Thinking Anglicans

from this weekend's papers

Christopher Howse at the Daily Telegraph reviews the film, Into Great Silence in Masterpiece of silence.

In The Times Kathy Galloway writes that An inclusive church reaps ever greater rewards for all.

Ian Bradley writes in the Guardian about politicians from Scottish Presbyterian manses in Face to Faith.

Giles Fraser in the Church Times writes that Christians are called to welcome strangers.


yet another bishop for North America

Well, more than one. Making in fact a total of eleven twelve (including retired bishop Bill Cox – Southern Cone).

First, this press release:


The Province now provides Episcopal oversight to several dozen congregations in the USA through a number of Kenyan Bishops. By a unanimous vote, the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of Kenya endorsed the selection of The Revd. Canon Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese (Nairobi) to serve the international interests of the ACK including taking responsibility for care for the congregations and clergy in the USA under Kenyan jurisdiction. The synod also unanimously approved the consecration of The Revd. Bill Murdoch as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese to assist with providing that oversight and Episcopal care. Consecrations are scheduled for August 30th in Nairobi. They will collaborate with others in the Common Cause network, chaired by The Rt Revd Robert Duncan (Pittsburgh) to provide orthodox Episcopal care and oversight, strategically uniting a broad conservative coalition that shares historic Anglican faith and practice.

The Anglican Communion Network has its statement here.

Second, this press release from Uganda:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from the Church of Uganda

At the request of the Rt. Rev. Andrew (Andy) H. Fairfield, retired Bishop of North Dakota, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda voted to receive Bishop Fairfield as a member of its House at its 21st June meeting. Bishop Fairfield will assist Bishop-elect John Guernsey in providing episcopal care and oversight to the 26 congregations in America that are part of the Church of Uganda.

Read the whole text here.

And then, there is also this this resolution from Forward in Faith North America:

5. A reaffirmation of the 2002 request that a bishop be consecrated for the constituency of FiFNA…

…Be it resolved that this 2007 FIFNA Assembly reaffirm the recommendation of the Reverend William Ilgenfritz to orthodox Primates for consideration for consecration as bishop for our constituency.

He was first recommended in 2002. Will any primate agree to do so five years later?


GS: more Anglican Covenant views

As Archbishop Drexel Gomez has been invited to address the synod, it seems appropriate to draw attention to some earlier remarks of his about the covenant. George Conger originally wrote this up for the Central Florida Episcopalian, although it has since appeared elsewhere. Read Gomez brings ‘Global South’ perspective to Diocese of Central Florida.

Also, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Virginia has published a response to the Draft Anglican Covenant which can be found here as a PDF, but is quite short so is reproduced here below the fold.

Last week in a letter to the Church Times Canon Gregory Cameron wrote a defence of the Covenant principle in response to an earlier letter from John Plant. This week there are three further responses, including one from the Bishop of Lincoln.



GS: another view on the Anglican Covenant

Chris Sugden of Oxford has written about this. It is hidden at the back of a Word document linked from here at Anglican Mainstream which starts out with another copy of the Fulcrum article by Andrew Goddard.

An html copy of this article is now here.


ECUSA: California property dispute reversal

Episcopal News Service reports that Appeals court favors Episcopal Church, diocese in Los Angeles property cases.

A California Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Los Angeles in cases where the majority of members of three Episcopal congregations voted to leave the Episcopal Church for oversight by bishops in another Anglican province.

The decision, which overturns rulings by a lower court, comes in the first of the recent cases brought to recover Episcopal Church property retained by congregations now calling themselves St. James Anglican Church, Newport Beach; All Saints’ Anglican Church, Long Beach; and St. David’s Anglican Church, North Hollywood. The congregations voted in August 2004 to amend their articles of incorporation, and maintain that they are now part of the Anglican Province of Uganda.

The trial court had ruled in favor of the departing congregations in August 2005. But the Fourth District Court of Appeal, in an exhaustive 77-page review of U.S. Supreme Court and California appellate decisions as well as a pertinent California statute, held that where a hierarchical church — such as the Episcopal Church — has determined that the real and personal property of subordinate bodies must be used and maintained for the benefit of the larger church, the courts in California must respect and enforce that determination.

The Court of Appeal found that a “‘governing instrument’” of the Episcopal Church — its 1979 “trust” Canon I.7(4) — “expressly impresses a trust on the property of a local church corporation” which must be enforced by the courts.

