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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Nigeria - By Will Ross in Lagos
If Bishop Welby wants a frank report card on the state of the Anglican Church he can get it from Bishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria.
He described it as "grievously disunited" and said attending church meetings was like "working in a police state with agents all over the place trying to catch people with their words".
The Anglican Church says it has some 18 million followers in Nigeria and the new Archbishop of Canterbury will have to tread very carefully on the controversial issues of homosexual priests and same-sex marriage if he wants to ensure rifts do not deepen further.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria Episcopal Church (TEC) Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010 * Culture-Watch Globalization
And not only do we need a big picture, we need a ‘long’ picture. In today’s world, it is an ‘instant’ world. Yes, you be able to get something done now, but it may cause damages in the long run. So we need have the big and long picture.
It is not going to be easy. When the first Prime Minister of China was asked about his evaluation of the French Revolution, which happened two hundred years ago. He was well-educated and serving in the very difficult cold war years of the 50’s and 60’s. And he said, gently and quietly, “It is too short to tell.” And many of those in the West and us are living under the shadow of 1789. The world has changed but it is “too soon to tell.” Taking the big and long perspective of things will help us to see things clearer. It may be slower but it will help us to see clearer and hopefully, in the end, do things in a more constructive way. Yet it is not an excuse for procrastinating.
This “both-and” thing is always difficult. That is why I put on this bi-focal spectacles. You see near and you see far. Sometimes it is blur in the middle, but if you know how to adjust yourselves....and today, it is not a uni-polar world anymore. The powers-that-be have come to learn that they cannot call the shots any more, It is a multi-polar world. But for us, the tremendous thing is we have a call that holds us united together in spite of our different cultural context. It is because of the pillar of the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ, we have the same thing and yet can see our different context in the light of a common call.
This is very precious, something which the world does not have. They have either this or that. Now our challenges is how to strengthen ourselves, both within and without. We must be focus in the journey ahead.
Read it all.
One reason why it fails to create a strong reaction is that it simply confirms the obvious. The crisis moment has now passed. Many of the Global South provinces have given up on the official North American Anglicans (TEC and the Canadian Church) and regard themselves as being out of communion with them. They renew the call for repentance but can see that, failing something like the Great Awakening, it will not occur. The positive side to this is that they are committed to achieving self-sufficiency so that they will cease to rely on the Western churches for aid. That is something the Global South has been working on for some time, with success.
In my judgment, the assembly was unresponsive to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s video greetings. I don’t think that what he said was obscure. It just seemed to be from another age, another world. His plea for patience misjudged the situation by several years and his talk of the Anglican covenant was not where the actual conference was at. He seemed to suggest that the consecration of a partnered lesbian Bishop will create a crisis. In fact the crisis itself has passed. We are now on the further side of the critical moment; the decisions have all been made; we are already living with the consequences. And it was in working out the consequences that the communiqué may eventually be seen to be historic.
The Global South Encounter could not in itself recognize the authenticity of churches. But the communiqué goes as far as is possible to recognizing the authenticity of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) and declaring this body to be the true heirs of the Anglican tradition on that continent. This is precisely what the GAFCON/FCA Primates Council did in 2009, and it really means that the leadership of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion regards itself as being in communion with ACNA and out of fellowship with the other North Americans. This was symbolized by the part played by Archbishop Bob Duncan at the conference, especially when he presided at Holy Communion. Furthermore the welcome accorded to the two bishops from the Communion Partners demonstrated the Global South commitment to Biblical standards as a test of fellowship.
In the meantime, of course, there are those, notably in the West, who want to play by the old institutional rules. They would argue that ACNA cannot be part of the Anglican Communion because it has not passed the tests of admission via the Anglican Consultative Council. This is so artificial as to be risible....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Anglican Covenant Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010
As a watching world wonders if Anglicanism is falling apart, major players in the Anglican Communion are assured of unity. But it is an assurance that is mingled with a deep sorrow.
These were recurrent themes in conversations The Christian Post had with most of the Global South archbishops and representatives. This paper had met them at a significant summit held last week at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
For the Global South archbishops, there is no question about whether there will be a split in the largest Protestant communion.
“There is really only one Anglican Communion,” said the Most Revd. Henri Kahwa Isingoma of Congo. “It is the North American Churches that have gone far from the roots of our common faith.”
Read the whole article.
Thanks to the spiritual leadership of Churches in the southern hemisphere and Asia, the Anglican Communion looks set for more change. The next major milestone for the Communion appears to be the Anglican Covenant, a document leaders hope would clearly articulate the Anglican faith, and a real system of authority.
In this exclusive survey of the views of Anglican Global South archbishops and representatives, The Christian Post learns of their concerns and hopes as they eagerly draw the curtains to their collective future.
The following are full-length transcripts of interviews conducted with most of the archbishops and their representatives gathered at a summit held last week at St. Andrew's Cathedral.
Read it all (15 pages).
We need leaders who know God’s word, not guessing what God might be doing, offering opinions on this or that gospel truth, but going deep into God’s word as a means of grace to shape how we enter the mind of Christ. The crisis we face as a Communion is theological at heart, and needs to be addressed with theological depth.
This is the painful lesson in New Zealand: how damaging it is when the theological education of men and women in ministry brings doubt and confusion, especially in matters where the word of Scripture is clear. And the impact on our churches after more than a generation of such theological education has been devastating.
I read the report to the House Of Bishops in TEC regarding questions of same sex relationships and sexual expression. To be perfectly honest, and speaking personally from an academic perspective, the case put forward to justify same sex blessings and marriage is extraordinary in its treatment of various scriptures. Passages that are actually quite clear are made to say the opposite of their plain meaning. The logic and reasoning is strained and at key points quite incoherent.
