagree, and to be denounced and punished by any means possible if they try to hinder or interfere.

When one bishop so distorts the polity of the Communion as to claim the power to decide status without regard to the opinion — nay, the full consensus — of the other bishops in the Anglican Communion, what we have is no longer a Communion, but an autarchy.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

LA Times–Archbishop of Canterbury rebukes Epis leaders after L.A. diocese elects Lesbian bishop

The spiritual leader of the global Anglican Communion issued an unusually sharp and swift rebuke to Episcopal Church leaders over the election of an openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.

In a terse statement, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams delivered a warning to bishops, clergy and lay representatives of the U.S. church about the confirmation of the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, a lesbian who has been in a partnered relationship for two decades.

Glasspool must still gain a majority of votes from bishops and standing committees of clergy and lay leaders in the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide communion. That voting process will unfold over the next four months as U.S. leaders consider Glasspool and another priest, the Rev. Canon Diane M. Jardine Bruce, who was picked for a second “suffragan,” or assistant bishop post in Los Angeles.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Statement on Los Angeles Episcopal Elections

The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.

The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.

The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

The Bishop of Bristol's Diocesan Synod Address

Good morning. What I have been asked to do this morning is to report on where we are at this point of time in the Anglican Communion. It’s a fairly complicated picture so I hope I will be given the gift of clarity as I talk to you about this. Since the last time I reported to Synod on these matters, six things have happened. I want to delineate those six things and comment on them and then conclude by talking about a situation which at the moment is absolutely no threat to the Uganda Link but is a potential cause of difficulty in relation to our relationships with the Church of Uganda.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Uganda, CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

Living Church: Trio of Bishops Seek to Strengthen Communion Ties

The initial meeting between Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of the Diocese of El Camino Real and Bishop Michael Perham of Gloucester, England, at the 2008 Lambeth Conference was an auspicious one. When a protester jumped up and called Bishop Gray-Reeves “a whore of the church,” Bishop Perham stepped in to help his new American acquaintance around the protesters and on to safety.

This frightening encounter brought together two parts of what has become a trio of bishops ”” the third is Bishop Gerard Mpango of the Western Tanganyika Diocese in Tanzania ”” who have linked up as companion dioceses. The combination of American, British and African dioceses is intentional. The three locations encompass three regions of discontent in the Anglican Communion. By meeting, talking and working together, the three bishops hope to show that people of different cultures, and these three cultures in particular, can maintain civil relations and look for answers to divisive issues.

“We want to hold together when the Communion is threatened,” Bishop Perham said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

Lambeth 2008: Rowan Williams Draws a Line on The Episcopal Church

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Church Times: Why Lambeth 2008 had to look for a bail-out

The Anglican Consultative Coun­cil had a constitutional obligation towards the costs of the Conference, but had stopped putting money aside for the Conference since 2004, spending it instead on new offices.

The £1.6 million left over from 1998 and from setting money aside up to 2004 did not cover the ex­pected £2.5-million rise in the cost to £6.1 million. In the event, because of the shortfall in the number of bishops who attended, the final cost was £5.2 million.

“To commit expenditure in ad­vance of secure income was a practice that the directors of an entirely stand-alone company might have regarded as too risky. In doing so, it appears therefore that those involved have proceeded on the expectation that the Anglican Com­munion and in particular Church of England bodies . . . would not ultimately let the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Conference fail to pay its bills.”

The Commissioners were worried as early as May 2006 that they would be landed with the bill.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Lambeth 2008, Parish Ministry, Stewardship