The court held that in these circumstances “the right of the general [i.e., Episcopal] church in this case to enforce a trust on the local parish property is clear” and declined to “bolster the result … by explaining that an alternative rationale [i.e, the “neutral principles” analysis adopted by numerous courts] leads to the same result.”

The press release from the Diocese of Los Angeles can be found here at present, and is reproduced below the fold.

The press release from the disaffected parishes can be found here.

The text of the decision can be downloaded here as a Word file. Or here as a PDF file.



Lambeth invitations: Sydney SC resolutions

The following press release comes from the Diocese of Sydney:

Resolutions from the Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney, held in the Chapter House of St Andrew’s Cathedral from 6.00pm to 10.00pm, Monday 25th June.

1. Consecration of Canon Bill Atwood
Canon Atwood is well known to and respected by many diocesan leaders in Sydney. He was a friend to many during the episcopate of Archbishop Harry Goodhew; he has maintained these relationships since the election of Archbishop Peter Jensen and is especially highly regarded and respected by Archbishop Jensen.

The Standing Committee voted as follows:

“Standing Committee requests the Diocesan Secretary to inform the Rev Canon Dr Bill Atwood of the deep pleasure of the Diocese of Sydney at the news of the announcement by Archbishop Nzimbi, Primate of Kenya, of the forthcoming consecration of Dr Atwood as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints’ Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi on 30 August 2007. We assure Dr Atwood of our continuing prayer for his ministry as he supports Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.”

2. Invitations to Lambeth.

Being aware that Archbishop Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, and his five Regional Bishops – The Rt Rev Robert Forsyth, Bishop of South Sydney; The Rt Rev Glenn Davies, Bishop of North Sydney; The Rt Rev Peter Tasker, Bishop of Liverpool; The Rt Rev Ivan Lee, Bishop of Western Sydney; and The Rt Rev Alan Stewart, Bishop of Wollongong -had all received personal invitations from Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury to attend the Lambeth Conference to be held in 2008;
and also being aware that Archbishop Williams had requested a reply to the invitation by 23 July, 2007,
Standing Committee engaged in a lengthy discussion about Lambeth 2008 with the Archbishop and Bishops of the Diocese.

Archbishop Jensen commenced the discussion by commenting on the present situation of the Anglican Communion as he observed it and the implications of the invitation to most Bishops in the Episcopal Church, including those who had agreed to or participated in the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire, but excluding Bishop Gene Robinson and also Bishop Martyn Minns.

In response to the discussion, the Standing Committee resolved the following advice to the Archbishop and Bishops:

“Standing Committee notes that disregarding the clear requests of many bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued invitations to attend the Lambeth Conference in 2008 to the bishops of the Episcopal Church of the USA who agreed to and/or participated in the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire.

“Standing Committee therefore –
(a) respectfully requests the Archbishop of this diocese to communicate to the Archbishop of Canterbury our dissatisfaction at the attempt to maintain union with the unrepentant while continuing to refuse fellowship to faithful and orthodox Anglicans such as the Church of England in South Africa,

(b) respectfully requests the Archbishop and bishops of this diocese not to accept the invitation to Lambeth without making public in protest, speech and liturgical action, both prior to and at Lambeth, our diocese’s principled objection to the continued participation of those whose actions have expressed a departure from the clear teaching of scripture, and who have consequently excluded orthodox Anglicans from their fellowship, and

© respectfully requests the Archbishop and bishops of this diocese to approach other orthodox bishops of the communion with the purpose of meeting in England at the time of the Lambeth Conference for Christian fellowship and the planning of joint action within the Anglican Communion to contend for the faith of the Apostles once delivered to the saints.”

For Comment on these resolutions,
Contact: Margaret Rodgers
Archbishop’s Media Officer
(W) 61 2 9265 1507
(H) 61 2 9560 9801
(Mobile) 0411 692 499


Lambeth invitations: Rwanda not attending

The House of Bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda has issued a Communiqué which can be read here:


In response to the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Honourable Rowan Williams, inviting the bishops to the Lambeth Conference 2008, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, who met in Kigali on 19 June 2007, resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference for the following reasons:

1. Our Primates represent the bishops, clergy and laity from their Provinces. Therefore what they decide as representatives cannot be taken lightly when it engages the faith of the churches they represent. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 have been issued in complete disregard of our conscientious commitment to the apostolic faith once delivered.

