Thursday, 27 March 2008

Gift of Communion

Inclusive Church has announced:

Celebrating the Gift of Communion

In advance of the Lambeth Conference we invite parishes to give thanks for the gift of the Anglican Communion, and to affirm their commitment to its historic generosity. At a time of debate and discernment in our life together we believe the best way forward will not include segregating or excluding those with whom we disagree.

If your church is in agreement with the following statement, please send an email to listing your name, parish, diocese and province. Please make sure you have the agreement of your parish council or vestry before signing, and note that this invitation is intended for churches, and not individuals. If you have any questions or comments please address them to Please circulate this message to friends and networks.

“As Christians, we believe that all people have been made in the image of God. We believe that God loves each and every person with an infinite, never-ending, unconditional love.

As members of the body of Christ, we acknowledge each person’s unique and valuable contribution as we seek together to build up that body in love.

As members of the Anglican Communion, we celebrate the gift of our diversity and are committed to being a broad Church that accepts and welcomes difference. We acknowledge our need of God’s forgiveness for the sins and failings which harm our shared witness in the world. We believe our unity is rooted in our baptism in Christ, and we will seek to maintain that unity through the grace of the Holy Spirit who lives and works in each one of us.”

For more about this, read Scott Gunn at Seven whole days Put your congregation on record, support the gift of Communion.

For the most recent Inclusive Church newsletter, see here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 7:05am GMT | TrackBack
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I think you should re-word " broad" as the conservatives will see, " look our Lord said the road that leads to destruction is broad.....what about encompassing?

Posted by: robert ian williams on Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 10:51am GMT

Not sure. It could be taken as an endorsement of the Anglican Communion, and one person's breadth is another's narrowness. Not even sure about the theology either, though I suppose it is minimalist enough. I doubt also the worth of these sorts of campaigns, rather like those emails you get that wants you to add your signature - and then what? Anyway, it is not for individuals. Plus, what if this gets a fairly derisory response: then what will these bishops conclude, if they take any notice of it at all?

Posted by: Pluralist on Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 12:59pm GMT

Robert, much virtual ink was expended trying to figure out the optimal wording that is both substantive and wide-reaching. I'm not saying that we achieved prose nirvana, but that was the effort.

Pluralist, here's the thing. Perhaps 100 congregations in the US have either left or are serious about wanting to leave ECUSA. And one diocese, so far. They've gotten so much press that it's easy to imagine an enormous percentage of unhappy people. Rowan Williams apparently took as credible the report he was given in Dar es Salaam that 40% of ECUSA members want alternative oversight.

Now imagine that, say, a few hundred congregations sign on to this. Even 200. That would be double the number of secessionists. It would, at the very least, undercut the ridiculous numerical claims that are so often made by the far right.

The value is simply the chance for folks to say that Communion matters more than a good fight.


Posted by: Scott Gunn on Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 5:07pm GMT

I take the point. I was thinking a little later that whilst I care much about the people beaten up recently in Nigeria, and the wars going on in Africa, I don't actually care much at all for the Anglican Communion. It has just become an excuse for bigots and bureaucrats to the very top following in the bigots' footprints.

Posted by: Pluralist on Thursday, 27 March 2008 at 8:45pm GMT

There was a time when I would have taken this mostly-laudable statement to the vestry of my parish for consideration, as an advocate. The lamentable actions of ++Williams and the several bishops in the CofE who have worked tirelessly to marginalize TEC over the past few years, not to mention the fulsome maneuvering of a few "Global Souuth" potentates, leave me entirely uninterested.

There is no true Anglican Communion any longer, much the pity.

Posted by: John D on Friday, 28 March 2008 at 12:37am GMT

I agree, this has no relevance now whatsoever.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Friday, 28 March 2008 at 10:57pm GMT

_Rowan Williams apparently took as credible the report he was given in Dar es Salaam that 40% of ECUSA members want alternative oversight._

I really find it quite impossible to believe this assertion concerning Rowan Williams. Could you please remind us who made this claim? I mean:
a. Who said that 40%...
b. Who said that Rowan Williams took it as credible?

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 8:15am GMT

My understanding is that Duncan of Pittsburgh made the claim. Rowan's appeasement of the "conservatives" since then suggests he took it as highly credible.

Leaving aside the precise figure of 40%, it is clear that the "conservative" modus operandi has been to inflate the levels of discontent within the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. I recently read (perhaps someone can recall the source?) of an American priest who spoke in the Province of the West Indies. The clergy there were shocked to discover the proportionally small number of a) requests for alternative episcopal / primatial oversight, b) the proportionally small number of dioceses / parishes affiliated with the Network, c) the proportionally small number of congregations which had purported to withdraw from the Episcopal Church.

The "conservative" propaganda leaves moderates and conservatives elsewhere with a completely false impression.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 6:32pm GMT


I think this loose talk about RW and "appeasement of consevatives" is more whistling in the dark for self assurance than anything else.

He has spoken very pointedly in his own terms about the possibilty of what some call "differnces" taking the shape of apostasy. His work in theology and historical studies give evidence that he knows a little about the subject, see for example his very thorough work on the great heresiarch Arius.

There may be more to what you say than meets the eye: "The 'conservative' propaganda leaves moderates and conservatives elsewhere with a completely false impression." The false impression may be bigger than this, it may simply be that people are not eager simply to opt out and want to work where they are. Not get caught up in much of this that is so much diversion from what is central for Christian faith (just think of the diversionary and trivial stuff on this list much of the time!).

Ben W

Posted by: Ben W on Wednesday, 2 April 2008 at 3:13pm BST
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