Comments: Programme published for Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka

"[A]utonomous but interdependent national and regional Churches."

"Interdependent"? In what way?

Saying something is so does not make it so.

Posted by Jeremy at Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 8:41pm GMT

The archbishops of Uganda and Kenya have announced that they won't be going or have representation. They are angry that TEC won't voluntarily stay on the naughty step. Meanwhile Dr. Tengatenga, chair of the ACC, says that it's TEC's "right and responsibility" to be there. He said that the primates don't have authority to exclude another province.

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 11 March 2016 at 3:01am GMT

The GS don't turn up - the ACC is finished..... It's pathetic that TEC even wants to be in the club - what matters most: principles or clubs?

Posted by S Cooper at Friday, 11 March 2016 at 8:27am GMT

S Cooper - I don't think, at least from the people I talk to, that TEC really cares very much. It's certainly not losing any sleep over membership. But charity and past connections are valuable, so perhaps a passive stance of attending and "being available" is a good thing.

My own church, Trinity Seattle, is having a nice upswing of membership, pledges, and young people. Several new young members serve now as acolytes, and two are on the vestry. These are people attracted by a progressive social stance and a well done traditional liturgy and music. So if it not too much to say, who cares about the Communion: we are doing God's work and thriving.

Posted by Nathaniel Brown at Friday, 11 March 2016 at 6:18pm GMT

I often see the phrase 'godly unity'. Is there an official AC definition of the meaning of this phrase?

Posted by John B at Friday, 11 March 2016 at 8:29pm GMT

"The GS don't turn up - the ACC is finished....."

S. Cooper, just because you say it, doesn't make it true. I expect the members of ACC will carry on with their business without the representatives from from Kenya and Uganda, if they choose not to attend.

Posted by June Butler at Friday, 11 March 2016 at 8:44pm GMT

If you don't come to the Table, you got nothin', And that cuts both ways. Otherwise the ministry of reconciliation means zip.

Posted by Daniel Berry, NYC at Friday, 11 March 2016 at 10:05pm GMT

"It's pathetic that TEC even wants to be in the club - what matters most: principles or clubs?"

Why on earth would TEC not go? So far ACC has shown them no discourtesy. TEC I think wish to remain part of the communion too - and rightly IMO.

Posted by Kate at Friday, 11 March 2016 at 11:37pm GMT

The fact that TEC is even interested in 'turning up' to the ACC Meeting is proof of their commitment to the Anglican Communion n partnerships. The dissenting Provinces, however, seem to show little respect for, or inclination to remain privy to, the Communion Fellowship.

As the ACC is the more rperesentative group of the membership of the Anglican Communion Churches - with representastives from the Faithful Laity, as well as the 3 orders of Ministry, it would seem to be the most credible 'Instrument of Unity' in the world-wde Communion.

Perhaps it is time that the core membership of the Communion Churches present at ACC 2016 establish its credentials as the heart of the Communion; open to, but not restricted by, the membership of those who decline to attend it representative meetings. What we need is positive Evanglism, not pietistic judgementalism.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 12 March 2016 at 2:13am GMT

Please see the reality, people:
1) even Rowan Williams asked dean John to step back from being a bishop;
2) even Rowan Williams didn't invite gene Robinson to Lambeth 08;
3) now, Justin Welby, even though there is no covenant, suspends TEC for 3 years (minimum).

What does this tell us? Simple: numbers and demographics matter & relations with Rome matter...... Nothing will change - especially as whatever is done to TeC (see above), TEC still comes back for club membership ..... Why is there no confidence to be a liberal global church?

The GS doesn't turn up to the ACC - then it longer matters to Welby - he clearly, like Rowan Williams, is not going to lose the biggest parts of the communion and relations with Rome. The Primates run the Communion now. Time for TeC to lead a global communion which doesn't sacrifice the integrity of so many.... Disappointing so many here think the right way is more decades of compromise - I suppose only some people not being invited to Lambeth is a price worth paying for more years? Not for me

Posted by S Cooper at Saturday, 12 March 2016 at 12:49pm GMT

Yes, S. Cooper, I see your drift. However, TEC is still seen to be keen to be a part of the original Anglican Communion. It is only the absentees from ACC16 who will indicate their reluctance to continue on Eucharistic Fellowship - which is what 'Communion' is really all about.

We must struggle together - those of us who want to remain a part of the Anglican Communion - as long as possible, despite differences. Those who opt out do not want to be part of us. Then they must be allowed to go, we cannot hold them back against their will. This is a voluntary kononia.
Perhaps 'smaller' might just be 'better'.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 13 March 2016 at 1:41am GMT

I understand, Ron - but things don't work that way; not under Rowan or under Justin. They prioritise not losing the biggest provinces - all that's on offer for TEC and provinces like yours is to go along with that by compromising integrity. How much longer for? I agreed smaller could be wonderful. A smaller liberal Anglican global communion which doesn't throw inconvenient clergy under the bus but celebrates them would be lovely.