2. The manner in which the invitations to the bishops of Rwanda were issued is divisive as some of our bishops were not invited. The bishops that provide oversight to the Anglican Mission (AMiA) are not “Anglican Mission bishops,” but rather bishops of the Province of Rwanda given the responsibility to lead Rwanda’s missionary outreach to North America. We are a united body and will not participate in a conference which would divide our number.

3. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 not only contravene the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 but also the positions taken in the communiqués that have been agreed upon in previous Primates’ meetings and in the “Road To Lambeth” document prepared for and accepted by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) bishops.

The following are issues of great concern:

a) This Lambeth 1998 Resolution has not been respected by the Episcopal Church of America (TEC), the Anglican Church of Canada, and other like-minded Provinces, which are now violating the resolution as well as holy orders by making the decision to ordain and to consecrate practicing homosexuals.

b) The leadership of Canterbury has ignored and constantly taken lightly the resolutions from the Primates’ meetings and the statement in the “Road to Lambeth” document prepared for, and accepted by, CAPA which agreed that the crisis of faith in the Anglican Communion needed to be resolved before Lambeth 2008.

c) From his actions and decision to invite TEC, a province which is violating holy orders, biblical teaching and the tradition of the church, and his decision not to invite the bishops of AMiA and CANA, the Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he has now taken sides because the Primates have asked TEC for repentance in order to be in communion with them. In several meetings and in its response to “The Road to Lambeth”, TEC has continually rebelled against the position and counsel of the Primates.

d) In a letter sent to Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini on 18 June 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, “You should know that I have not invited the bishops of AMiA and CANA. This is not a question of asking anyone to disassociate themselves at this stage from what have been described as the missionary initiatives of your Provinces…. I appreciate that you may not be happy with these decisions, but I feel that as we approach a critical juncture of the life of the Communion, I must act in accordance to the clear guidance of the instruments of the Communion….” We would like to know if there are instruments in the Communion more important than the Primates and Provinces themselves. The Archbishop of Canterbury also refers to the consecration of the AMiA and CANA bishops as irregular. We would like to know why their consecrations are considered irregular when the actions of TEC are not considered irregular. We feel that the words of the Archbishop are tantamount to a threat, and we cannot accept this.

Therefore, in view of the above, in good conscience, the bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda have resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference 2008 unless the previously stipulated requirement of repentance on the part of the TEC and other like-minded Provinces is met, and invitations are extended to our entire House of Bishops.


GS: another briefing on the Anglican Covenant

Fulcrum has published an article by Andrew Goddard The Anglican Covenant – A Briefing Paper for the Evangelical Group on General Synod.


Canada: votes against primates joining council

The Canadian General Synod voted against the proposal to make all Anglican primates members of the Anglican Consultative Council.

Synod rejects membership of primates on ACC
Winnipeg, June 25, 2007 — General Synod has refused to ratify proposed changes to the membership of the Anglican Consultative Council that would see all primates of the Communion automatically become members.

In moving rejection, Bishop Sue Moxley of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and a member of the ACC, said the changes would add a third more members to the council, resulting in increased costs.

She also pointed out that the changes need the approval of two thirds of the provinces of the Communion.


Canada: blessing of same-sex unions defeated

Updated again Monday evening

Following the earlier vote in which a motion on principle (“not core doctrine”) was very narrowly passed, the resolution permitting local option was equally narrowly defeated:

Blessing of same-sex unions defeated
Winnipeg, June 24, 2007 — The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has narrowly defeated a resolution that would have allowed dioceses to decide for themselves whether or not to bless same-sex unions.

Lay delegates voted 78 to 59 in favor of the motion and clergy voted 63 to 53 in favor But the House of Bishops voted 21-19 against it. As a result the motion was defeated, since it required approval by each of the three orders to pass.

The motion read:

“That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod,

1. with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and
2. in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the will of the parish,

to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions.”

Anglican Journal had an earlier report: Debate continues on same-sex blessings.

There is a report on the New Westminster diocesan website General Synod turns down blessing by narrow margin.

Monday morning updates

Anglican Journal has Synod narrowly defeats same-sex blessings by Solange De Santis.

Guardian has Canada’s bishops veto synod on gay blessings by Stephen Bates.

Winnipeg Free Press has Anglican Church of Canada shies away from blessing same sex unions.

The New York Times carries a version of the Reuters report: Canada Anglicans Won’t Bless Gay Couples. Longer version of this report here in the Guardian.

