The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a Pastoral Letter to the Anglican Communion’s Primates and presiding bishops. The full text of it is included in this Lambeth press release.
The pastoral letter include this:
In our uncertainties and explorations in the Communion, my prayers are not only for those who, like ourselves, have the responsibility of leadership in our Provinces, but most especially for all those ordinary people of God, in the Episcopal Church and elsewhere, who are puzzled, wearied, or disoriented by our present controversies. So many say they simply do not want to take up an extreme or divisive position and want to be faithful to Scripture and the common life. They want to preserve an Anglican identity that they treasure and love passionately but face continuing uncertainty about its future.
This letter includes information about the initial report Joint Standing Committee’s group of four “set up to advise in the wake of the Episcopal Church’s 75th General Convention”:
…You will recall that the Joint Standing Committee appointed a small group of representatives from its number (two Primates and two laypeople, along with staff support) to assist me in preparing an initial response…
The membership of this group is not named in the letter but is: Archbishop Bernard Malango (Central Africa), Archbishop Barry Morgan (Wales), Mrs Philippa Amable (West Africa), and Mrs Elizabeth Paver (England). Their initial thinking is presented as follows:
It is clear that the Communion as a whole remains committed to the teaching on human sexuality expressed in Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, and also that the recommendations of the Windsor Report have been widely accepted as a basis for any progress in resolving the tensions that trouble us. As a Communion, we need to move forward on the basis of this twofold recognition.
It is also clear that the Episcopal Church has taken very seriously the recommendations of the Windsor Report; but the resolutions of General Convention still represent what can only be called a mixed response to the Dromantine requests. The advisory group has spent much time in examining these resolutions in great detail, and its sense is that although some aspects of these requests have been fully dealt with, there remain some that have not. This obviously poses some very challenging questions for our February meeting and its discernment of the best way forward.
Concerning the proposed Anglican Covenant, the archbishop says this:
My earlier observations — building on the Windsor Report — on the possibility of a Covenant have on the whole been received with sympathy, and the work on this continues. At the March meeting of the Joint Standing Committee, it was decided to adopt a short introductory paper on the Windsor Covenant proposals, outlining some of the issues that would need to be addressed. It would be of great help to receive observations from any of you who have not yet expressed views on this paper (available at http://www.aco.org/commission/covenant/index.cfm.).
The Joint Standing Committee also asked me to appoint a small Covenant Design Group to take forward the work. I have asked Archbishop Drexel Gomez to chair this and would now welcome your suggestions for membership before I proceed to nominate people who might serve. We are envisaging a small number of full members (perhaps no more than ten in the core group) with a wider circle of ‘corresponding members’, and in the first instance I shall be looking for nominations representing expertise in ecclesiology, missiology, ecumenical relation[s] and canon law. If you wish to make a nomination, perhaps you could indicate something of the background and competence of the person or persons you suggest. I hope, as I wrote earlier, that this will be a major and serious focus for the Lambeth Conference, and the work now commissioned will be a vital task in preparation for the Conference.