Posted by S Cooper at Sunday, 13 March 2016 at 5:55pm GMT

Brother S. Cooper, I don't think Archbishop Justin has managed to "suspend" the Episcopal Church. That the Primates (or at least some of the Primates) demanded such does not mean that's what was accomplished. More to the point, since the ACC hasn't "suspended" the member church, the Episcopal Church, it's unclear what "suspend" might even mean.

In the meantime, yes, we want to keep talking, and as best we can to keep walking together. We believe it's what Jesus would have wanted - which is, after all, the primary principle to be held.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Monday, 14 March 2016 at 3:25pm GMT

If TEC voluntarily left the Anglican Communion do you honestly believe any other church would walk out in support of them or to stand by them? I don't.

Posted by Kate at Monday, 14 March 2016 at 4:47pm GMT

Thank you for your replies, Marshall & Kate.
I don't see the point in more years of playing Canterbury games when it's obvious many more years of indabas etc are all that's on offer; my preference is for tec to lead a new global communion (don't care if it's small or big - just as long it has integrity). Appreciate your reply, Marshall

Posted by S Cooper at Monday, 14 March 2016 at 9:59pm GMT

I still have to agree with S Cooper. I really am afraid, from the rather weak arguments for staying, that it's just a matter of convenience, of not being willing to face what it will mean to leave the AC and start a new mission.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 4:07am GMT

If TEC led a new global communion, All Saints is ready and waiting to join, here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

We are a mixed expat congregation, male and female, gay and straight, old and young, married and single. We can not be part of the very homophobic Province of South East Asia which, despite only having one church in Thailand, holds the Anglican Communion franchise for this region.

They consecrated bishops for ACNA so I don't see how they could object.

Posted by Iain Baxter at Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 6:29am GMT

If TEC left AC then they would no longer be bound by their undertaking not to open congregations in England. But for a realignment along Cooper's excellent suggestion the CofE would have to disestablish properly so that parishes could opt for which bishop and hence which communion to belong to.

Posted by Turbulent Priest at Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 9:30am GMT

At present a new global church would have all the reach of the baseball world series.

If you are impatient you will get TEC plus small splinter churches in a couple of countries. Patience across years, maybe decades - difficult though waiting will be - and the vast body of first world Anglicanism will allow same sex marriage.

Posted by Kate at Tuesday, 15 March 2016 at 12:52pm GMT

Perhaps TEC and splinter churches is not a bad idea, given how much evil centralization in the chuches has led to.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Wednesday, 16 March 2016 at 3:45am GMT

Perhaps right now is a good opportunity to reflect on what it cost God to build up the Body of Christ in the Church. Effort to break it down on any illusions of the capability of human beings (or group of Christians) to make it 'on their own', is only a road to schismatic self-sufficiency - which is the opposite of what Jesus called for from his disciples."They will know you're my disciples by your love" - not your tendency to judge the moral sufficiency of others.

Voluntarily moving away from one another is no good way to achieve 'perfection' - which, in any event, exists, not in any single one of us or any group, but only in our striving to "keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace". If the GAFCON Provinces decide to not take part in ACC16, that is their problem not ours. We are not kicking them out, if they go, they go of their own will and volition, and they will be answerable for the rift they choose to inaugurate.

Prayers from all of us this Passion-tide might be more fruitful that casting anathemas.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 16 March 2016 at 8:12am GMT

Yet Jesus did tell his disciples to shake the dust from their feet. He did send away those who couldn't follow His way.

Does moving apart mean there is no love? Is staying together tearing at each other "for the kids" actually love?

Are we sure, so sure as to risk lives and souls that this is what the Body of Christ is or was ever meant to be? I am unwilling to risk one life on an illusion of THE ONE TRUE CHURCH (pat. pend., all rights reserved). Worse, it's an illusion of both love and unity - it's mere institutionalism for its own sake. How can one serve Christ, who paid such a price, by being unwilling to pay a price, except at others' expense?

The communion is no longer a way to God.

Posted by MarkBrunson at Wednesday, 16 March 2016 at 10:06am GMT

Mark, we are not talking about a Magisterial Church here. Anglicanism has never been quite like that. However, it does have a brand of Christianity that can - if it works properly - still show the outside world that Christians in different parts of the world can still live and work together - despite difference of race, culture, gender, sexual-orientation or political affiliation.

This is, I believe the genius of traditional bed-rock Anglicanism, both catholic and reformed, that can still claim the world for Christ.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 16 March 2016 at 10:53pm GMT
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