The Washington Post carries the Associated Press report: Canada Anglicans Sideline Gay Blessings.

The BBC carries this headline: No gay blessings in Canada Church.

Monday evening updates

Toronto Globe and Mail Michael Valpy Bishops narrowly overturn vote to approve gay unions.

Anglican Journal Marites N Sison Emotions run high after blessings defeated.

CBC News Montreal Anglicans dismayed by same-sex blessing vote.


a news item from Kenya

The Sunday Vision has a news report headlined Mutebi opens secretariat:

KABAKA Ronald Mutebi has appealed to Ugandans and especially church leaders never to allow religion to divide them.

The Kabaka, flanked by Nnabagereka Sylvia Nagginda, made the remarks on Friday when he officially opened the sh300m Church of Uganda Provincial Secretariat offices at Namirembe.

The new structure houses the office of the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, that of the provincial secretary, plus an 100-seater fellowship hall, among others.

Mutebi castigated men who sit back and leave the women to toil for their families and the nation and appealed to the clergy to use their pulpits to preach work ethics.
Mutebi pledged the support of Buganda to the Church.

Orombi was given an award of $25,000 (about sh45m) by Americans for not supporting homosexuality. He also received an award of $30,000 (about sh54m) from friends in Singapore. All the money was used on the extension of the Provincial secretariat offices.

Other funding was from friends and well wishers within the country. Orombi commended the Baganda for being excellent communicators.

He stated, “The Baganda were the first recipient of the Gospel of the Lord. Out of this central point the gospel spread to the rest of the country. This is a great responsibility and a great challenge to all Baganda.

The Bishop of Namirembe Samuel Balagadde Ssekkadde appealed to Ugandans to avoid selfish tendencies arguing that Orombi would have spent the money on personal issues.

He also urged Ugandan to desist from adultery and witchcraft. The function was attended by the majority of the Anglican bishops across the country, Msgr. Wynand Katende who represented the Catholic leader among others.

Published on: Saturday, 23rd June, 2007

There is also an earlier unrelated story, Ankole, Muhabura get new bishops.


Canadian update

Updated Sunday 7 pm BST

Same-sex blessings consistent with core doctrine
Winnipeg, June 24, 2007 — Members of the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod in Winnipeg agreed Sunday that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the church’s core doctrine, in the sense of being credal.

Debate resumed Sunday morning after being suspended late Saturday.

The motion carried reads: “That this General Synod resolves that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine (in the sense of being credal) of the Anglican Church of Canada.

The motion was carried by a vote of 152 for, 97 against in the house of clergy and laity and by a vote of 21 for and 19 against in the house of bishops.

Anglican Journal on Friday had New primate keeps mum about blessings vote, and on Saturday had Debate continues on same-sex blessings. That debate should conclude on Sunday afternoon.

More detail can be found in the daily editions available as PDF files here.

The Halifax Daily News reported on the primatial election: Nova Scotia bishop to head Anglican Church of Canada.

This report filed last Friday by Stephen Bates of the Guardian never made it into the newspaper:

Canadian Anglicans last night confounded many expectations by narrowly electing a liberal male bishop as their next church leader instead of a conservative woman bishop.

In a move which may have implications for debates at the Canadian Synod in Winnipeg today (sat) on whether the church should authorise same sex blessing services for gay couples, lay and clergy representatives elected the Rt. Rev. Fred Hiltz, the bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Isle, as their next primate, instead of Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton who, if she had won, would have become the first-ever woman archbishop.

Bishop Hiltz, who has spent his entire 30 year ministry on Nova Scotia, is thought to favour the Canadian church pressing ahead with officially recognising committed gay partnerships. If it does so this weekend there will be immediate demands from conservative evangelicals for the church to be thrown out of the worldwide Anglican communion.

Last night the archbishop-elect spoke cautiously about respecting whatever decision the synod takes – he will have no alternative but to do so – but offered some coded clues as he added that the Anglican communion needed to look at all dimensions of the gay issue and the “full range of interpretations of scripture in matters of pastoral care and justice.” Church conservatives say the issue does not need interpreting because the Bible is plain.

Asked about African bishops trespassing in Canadian dioceses on behalf of conservative parishes, as they have done in the US, he said bluntly: “It’s not on.”

The bishop’s election after five ballots at a church in downtown Winnipeg was greeted by young representatives with whoops of delight. Unusually they had supported Hiltz in preference to the woman bishop, Victoria Matthews, because of her perceived hostility to blessings for gays.

