Thinking Anglicans

Pittsburgh comes to Lambeth

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has issued an announcement Pittsburgh Bishops to Attend Lambeth Conference.

Bishops Robert Duncan and Henry Scriven confirmed today that they will be attending both the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jordan and Jerusalem in June and the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in Kent, England, this July and August.

“After consulting with the people of Pittsburgh and our friends around the globe, we have come to the conclusion that it is necessary for us to be present at both gatherings,” said Bishop Robert Duncan.

The Global Anglican Future Conference is focused on moving forward with the work and witness of the church even as the crisis in the Anglican Communion over discipline and biblical authority continues. It brings together hundreds of bishops who have, as a matter of conscience, decided not to attend the Lambeth Conference, as well as other bishops who believe that global partnerships and the current conflicts necessitate their presence at both meetings. Among those going to Jerusalem and Jordan are many of the strongest supporters of orthodox Anglicans in North America. “We will be among friends, focused squarely on the Gospel, and dealing openly with how we build the missionary relationships, covenantal boundaries and responsible structures for the future of Anglicanism,” said Bishop Duncan.

Bishops Duncan and Scriven will then join some six-hundred bishops and archbishops (about two-thirds of all Anglican bishops) who will be attending the Anglican Communion’s once-a-decade Lambeth Conference of Bishops. “Given the expense and the stated-intent of the Archbishop of Canterbury that Lambeth can no longer be considered a decision making council of the church, choosing to be present was not easy,” said Bishop Duncan. In an effort to limit costs connected to the meeting, an estimated $12,000 per attending bishop and spouse for the entire two-and-a-half week Lambeth Conference, Bishop Duncan will attend July 16-25 and Bishop Scriven will attend July 26 – August 3.

Both bishops believe it is important that the diocese be represented throughout the Lambeth Conference, if for no other reason than to provide an alternative perspective on the situation in The Episcopal Church. “Those who accuse us of abandoning the Anglican Communion will certainly be present and vocal. It is important for us to be able to respond directly to their claims about the situation in The Episcopal Church and our place in the Communion,” added Bishop Duncan. As with the Global Anglican Future Conference, both Pittsburgh bishops will also work to strengthen missionary partnerships with bishops from every corner of the world.

Bishop Scriven asked that Pittsburgh Episcopalians pray for both meetings. “We hope that many join us in praying for God’s clear presence and guidance in the Holy Land and Canterbury. With God, all things are possible,” he said.

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Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

Three things are of some small interest to me in the light of recent announcements from US bishops belonging to the Network saying they ARE attending Lambeth. 1. I had thought that GAFCON was in the main called because these bishops had suffered such hardship and isolation that their Global South brothers were not coming to Lambeth out of support for THEM. 2. It seems to me that Lambeth never claimed – nor was granted – decision making powers to bind the Communion as a whole and while Rowan has acknowledged this he plans to change Lambeth’s status through the… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

Is this the only Assistant bishop with half an invitation or are more similarly invited.

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Martin, It would be great if people could come with more expectation, but that would be to live in the land of nostalgia. It is a candid evaluation of where things are now, and more important, a recognition that TEC is not the Anglican Church! What would be some ground for hope in this case is if instead of asking “who are these men?” we could recognize they are people who have struggled deeply with the issue of Christian faithfulness(even when people deeply disagree) and what the ACC is called to now. As it is you are piling up obstacles… Read more »

Pluralist
12 years ago

Increasingly it seems that the GAFCON crowd want it both ways, and that there remains an isolationist GAFCON for a different future and a both places GAFCON (though frustrated about the Lambeth Conference). Again it would have made more sense in GAFCON had come second, so presumably there will be a lot of ‘either do this or’ from GAFCON followed by people putting it to Lambeth, after which they will probably have to go it alone via many more common cause partnerships or such the like.

Malcolm+
12 years ago

“Lambeth can no longer be considered a decision making council of the church.”

Bob, Lambeth was NEVER “a decision making council of the church, ” and you and your “conservative” co-conspirators should stop lying.

