Saturday, 18 March 2006

ECUSA and the Windsor Report

Updated 23 March
The Living Church now has a report on this with more detail, Windsor Report Response Presented to Bishops.

The ECUSA House of Bishops is currently holding one of its regular meetings, this time at the Kanuga Conference Centre in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

They have received a preliminary report from the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion announced last September - for backstory see ENS Special Commission on Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion to meet and TLC Special General Convention Commission Appointed.

See the latest ENS report: Special Commission members brief bishops on progress.

The Commission will offer a full report, relating to the Windsor Report, Primates Meeting, and the Anglican Consultative Council, to the 75th General Convention approximately 60 days prior to Convention, i.e. about 10 April.

Then, as the General Convention of ECUSA approaches, a separate official commission will prepare formal resolutions for the Convention to consider. Membership of this commission was recently announced, see ENS Special committee on Church and Communion named. Although this is a separate body, there is a significant overlap of members between the two groups. The Convention meets from 13 to 21 June in Columbus, Ohio.

In a separate development, the Presiding Bishop has written to the other primates about the Listening Process:
see ENS Interview: Presiding Bishop supports listening process, writes to primates
Transcript: Presiding Bishop supports listening process, writes to primates.
This has been reported by the Living Church magazine as Presiding Bishop Writes to Primates.
The actual text of this letter has not (yet?) been published.

Meanwhile, in yet another development, the Diocese of California will hold its election of a new diocesan bishop on 6 May. This is thought to be relevant because the nominees include several persons who are in same-sex relationships. The General Convention will be asked to ratify the outcome of the election. You can read all about the election process of that diocese on a special website which contains profiles of all the candidates as well as of the diocese and much else besides.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 18 March 2006 at 7:08pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: ECUSA
Comments

A point of clarification, the commission that will prepare the formal resolutions for consideration by General Convention will be meeting only during General Convention, IIRC. I think it is a legislative committee of the GC just like the committees that consider the various Blue Book reports and decide what resolutions on their topic to send to the whole GC.

Jon

Posted by: Jon on Sunday, 19 March 2006 at 1:12pm GMT

First, the Diocese of CA should elect the best leader for their diocese--regardless of race, gender, orientation; and, in spite of all the threats from the Rebellion.

Second, GC 2006 should call the Windsor Report what it is: fatally flawed, and already severely violated by the likes of Ankinola and other foreign bishops.

Third, GC 2006 should condemn the AAC and Network for working to undermine ECUSA with garbage like the Chapman Memo, etc. Bp. Johnson of West TN hit it right on the mark: The leadership of the AAC/Network has sold people of good faith and intention a bill of goods.

GC 2006 should go about its business about discerning how God is calling us to love God and love one another. All this AAC/Network stuff is nothing more than trying to purify the cult. If people are unhappy, they should move on.

Posted by: pete on Monday, 20 March 2006 at 1:21am GMT

"So I would hope that we could at least balance the preoccupation with sexuality against the fact that those that disagree share Jesus as Lord and Savior, a common belief in our being reconciled to God through the cross, a common belief in the fact that baptism draws us into intimate union with Christ and one another and the Eucharist renews that reality week by week. So some of this I think needs to be reclaimed as our true unity. I would also say that Communion is really God's gift. Communion is the internal life of the Holy Trinity into which we are drawn through baptism and therefore it is not ours to create or ours in some way to break. It is ours to share reverently, humbly, because it is God's desire for the world."

Preach it, +Frank! :-D

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Monday, 20 March 2006 at 4:49am GMT

I'm with Pete -- I even think that this is sort of what will happen, but it will be phrased in ecclesiastical doublespeak so everyone can continue to disagree about what it "really" means

Also w/ JC in giving kudos to ++Griswold (he really is quite good, you know?)

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Monday, 20 March 2006 at 3:33pm GMT

I love to read ++Griswold. How can anyone say that he is not a Christian? Imagine my surprise when I expressed this to my former rector and he replied that he didn't understand anything ++Griswold wrote or said. Hmmmm, of course, I don't understand how anyone can bear the message from +Duncan, +Akinola, and Co. I suppose it's just another sign of how polarized we are.

Pete said:
"Bp. Johnson of West TN hit it right on the mark: The leadership of the AAC/Network has sold people of good faith and intention a bill of goods."

Wow Pete. When did he say that? Good for him! I am heartened to hear that loyal bishops are speaking out about the Network! I hope that the laity in Diocese of TN can hear and digest that message before Saturday's election. Would they give up their allegiance to Michell (sp?) How is it that the laity are so opposed to the clergy? Weren't the clergy called by them after much discernment? The AAC/ACN is all about division and power. And, yes, I believe that well meaning Christians have been sadly misled.

Keep praying hard!

Posted by: faithwatch on Tuesday, 21 March 2006 at 5:02am GMT

Folks:

Here is the pastoral letter Bp. Johnson of West Tennessee originally sent out after the Chapman memo became public in January 2004. To my mind, it is still the best honest evaluation of the motives of the AAC/Network leadership and why they need to be stopped dead in their tracks at GC 2006:

--------------
January 15, 2004

Dear fellow Episcopalians in West Tennessee,

As the Bishop of The Diocese of West Tennessee, it is my privilege to serve beside you in witness to Christ. In this particular circumstance, I do so now as one who must uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Church I have sworn to defend.