Canada is one of the few countries in the world which allows gays to marry and delegates today will demand that the local church should move with the times and not delay a decision any further.


weekend roundup

The Times has Geoffrey Rowell writing about Midsummer is a time to reflect on the joy of song.

In the Guardian Bob Holman writes about Frederick Brotherton Meyer in Face to Faith.

Christopher Howse writes in the Daily Telegraph about Seeking the face of God.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about why The Primates have forced my move to the right.

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July agenda – press reports

Following Monday’s press briefing for next month’s Church of England General Synod the Church Times has these articles:
Big debates on pensions, top jobs, and Communion
Marriage rules, simplified, to be debated again

The official Church of England press release is Key debates on Senior Church Appointments, Anglican Communion Covenant, Marriage Law and Iran at the York Synod

Christine Seib writes in The Times on pensions, one of the items on the agenda: God’s work is an expensive enterprise

Our list of links to synod papers is here.


Uganda Elects Bishop for Congregations in U.S.

The Archbishop of Uganda Henry Orombi has made an announcement. See this page on the NACDAP site for the full text.

The Most Rev’d Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda, with the consent of the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, given in December 2006 and reaffirmed today, will consecrate the Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, an American priest canonically resident in North Kigezi Diocese, Church of Uganda, as a Bishop in the Church of Uganda. He will be consecrated in Mbarara on 2nd September 2007, together with Rev. George Tibesigwa, Bishop-elect of Ankole Diocese.

Bishop-elect Guernsey will provide local episcopal oversight to the 26 congregations in the United States that are part of the Church of Uganda, on behalf of the ten Ugandan Bishops currently providing episcopal care to Biblically orthodox American congregations. He will also continue to serve as Rector of All Saints Church, Dale City, Virginia…

George Conger has this report in the Living Church Uganda to Consecrate Virginia Priest as Missionary Bishop to the U.S.

Episcopal Café has drawn attention to a Thinking Anglicans report from 2004, which included a link to a report written by Alison Barfoot in March 2004 and entitled Draft Proposal for Overseas AEO (PDF 200K). Martyn Minns, Bill Atwood and John Guernsey are all mentioned in this memo.


Hiltz is new Canadian primate

Bishop Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island has been elected as the new primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Official announcement here.

Anglican Journal here:

After a nail-biting election that took nearly three hours, a majority of the delegates of the General Synod elected Bishop Fred Hiltz of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island as the 13th primate – or national archbishop – of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Bishop Hiltz, 53, was elected on June 22 on the fifth ballot, garnering 60 out of 116 votes (51.7 per cent) from clergy, and 81 out of 137 votes from laity (59 per cent). Bishop Victoria Matthews of the diocese of Edmonton came in a close second, with 56 votes from clergy, and 56 from the laity.

Living Church here.


reports from Winnipeg

Stephen Bates of the Guardian has this report in the paper this morning:
Canadian votes could prompt Anglican split but there is also an earlier and slightly longer version on the website here.

Anglican Journal has International observers urge Canadians to consider value of Anglican Communion and Anglicans and Lutherans celebrate six years of Full Communion.

Today, a new primate will be elected by the clergy and lay members of the synod: see The election of an Anglican Primate and also Electing the Primate: the process for how it is done.

Other press reports:

Associated Press Canadian Anglicans to vote on blessing gay couples; church to choose new national leader

Vancouver Sun Canada’s Anglicans won’t be sanctioned for same-sex vote

Episcopal News Service Bonnie Anderson discusses Episcopal Church’s response to Windsor Report with Canadian General Synod


Sentamu addresses Canadian General Synod

The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, addressed the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada on 20 June 2007. The full text of his speech is here.

(Some of this may sound familiar. His presidential address to the English General Synod at York last year can be found here.)


Canadian General Synod: presidential address

The text of the Presidential Address delivered by Archbishop Andrew Hutchison at the opening service of General Synod in the Cathedral Church of St. John in Winnipeg can be read here.

Some items:

St. Michael Report:

Following the last Synod, and at its request, I asked the Primate’s Theological Commission to consider whether the blessing of same-sex relationships is a matter of doctrine or not, and to report their findings to the Council of General Synod. Their conclusions are in the St. Michael Report, which comes before you with a motion commended to us by the Council.

Our department of Faith, Worship & Ministry, under the direction of Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, has been kept particularly busy during the triennium staffing both the Theological Commission and the Windsor Response Group, supervising a new Youth Ministry Coordinator, and organizing an excellent national conference on healthy parishes.