Robin
Robin
12 years ago

Martin, I don’t think that’s “half an invitation” – from Duncan’s wording, he and his assistant are splitting the conference for financial reasons.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

“…a recognition that TEC is not the Anglican Church!” Of course, it isn’t. There is no “Anglican Church”–there is an Anglican Communion, a loose affiliation of many national churches, all with a mutual history of having developed out of the Church of England. I would like to point out that TEC is the second oldest of these national churches (after the Scottish Episcopal Church), the one with the longest uninterrupted history of self-government…and that it was to strengthen the ties between TEC and the CoE that the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral–the foundation of the Anglican Communion as we know it–was held and… Read more »

Kennedy
Kennedy
12 years ago

Might take slight exception to the idea that the SEC grew out of the CofE but I’m with you on the early involvement in the Communion.

Kennedy

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Pat,

You like to sing that song – get it in every time!

By now we know the ACC is not the same as the RCC etc. But somehow there must be some relation, or what is Lambeth, the Anglican Consultative Council, the Windsor Report, the Covenant process, the Primates meetings etc. all about? These are “just games” on the side?

Ben W

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

“By now we know the ACC is not the same as the RCC etc. But somehow there must be some relation, or what is Lambeth, the Anglican Consultative Council, the Windsor Report, the Covenant process, the Primates meetings etc. all about?” They are meetings of siblings, family gatherings, places to discuss mutual issues. They are not decision-making bodies for all the sisters and brothers. Each member church is a full-fledged adult, capable of deciding things for itself. Analogy: If my brother decides to join a nudist colony, it’s none of my business unless he tries to drag me along. Similarly,… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Yes I agree that DuncanCo want to have their conservative realignment dominion over everybody else, based on their constant loud claims that only they really know anything of eternal spiritual value, while at the same time the rest of us who are put on earth to be so dominated are expected to be loyal frat pledges, asking, Sir may I have another while DuncanCo smacks us bright baboon red for our own individual and collective goods. Now only are we supposed to praise them ever so high, but we are further supposed to join them in loudly dissing such worthless… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Pat, This is interesting, somehow the it is modern “individualism” that is the model when it comes to wider communion, but within particular geographical bounds it’s absolute control from the top! You can even take “stuff” that a brother or sister cherished and labored to build for a life time (they have no say about that that is in the hands of “big brother or sister!”). You go with that model if you want, I think that is to give up on being the body of Christ (where “we are members one of another,” Rom 12:5)and real Christian community. Ben… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

“These are “just games” on the side?”

Parlour games without a future.

“TEC is not the Anglican Church!”

It is, in much of both Americas”

Andrew Carey
Andrew Carey
12 years ago

Pat, it worries me to see the sort of revisionism that you are talking about in terms of the Anglican Communion. ‘Communion’ and ‘Koininia’ always signal something more than ‘loose affiliation’. You also use the metaphor of ‘family’, which also seems to point to the fact that ‘communion’ is more than just ‘loose affiliation’ or ‘federalism’. You are right that the Anglican Communion is not a Church, but it has always had some of the hallmarks of a worldwide church – an interchangeable ministry, for example, and a common liturgical tradition. Furthermore, since the first Lambeth Conference met there has… Read more »

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
12 years ago

Andrew C: I think it is correct to say that Anglicanism “has always had some of the hallmarks of a worldwide church,” but only in the sense that, until very recently, it was an imperial church, the expansion of which went hand in hand with the British Empire. Obviously, the end of empire in the secular sphere means that the imperial nature of the Anglican Church has had to change, too, but I don’t know what the ecclesiological justification for having Anglicans abroad now is. Before, it was the church of the English abroad: now, surely, the justification for us… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

Ben: “This is interesting, somehow the it is modern “individualism” that is the model when it comes to wider communion, but within particular geographical bounds it’s absolute control from the top! You can even take “stuff” that a brother or sister cherished and labored to build for a life time (they have no say about that that is in the hands of “big brother or sister!”).” TEC has the least top-down polity in the whole Communion (or at least is in a tie with Canada)–nothing can be done without the approval of all three houses of General Convention: laity, clergy,… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

