Comments: General Synod - February 2010 - outline agenda

Probably a foolish question, but re:

"•PMM: Lorna Ashworth: Anglican Church in North America"

Is there any chance this motion could be ruled preemptively out-of-order, on the grounds that the CofE is *already* in communion w/ THE Anglican churches in North America: TEC and the AngChCanada?

Posted by JCF at Friday, 8 January 2010 at 9:12pm GMT

Can someone who understands the intricacies of General Synod help me understand why the Fresh Expressions PMM isn't on the agenda? It has the most signatures, and it seems as though it could help the church in its present missional work.

Here's the link to that PMM:
http://www.cofe.anglican.org/about/gensynod/pmm/#fresh

Thanks.

Scott+

Posted by Scott Gunn at Friday, 8 January 2010 at 9:32pm GMT

Given the actual wording of Lorna Ashworth's Private Member's Motion:

'That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America.’

I do think JCF has a very valid point. Up until now, TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada have always been known to totally represent the ethos and standing of 'the Anglican Church in North America'. Is Ms Ashworth's Motion suggesting that these two entities are 'out of communion' with the Church of England?

What sort of mischief is she planning to stir up by seeming to insist there might be another *Anglican Church in North America*? Perhaps she needs a lesson in the history of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, and their relationship of filial attachment to the Church of England.

On the other hand, if Ms Ashworth really thinks there is another entity representing the Anglican Communion in North America, she needs to reflect on the damage she might be doing to the existing relationship between the Church of England and other loyal Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 8 January 2010 at 10:03pm GMT

As a Canadian "cradle" Anglican (baptised on All Saints Day at "smokey Tom's" in Toronto), I find this all rather sad, but we've come to a point where I don't feel anything other than "well OK, we'll still continue to be Anglicans, in spite of what anyone in England or Uganda or Burundi may think or say or do". I've heard stories of folks who left to join break-away ACNA parishes in Montreal, who have since left the break-aways and returned to diocesan parishes. We'll soon see whether there really are 100,000 ACNA folks (out of an est. 352,000,000 inhabitants of North America).

Posted by drewmtl at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 4:11am GMT

Ooops, before Dah*veed shows up to smack me again: the "Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico" is also, of course, a Church of the Anglican Communion in North America. ;-)

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 7:18am GMT

"the CofE is *already* in communion w/ THE Anglican churches in North America: TEC and the AngChCanada?"

Don't forget the Anglican Church of Mexico. Last I looked, Mexico was also in North America.

Posted by Nom de Plume at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 7:36am GMT

Thursday 11th PMM on parity of pension provision for surviving civil partners. Does this mean that parity is not thoresent position of the Church?

Posted by Fr Dougal at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 8:46am GMT

The present position of the Church is to comply with the requirements of the Civil Partnership Act 2004. This only requires benefits to be equalised with effect from December 2005, but not retrospectively.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 9:10am GMT

I believe that a certain 'David Virtue' from *Vitriol-on-line* may be lurking in the corridors of the C.of E. General Synod on Wednesday 10th February, specifically to 'listen in' to Lorna Ashworth's Private Members Bill. Just make sure no-one makes any unguarded remarks within his hearing.

Virtue is expecially toxic in his published articles on TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. His obvious lack of respect for the TEC Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Revd. Katherine Schori, (whom he has called 'Mrs Schori') is legendary. I would hate him to be encouraged by General Synod mebers to continue his pogrom on his web-site. This is a cradle Baptist, who now hosts the largest website of the so-called 'Orthodox Anglicans' of North America and the Global South.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 9:30am GMT

Lorna Ashworth's Private Member's Motion:

'That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America.’

Even if passed, the resolution would not achieve anything except to stir things up. It is not up to General Synod to decide whether the Church of England is in communion with ACNA. That is I assume why the resolution only "expresses a desire".

Even if expressed, it would be the desire only of the current members of the General Synod. The lay members of General Synod are elected by a highly indirect process and do not necessarily reflect the views of the person in the pew.

Posted by badman at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 10:11am GMT

I share the hope and expectation of many that Ms. Ashworth's PMM will go nowhere at the General Synod. And I also share what many have pointed out: calling yourself "The Anglican Church in North America" doesn't make you so.

(The Anglican Churches in North America are the Anglican Church of Canada, The Episcopal Church, and La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico. I don't know if the Church in the Province of the West Indies or La Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America would want to be included -- I guess it depends on how you definie "North" -- but they would certainly be welcome. Actually, there was an "Anglican Church of North America" about thirty years ago, in the wake of the ordination of women in TEC. It lasted a year or two and then wandered off to become something else.)