No matter what one's opinions are about the more controversial decisions reached at our last General Convention, one has to admit that they were done publicly and above board. Using the long established means to reach decisions as a Church gathered in Convention, the outcome and resulting actions were literally done before the eyes of the world.

Loyal opposition and honest dissent to such actions are legitimate and should be honored by all. I have been careful to do so. However, deceitfulness and subversive sabotage justified in the name of serving Christ cannot be overlooked. To this point, I direct your attention to an article in the January 14, 2004 issue of The Commercial Appeal outlining publicly the American Anglican Council's "confidential" game plan for the destruction of The Episcopal Church U.S.A. by becoming a "replacement" jurisdiction, even if it means "disobedience of canon law on a widespread basis" as deemed "necessary." At this time I have in my possession the full text of the "confidential" letter cited in the article. In as much as what has been done in darkness has now been brought into the light, I urge you to read for yourself this document that lays out the American Anglican Council's plan of destruction.

I do not endorse, nor will I have this diocese in any way associated with this effort, and I will use all the power of my office to see to it that our clergy and congregations will not be in any formal membership arrangement with this or any other such group seeking to destroy the Episcopal Church. To this end, I am taking the following initial steps:

* First, I am posting in its entirety on our diocesan web page (www.episwtn.org) the letter from the American Anglican Council's representative, the Rev. Geoffrey W. Chapman, who writes "on behalf of the American Anglican Council and their Bishop's Committee on Adequate Episcopal Oversight." It is their response letter to Episcopal congregations across the country who have requested what they describe as "Adequate Episcopal Oversight." Specifically, this letter refers to oversight by a bishop who has bought into the American Anglican Council's plan to sabotage The Episcopal Church. This secret plan is very different from AAC's public statements to the effect that it would work within The Episcopal Church under its Constitution and Canons to bring about change in Church policies.

* Second, I have called a special meeting of the Standing Committee. I am asking for its advice and counsel concerning what next steps need to be taken by my office regarding our clergy and congregations formally affiliated with the American Anglican Council and, implicitly, with its agenda.

* Third, while it may be obvious from the tone of this letter, I want to go on record in saying that I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the American Anglican Council. Further, I do not endorse, support or condone their plan to methodically create anarchy in the Church.

* Fourth, until the American Anglican Council made explicit what many already thought was their real agenda, I have spoken with respect for the bishops, members of the clergy and lay persons who have found in this organization a place to express their honorable dissent and loyal opposition. It is to you that I address the following:

It is my firm belief that most of you who have associated with the American Anglican Council did so for honorable reasons with no idea that their avowed actual goal is to destroy The Episcopal Church as it currently exists. However, according to their own documents, they seem to advocate whatever means necessary to "innovatively move around, beyond or within the canons" to do so. I know that not everyone associated with the American Anglican Council is of one mind. However, these revelations that have just come to light may help clarify your thinking about their agenda. As such, I hope that you will see this as an opportunity for you and your congregation to rethink and officially disassociate with this organization.

I ask your prayers for our Church, our Diocese and for our clergy and lay leaders who will be asked to help me be faithful in accomplishing this ministry for Christ's witness and love. To that end, I remain

Faithfully yours,

The Rt. Rev. Don E. Johnson
Bishop of West Tennessee
-------------

What Duncan & Co. want is a purified cult. What the rest of us want is a church. I pray people of good faith will persevere at GC 2006.

Posted by: pete on Tuesday, 21 March 2006 at 11:54am GMT

Dear Pete

What Windsor points towards is that, to remain in communion, ECUSA has to respect Anglican teaching and the mind of the Communion. The Anglican church is a part of the apostolic catholic church, which means that it follows the teachings of Christ and the Apostles - not just that its Bishops trace their consecration back to St Peter. The ECUSA heirachy has in the main been drifting away from this for a long time, and increasingly marginalizing and ejecting dissenters. It is hardly surprising if faithful Anglican Christians have organized themselves to highlight these misdeeds and to try to bring about change, or a new ECUSA!

If old ECUSA doesn't want to be part of the holy catholic and apostolic church, but just some new age religious self-discovery club, it should be honest enough to say so plainly at GC2006, and to let dissenting parishes and dioceses form a new ECUSA and rejoin the communion.

Posted by: Dave on Sunday, 26 March 2006 at 2:17am BST

"Third, GC 2006 should condemn the AAC and Network for working to undermine ECUSA with garbage like the Chapman Memo, etc. Bp. Johnson of West TN hit it right on the mark: The leadership of the AAC/Network has sold people of good faith and intention a bill of goods."

I can personally attest to this statement. My priest enrolled my parish (of 38 years) into membership with the ACC and the Network without telling anyone but a chosen few. I just saw the junior warden who asked why he hasn't seen me in church. I told him I go to another church. I also told the JW that there are about 12 people from his (my former) church that have left do to this blind affiliation with ACC/Network. His surprise told me that the rector hasn't told the poor souls staying behind that people have been leaving over this joining of the ACC/Network(and they have lost a few more to other denominations).

Posted by: Bob in Penn on Wednesday, 29 March 2006 at 3:40pm BST
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