Issues Related to Blessings:

Certainly one of the most difficult items for our discernment will be the question of how to proceed on the issue of same-gender relationships. Related to it are other questions. One is the deeper question of how Anglicans receive and understand Scriptures in the light of modern scholarship and contemporary experience. Another is how our decisions will impact our sister churches in the Anglican Communion. And beside that is a question as to the nature of the Communion, and the appropriate relationship between provincial autonomy and global interdependence.

Another way of putting that is, how do we wish authority to be exercised or limited within our family of churches? And perhaps most important, how will our decisions witness to the Good News of God in Jesus Christ for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters within the Church and outside it. There are of course many other questions to consider in the hard work of discernment over this issue. We are taught that the first principle of moral theology is obedience to conscience, and I ask each of you to embrace that principle, and with it the ethic of respect for the conscience of those who disagree with your own. The second principle of moral theology is to inform your conscience to bring it, if possible, into line with the teaching of the Church. And here careful listening using the Anglican approach of Scripture, Tradition and Reason will be helpful.

At the end of the day, when decisions are made, they will not be unanimous. Differences will remain, but the unanimous opinion of the Theological Commission (and of many other sources) is that the question of same-gender blessings should not be a communion breaking issue. So the alternative to that is that in keeping with a long Anglican tradition, we make room at the table for those whose views we do not share. For the table is the Lord’s and not our own. And it is He who invites us to share the life that is offered there for the sins of the whole world….

The Structures of the Communion:

These are indeed difficult days as the traditional structures of our Church are challenged and their roles called into question. Faith and order have always gone hand in hand in the life of the Church. And Anglican order has been both distinctive and clear. The Lambeth Quadrilateral, adopted by the Lambeth Conference in 1888 sets out both faith and order as essential elements for the reunification of the Churches. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and the Creeds — both Apostles’ and the Nicene — are the essentials of faith. The faithful practice of the dominical sacraments (Baptism and the Eucharist) and maintaining the historic episcopate, locally adapted, are the essentials of order. It is within that framework that we are a family of autonomous churches held together by bonds of affection that have frequently been strained, and often mended. It is within that framework that we have achieved full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It is within that framework that the Church of England maintains full communion with the Church in Sweden, under the Porvoo Agreement, and with the Old Catholic Church in Europe despite differences in belief and practice. (Both churches have authorized public rites of blessing for same-sex couples) A serious question before us is how is our present discussion, we can honour both the faith and the order that define who we are.


further reactions to the Kenyan consecration

George Conger has a roundup for the CEN of reactions to the proposed consecration of Bill Atwood as a Kenyan bishop titled Mixed Reaction to Atwood Appointment.

The statement to which he refers, by Drexel Gomez, who is scheduled to address the General Synod of the Church of England in July on the virtues of the Draft Anglican Covenant, can be found in full here:

The Archbishop supports the decision of the Province of Kenya to provide resident Episcopal oversight for the clergy and congregations in the United States who placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Kenya after they had arrived at the conclusion that the Episcopal Church no longer offered them the assurance of continuity with “The faith once delivered to the saints.” The provision of adequate pastoral care and episcopate oversight constitutes a deliberate and intentional effort to provide stability in an environment in which Anglicanism is being severely tested and challenged.

The Primates of the Communion at their meeting in Tanzania in February produced a communion response to the embattled state of Anglicanism in the United States in their offer of a provisional pastoral arrangement which provided space for the participation of all the major Anglican entities in the United States. Unfortunately, the unanimous offer of the Primates was rejected by the House of Bishops and the Executive Committee of the Episcopal Church. In the face of this unequivocal rejection, the Instruments of Communion must determine the most appropriate response to this unfortunate spectacle of a fragmented Anglicanism within the United States of America.

In this context, the decision of the Province of Kenya signals a willingness on the part of that Province to act responsibly to provide care for persons already under its jurisdiction. In addition, the selection of the Rev’d. Canon Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop is highly commendable. Canon Atwood is well suited for this particular ministry given his long association with Kenya and some of the other Provinces in CAPA and his unquestionable knowledge and appreciation of the ecclesial situation in the United States.

Finally, the willingness of the Province of Kenya to collaborate with the other orthodox Anglicans in the United States could serve the point towards a creation of a viable, stable and orthodox Anglican presence in the United States.