Updated again Friday afternoon
Two items from the Swanwick conference:
The presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church in the US has called on Anglicans to help defeat injustice and human suffering.
Speaking at the USPG Annual Conference yesterday, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said ‘missional partnerships, whether Anglican, Christian or inter faith’ were essential for building a worldwide ‘community of peace and justice’.
‘Jesus Christ is the standard for discerning the path between authentic cultural expression and flawed syncretism, between ensuring we do not quench the Spirit and yet properly testing what we believe may be the Spirit’s leading’ said Archbishop Thabo Makgoba. He was addressing the USPG Annual Conference in Swanwick, England, on ‘Mission Realities for Southern African Anglicans – and their Wider Implications’.
Follow the link above and scroll down for the full text of his address. Here is one extract:
I am convinced that in our current situation within the Communion neither have we done, nor are we continuing to do, enough of this sort of listening to one another. We do not understand one another and one another’s contexts well enough, and we are not sufficiently sensitive to one another in the way we act. Autonomy has gone too far. I do not mean that we should seek a greater uniformity – I hope it is clear I am saying nothing of the sort. But we risk acting in ways that are so independent of one another that it becomes hard for us, and for outsiders, to recognise either a committed interdependent mutuality or a common Christian, Anglican, DNA running through our appropriately contextualised and differentiated ways of being.
Bishop Katharine, what I am going to say next is painful to me, and I fear it may also be to you – but I would rather say it to your face, than behind your back. And I shall be ready to hear from you also, for I cannot preach listening without doing listening. It sometimes seems to me that, though many have failed to listen adequately to the Spirit at work within The Episcopal Church, at the same time within your Province there has not been enough listening to the rest of the Anglican Communion. I had hoped that those of your Bishops who were at the Lambeth Conference would have grasped how sore and tender our common life is. I had hoped that even those who, after long reflection, are convinced that there is a case for the consecration of individuals in same sex partnerships, might nonetheless have seen how unhelpful it would be to the rest of us, for you to proceed as you have done.
There are times when it seems that your Province, or some within it, despite voicing concern for the rest of us, can nonetheless act in ways that communicate a measure of uncaring at the consequent difficulties for us. And such apparent lack of care for us increases the distress we feel. Much as we understand that you are in all sincerity attempting to discern the best way forward within your own mission context, we ask you to be sensitive to the rest of us.
Let me immediately add that, if there were certain others here, I would speak to them equally frankly. Cross border visitations and other moratoria violations have undermined not only your polity, but wider attempts to handle disagreements in a godly way before the face of the watching world. I will also add that, outside the scope of the moratoria, there are too many other shameful and painful ways that ‘gracious restraint’ has not been exercised by various different individuals and groups from all manner of perspectives. These too destructively exacerbate our attempts to live truly as a Communion, and contribute to the way that disagreements over human sexuality and its handling have come to dominate the life of the Anglican Communion to a disproportionate and debilitating extent. When I am interviewed, when I participate in radio phone-ins, no matter what the ostensible topic, again and again I find myself derailed by questions on this. I have to say this undermines our witness; dissipates energies that ought to be spent on the true priorities of mission; and distorts the focus and agenda of the Communion’s common life to an increasingly detrimental degree.
This has links to videos as well:
Video: Presiding bishop addresses USPG on ‘Witnessing to Christ Today’
[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori delivers a keynote address June 9 on the theme “Witnessing to Christ Today,” during the annual meeting of USPG-Anglicans in World Mission in Swanwick, England.
Video: Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba addresses USPG conference
[Episcopal News Service] Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba delivers a keynote address June 10 as part of the USPG-Anglicans in World Mission annual conference. Makgoba speaks on the theme “Mission Realities for Southern African Anglicans — and their wider implications.
Video: USPG panel tackles issues concerning mission, Anglican identity, human sexuality, environment
[Episcopal News Service] Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba and Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori join the Rev. Mark Oxbrow, international director of the Faith2Share network, for a panel discussion June 9 that focuses on issues of local and global mission, Anglican identity, human sexuality and environmental concerns. The discussion was held during the USPG-Anglicans in World Mission annual conference in Swanwick, England.