But let us suppose that Ms. Ashworth's motion is adopted. It is my impression that Ms. Ashworth represents an über-evangelical constituency in the Church of England. Do these folks know who the "Anglican Church of North America" is? I'm sure they'd find it very exciting to be bedfellows with Jack Iker and John-David Schofield. (If you'll pardon the image.) Do these folks have anything in common beyond their allergy to gay cooties?

Posted by Bill Moorhead at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 4:33pm GMT

Fr. Ron Smith asks:

"Up until now, TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada have always been known to totally represent the ethos and standing of 'the Anglican Church in North America'. Is Ms Ashworth's Motion suggesting that these two entities are 'out of communion' with the Church of England?"

That will, of course, be the next step. Once the C of E is in Communion with ACNA, then any old pretext will be seized upon to break Communion with the US church. Look for that to happen soon. I suppose the same voices here will still be saying "Oh, it doesn't really matter..."

Here is another straw in the wind. Archbishop Williams is moving to isolate the US church by declaring the Canadian church orthodox -- see http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/anglican_communion/abcs_visitors_to_canada_on_abb.html.

No surprise -- it's only the US church that has ever come in for the bullying and rough handling that has been visited on it these past six years. Look at the kid gloves treatment of Uganda.

Fellow members of TEC, do we really want to continue to waste our time, our church's resources, and our own spiritual health trying to remain in relationship with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion? What's the point?

Posted by Charlotte at Saturday, 9 January 2010 at 9:16pm GMT

I don't know whether any others are finding their comments mysteriously disappearing as they submit them on this site. If so, we need to report this to the web-masters - as I am doing now!

continuing:

"Fellow members of TEC, do we really want to continue to waste our time, our church's resources, and our own spiritual health trying to remain in relationship with the Church of England and the Anglican Communion? What's the point?"
- Charlotte, on Saturday -

I'm sad, Charlotte, that you continue to advise your fellow TEC membership that they ought to cut and run from their relationship to the C.of E. and the rest of the Communion - on the grounds of their seeming betrayal of the prophetic stance of your Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, on the issues of gays and women, and same-sex Blessings, being resumed in North America.

There are many like myself, in N.Z. and other places in the Anglican Communion, who are only too pleased with the Gospel outreach to LGBT's and others marginalised by conservative elements in ACNA and the Global South Provinces.

The infelicity of GAFCON Primates, and others, who have objected to the inclusivism of TEC and the A.C.of C. towards the ministry of Gays and Women, seems to have created a backlash from the likes of the ABC and the Covenant Commission that
has spilled over into the proscriptive elements which have remained within the 4th section of the Covenant Document.

You, surely, will have noted that there are certain Provinces of the Communion - like my own in N.Z. which have expressed grave reservations about the possibility of the exclusion of TEC and the A.c.of C. from the full membership of the covenant Partnership. There is no way that many of us (including your many friends within the Church of England) could possibly join up with the likes of the Anglican Provinces of Uganda, Nigeria and Rwanda - all of which have anti-gay sentiments which they have openly expressed - in a Covenantal relationship which did not include yourselves in North America.

If there is to be a Communion-wide split on these issues, there will be many of us who would want to become your partners in a Eucharistic Fellowship that includes all for whom Christ died.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 10 January 2010 at 10:20am GMT

Should the private member's ACNA resolution be adopted, the irony is that it is their African sponsors who are likely to be the big losers. Although the leadership of ACNA may have high regard for their African brothers and the "Communion", I do not believe this regard is shared in the pews. The Africans were only relevant until the goals of ACNA faithful were secured, its theological agenda and a secure relationship with the CofE. Hence, Schofield's guarantee to San Joaquin that, in joining Southern Cone, its relationship to Canterbury was secure. The "Communion" is not the issue. The issue is Canterbury. Even for the "orthodox" who have shown concern for the GS, Uganda has become an embarrassment and its (and other GS members) radical anti-human rights policies have provided an excuse to drop them, as soon as they are no longer needed. The prize here, I believe for the person in the U.S.pew, TEC or ACNA, is communion with the CofE, not the Anglican Communion, particularly not one led by the GS. If the average pew sitter in Falls Church were aware that the Church of Nigeria, of which they are now members, had dropped any provision in its constitution for a relationship to Canterbury, they would be shocked. It is unlikely that Minns et al. told them nor is it likely that they have actually read their constitution or documents like "The Road to Lambeth" put forth by their African leaders. Can the CofE juggle communion with both? Possibly, but what happens when this strategy is attempted in territory closer to home, Wales or Scotland? ACNA has attempted to create a condition on the ground that assures it full communion rights and CofE partnership. Its method of doing so was, even with the most generous interpretation, seems pretty dicey and a threat to the "national" churches of all the Communion. Will the CofE then generously partner with a new, for example, Ugandan Anglican "Anti-Anti Homosexual Legislation Church" or a new "Swedish Anglican Conservative Church" and so on and so on....This is a pretty sticky wicket and I hope that the Synod will think it through. EPfizH

Posted by EPfizH at Sunday, 10 January 2010 at 2:13pm GMT

Nice to see mission back on the agenda after it was left off last time. I doubt the headline writers will pay it much attention though.