Andrew is correct when he states that TEC bishops were leaders in the field of “Anglican Church” development – Bishop Mark Dyer is a signatory to the Virginia Report as was Archbishop Carnley from Australia – both on the list of liberal heretics. But, as that report makes clear the Anglican Communion was/is very much in the process of “becoming” at all sorts of levels, with the Instruments of Communion/Unity “unsure” of their role and what future development to grasp. The Report then attempts to map out a direction and as we know that map was not welcomed by all!… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

drdanfee, Whatever you say about bss Duncan and Scriven, if you say they have taken extreme positions, you have gone way out there to be the other side of the extreme! You can only speak of them with contempt, say things about them that do not represent them with any sense of fairness (your rhetoric has run away with you!). Since when does what you say, they hold as “worthless follies … equality, democracy, enlightenment openness and rationality …” They will not simply operate in abstractions or make an idol of these things, but have in fact affirmed and engaged… Read more »

Andrew Carey
Andrew Carey
12 years ago

Pat, I understand that this is one version of recent history which has wide circulation in TEC. It’s predicated on TEC’s ‘polity’ being somehow uniquely democratic in a way the rest of us don’t understand or can’t grasp. I just don’t think that’s true. It also assumes that everyone who wants some kind of accountability wants Anglicanism to become an authoritarian body. Again, I just don’t recognise that as true. I think it’s been clear however for some years that if a church does things that have a controversial effect on a worldwide interchangeable ministry, then some degree of impairment… Read more »

Mark
Mark
12 years ago

Ben asks, re all the AC institutions, “These are ‘just games’ on the side?” It always amazes me that it’s the conservatives, the ones who claim they really believe in the Bible and the nature of God and Jesus while the “liberals” only believe metaphorically, it’s these “orthodox” who believe that any gathering for prayer and Bible study are “just games on the side.” Anything less than a naked exercise of power, power as exercised every day by the World, is pointless on its face. How you must wish Jesus had led the disciples in voting Judas out of the… Read more »

Dan
Dan
12 years ago

“I see a handful of the grandkids and great grandkids taking something that was given to the whole family by their ancestors and attempting to walk off with it for themselves, leaving their far more numerous cousins bereft” I see this as gross exaggeration. Would TEC’s current position be any different if the parish was a “new” one, that is essentialy first generation and all of the giving had been done by the same people who wanted to leave? We both know it would not. The problem is that despite the lip service we pay to the “hierarchical” nature of… Read more »

Malcolm+
12 years ago

Andrew said: “Analogy: If my brother decides to join a nudist colony, it’s none of my business unless he tries to drag me along. Similarly, if I choose to paint my house as a circus tent, my sister has no say in the matter…unless I insist that she do the same. “But we are still brothers and sister. We still meet for Christmas and Thanksgiving, for birthdays and anniversaries. We still share each other’s joys and pains and still try to work out serious differences without argument. “And when we can’t, we agree to let it drop and make our… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Pat, I think Andrew’a point is well taken, “since the first Lambeth Conference met there has been an emphasis on mutuality and interdependence as well as autonomy.” The ACC has been finding a way toward the appropriate balance here. People with a vested interest in just having their way would have a vested interest in disarray and mere autonomy. Even in the imperial era there was always more to church relationships than power, but with its end there had to be a serious rethink. There can hardly be real communication and accountability in faith apart from mutuality and interdependence, there… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“The problem is that despite the lip service we pay to the “hierarchical” nature of TEC, it functions under a congregational model….almost anything goes in the parishes.” Evidence for this please. Also, your statement that the cousins know better what the grandparents wanted is immaterial. The issue is what does God want, not what was or is wanted by human beings, however well meaning or sincere their faith was. Besides, from what I can see, in places like Truro, VA it is the very distant cousins who are trying to claim they know best what Grandma wanted, despite the fact… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
12 years ago

Mark,

I think you either missed the point or read something else and got mixed up. What you read me to say is certainly not what I am saying. Try again.