Posted by David Keen at Sunday, 10 January 2010 at 3:09pm GMT

"Nice to see mission back on the agenda after it was left off last time. I doubt the headline writers will pay it much attention though."
- David Keen, on Sunday -

It all depends on what you mean by 'Mission', David. If you believe, as many in ACNA, FOCA and the Global South do, that Mission excludes anything that would free people from homophobia and misogyny, then you are right. Except that, to refer to Mission as anything other than the Church helping to proclaim the liberation of Christ in the Gospel, you are seriously wrong.

"The Truth shall make you free". (Gospel ethics) Note here - "The Truth", not hypocrisy.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 10 January 2010 at 6:30pm GMT

On the Fresh Expressions PMM - it would seem likely that the presentation on Thursday Morning will cover the collection and dissemination of resources as requested in the motion.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Sunday, 10 January 2010 at 10:59pm GMT

On the ACNA PMM - there is a way of reading this as a completely inoffensive statement - I desire to be in communion with all who profess and call themselves Christians. The need to express the desire comes from being/feeling out of communion in the first place. There is nothing in the motion which suggests how the expressed desire might be made real, nor any analysis of the reasons why communion is broken or impaired and who might need to do what to bridge the gap.

On the other hand, it could be read as a repudiation of TEC - and that would seem to be the intent in a rather heavy code. Who knows what will happen with it.

Posted by Mark Bennet at Sunday, 10 January 2010 at 11:07pm GMT

"I'm sure they'd find it very exciting to be bedfellows with Jack Iker and John-David Schofield."

But Quincy, Fort Worth, and San Joaquin are very much in the minority in ACNA, which is still overall a predominantly "low church" schism - the "high church" schismatics having already cleared out in the 70s over the ordination of women to form the previous ACNA mentioned above (which later hived off into the various Continuum jurisdictions extant today). Remember that the oldest and most stable founding jurisdiction of ACNA is the Reformed Episcopal Church, and the greatest numerical strength comes from the happy-clappy African church plants.

Posted by Geoff at Monday, 11 January 2010 at 12:45am GMT

While I suspect (as a conservative) that the motion does embody a desire to be out of communion with TEC, I would point out to the latter's defenders that the Presiding Bishop has been consistent in articulating that "the schismatics" have ceased to be Anglicans (as well as Episcopalians) by virtue of their actions, just as was the case with the Continuing Churches in the 1970s.

A significant number of active members of the Church of England (those who've joined the Fellowship of Christian Anglicans and others) clearly do not agree and wish to articulate their perception through the democratic process.

I find it a little ironic that progressives here - who, I've always assumed would favor the ACC over the primates and General Synod over the English bishops - are now suggesting that General Synod may be unrepresentative of the man and woman in the pew. I'm sure it is, but that applies to virtually every pressure group and institution in the Church of England (or any other province, for that matter). But doesn't General Synod come as close to modeling the mind of the Church as any other body that we can create? And if it does, shouldn't its resolutions carry some degree of moral authority?

These inquiries are somewhat tongue-in-cheek (if we're honest, both sides tend to develop conclusive rationales for the institutions that favor their point of view), but as a historian on the other side I am curious.

Posted by Jeremy Bonner at Monday, 18 January 2010 at 1:28am GMT

This thinking Anglican is concerned that once again clergy pensions are being messed with - I feel the biblical mandate not to muzzle the ox is being treated disgracefully. There is very little serving clergy on their stipend can do, except appeal to synod members not to degrade pensions further, as the current mood seems to be, leading to futher deterioration of morale. Or they could change things totally, and abandon the idea of stipend being to support clergy both working and into retirement, either pay a proper wage, or allow clergy to have other employment as well!

Posted by Rev John at Sunday, 7 February 2010 at 9:49pm GMT

Not only are many Christians concerned by the limited amount of religious programming on TV but also by a recent decline in quality (with the departure of Michael Wakelin).Whilst celebrities have a place, more material should be covered by people with a knowledge in this field.That would happen in sport or science. Too often programmmes are superficial or focus on extreme views rather than mainstream. Christianity should be presented as a credible faith for thinking people in touch with today's world.

Posted by John Wainwright at Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 10:19am GMT

"I feel the biblical mandate not to muzzle the ox is being treated disgracefully"

No argument from me on that one: all clergy deserve recognition for the work they do - including pay and pension. Exactly who should be ordained is another matter - but no cleric should be put in an invidious position if they're serving Christ faithfully.

E

Posted by Elias at Thursday, 11 February 2010 at 5:27pm GMT
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