Ben W

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

“Distatnt cousins” is it now? How sweet of you…

Susan in Georgia
Susan in Georgia
12 years ago

Dan, I am a member of an Episcopal Church parish established fifty years ago. A good many of our founding members are still alive and still attending church. In some cases, there are four generations of the same family attending on Sundays. Our vestry recently declared us an inclusive church. This vestry has two grandchildren of founders, plus four members who have belonged to the church for more than forty years. Some long time members left when Gene Robinson was consecrated, but far more stayed. The ones who stayed proceeded to call a woman as rector. I’ve talked to ones… Read more »

JCF
JCF
12 years ago

“Each church calls its own clergy” It varies from diocese to diocese (bishop to bishop), Dan, but generally-speaking, the above is a “gross exaggeration.” (Nowhere more so, than a parish in the Diocese of Fort Worth trying to call *female* clergy!) *** Andrew, do you have nothing more constructive to offer, than to hurl the charge at Pat of “revisionism”, merely having a “one version of recent history which has wide circulation in TEC”? Or does the fact that Pat’s account rings true with my 40+ years (lifelong) in TEC—and, FWIW, doctorate in religion—make me a “revisionist” too? Why should… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

Andrew:

We lost the interchangeable ministry 30 years ago, when TEC and others began ordaining women, a position that many other parts of the communion still do not accept. TEC’s PB wouldn’t even be able to conduct Sunday services in, say, Nigeria, let alone be treated as a bishop. And clearly, at the moment, even the CoE would have difficulty accepting a male TEC priest who was ordained by a female bishop…because in the CoE that woman is not a bishop.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

Dan: “Would TEC’s current position be any different if the parish was a “new” one, that is essentialy first generation and all of the giving had been done by the same people who wanted to leave?” No, because the documents that chartered that parish–new or old–clearly state that the property is held in trust for the diocese and through it, the national church. If the founders of that parish–and we have a couple of newly created ones in our diocese–wanted a different set-up there are many other denominations they could have joined. Or they could even have simply founded an… Read more »

Dan
Dan
12 years ago

Pat You have made my point. You argued that the “didsidents” were stealing what their ancestors had intended for the whole church. You now admit it has nothing to do with what was intended, it is simply a matter of the church polity. Fine. I merely repeat what I said, for a hierarchical church, TEC functions much more like congregational churches. I gave several illustrations of that. It is not surprising that parishes given virtual autonomy should think they own their property. I am not saying that is the law nor how it should turn out, merely that it is… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

Andrew Carey reminds us of the slow and difficult birth of the ACC, and it is an interesting case study in itself of how the member churches of the Communion viewed their fellowship and how they should or should NOT create a fixture of their “consulting” together. But historical revisionist can take some hope from a new book by Alan Ford on that Darwinian nemesis Archbishop James Ussher , Dr Judith Maltby reviewing the work writes in today’s Church Times writes: “…. it will be of interest to anyone wishing to put the current complexity of the way the sister… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

“Pat You have made my point. You argued that the “didsidents” were stealing what their ancestors had intended for the whole church. You now admit it has nothing to do with what was intended, it is simply a matter of the church polity.” And who created that church polity? The tooth fairy? No, it was the founders of the Episcopal church. Who signed on to and continued that polity (when it could have been changed multiple times in General Convention)? Generation after generation of faithful Episcopalians through more than 200 years of the church’s existence, that’s who. It’s only now… Read more »

Walsingham
Walsingham
12 years ago

@Dan: While canonical processes in TEC often may appear to let congregations have a great deal of autonomy, it should never be forgotten just who “wears the britches” in the diocese: the guy (or gal) with the pointy hat and curvy stick. Clergy in the diocese serve at the bishop’s pleasure. While parishes are generally granted the advisory role of picking their clergy, it really is just that: an advisory role, which the bishop can accept or ignore pretty much as he or she wishes. Same goes for running the finances of the parish. It is of course very rare… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“”Distatnt cousins” is it now? How sweet of you…”

You’re welcome. And here I thought you were a Lutheran, with whom the Anglican Church has found enough commonality that many of us are now in communion with the Lutherans. In this country, we even share ministry. I was referring to Baptists and other fundamentalists who have not even bothered to become Anglicans, yet seek to impose their polity on TEC.

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

Sorry, Ford, I was adressing what Dan said: “when you add to it that the grandkids have a whole lot more knowledge about what grandma and grandpa intended by their gifts than the distant cousins they have never even met…”

Göran Koch-Swahne
12 years ago

Sorry Ford,

I thought I was answering Dan above on Thursday, 8 May 2008 at 4:29pm BST: “… when you add to it that the grandkids have a whole lot more knowledge about what grandma and grandpa intended by their gifts than the distant cousins they have never even met, well, the stage is set for conflict…”

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