Read it carefully and read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010
We are encouraged by and welcome the Communique from the Fourth Anglican Global South to South Encounter in Singapore, with its positive emphasis on mission. We particularly endorse....
2. Their agreement that the future of the Communion lies in winning the next generation for Christ and therefore their call to each region to adopt initiatives to better understand the needs and characteristics of this new generation so that we might better communicate the Gospel and Christian values to them. 
3. Their statement of ‘the absolute necessity and priority for the Church to disciple her members under the authority of the inspired Scriptures so that they may transform their societies and reach the nations with the Gospel’. 
4. Their recognition that TEC and ACC’s ‘continued refusal to honor the many requests made of them by the various meetings of the Primates throughout the Windsor Process have brought discredit to our witness’; the urging of the Archbishop of Canterbury to implement the recommended actions’; and their encouragement to Provinces ‘to reconsider their communion relationships with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada until it becomes clear that there is genuine repentance’. [18 and 19]
Read it all.
Archbishops representing three-quarters of the Anglican world are rallying for firm action against two Western Churches for ‘celebrating’ homosexuality.
The decision by the top leadership of the Global South of the Anglican Communion was prompted by the recent election by The Episcopal Church (U.S.) of a partnered lesbian as a bishop.
Heads of Churches in the Anglican Global South will be persuading their representative assemblies to reconsider communion with the North American Churches. This is “until it becomes clear there is genuine repentance,” in the words of a communiqué. The ‘Fourth Trumpet’ was released Friday after an Anglican Global South summit held throughout the week at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.
Read it all.
Abp. Peter Jensen, Sydney. I want to begin with a special thanks to our host, Archbishop John Chew. Our thanks for your graciousness in inviting us. The Trumpet Sounds of the Global South have been one of the most significant elements in the Communion in the last 20 years. I trust this trumpet sound will be the same.
Remarkable moments for me came in my fellowship group. People from all over the world. To share with brothers and sisters in depth from their own life story. It was extraordinary . We were talking about covenant, quietly, gently, in a Global South way when one person mentioned the fact that whereas most people feel a covenant is a pretty significant and sacred thing, when dealing with people of the West, you are not sure that they mean what they say. We are so infected by postmodernism that our word cannot be trusted. It is true and creates a tension that lies between us, usually unspoken. We who have been infected by this need to repent. The beating heart of the Global South is that you say exactly what you mean.
I see something else about you that you take for granted. This conference was unremorsefully Scriptural. Every talk, every presentation, came straight out of scripture and expound the scriptures for us. The commitment of the Global South to Scripture is no platitude. That is a striking thing. You take it for granted. You keep saying to the West, “You have to live under the Scriptures.” I’m not sure they even know what that means.
Read it all.
Read it all.
Anglican leaders in the Global South have been encouraged to reconsider their relationships with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada "until it becomes clear that there is genuine repentance."
"Some of our Provinces are already in a state of broken and impaired Communion with The Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada. Their continued refusal to honor the many requests made of them ... have brought discredit to our witness," said some 130 Anglicans from 20 provinces at the conclusion of the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore.
They condemned the two western bodies for their continued "defiance" of Scripture and the rest of the global Anglican Communion with their pro-gay actions.
Specifically, the Global South leaders pointed to the upcoming consecration of the Rev. Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, in Los Angeles. Despite calls by Anglican leaders worldwide to practice gracious restraint in regards to the ordination of partnered gays, Glasspool was confirmed to become the second openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church. Her ordination is scheduled for May.
Read it all.
The Churches of the Global South are not beggars, cannot be bought, and do not want any patronising handouts from the West, the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, told 150 delegates to the Fourth Global Anglican South to South Encounter (GSE4) in Singapore on Monday.
In the opening address, the Archbishop emphasised the “absolute necessity for economic empowerment in the Global South”, and warned against “the treachery of another gospel which is afraid of and denies the deity of Christ”.
Read it all.
Archbishop John Chew Hiang Chea has been elected head of the majority Global South Anglican bloc.
The announcement was made yesterday by outgoing Vice-Chairman Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda.
Archbishop Chew, who heads the 100,000-member Province of South East Asia, will succeed retired Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola of Nigeria.
Previously Honorary General Secretary of the Anglican Global South, he was elected at the Primates’ Meeting on Wednesday night. His new official title is: Chairman of the Global South Primates Steering Committee (GSPSC).
“We covet your prayers together as a team,” said the Singaporean archbishop.
Read it all.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged patience and forbearance upon Church leaders attending the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore, asking them not to take any hasty decisions over the future of the Anglican Communion.
However, the reception accorded to Dr Rowan Williams’ pleas for restraint from the leaders of the evangelical wing of the Communion was muted, with no applause or outward show of appreciation from the delegates at the close of his address. For most of those present, his words were too little, too late.
Delegates tell The Church of England Newspaper that Dr Williams has exhausted his political and personal capital with the overseas Church in the wake of successive disappointments in his leadership over the past few years. While the Global South continues to honour the office, Dr Williams’ stock has reached a nadir with many of those present.
Read it all.
During our plenary sessions, bible studies and small group discussions we were called back to a fresh vision of God, of the Church and of Christian leadership. We saw God in His stunning holiness and absolute sovereignty through Isaiah’s vision (Is 6: 1-13), and correspondingly saw our own ingrained sinfulness and utter foolishness in trusting man rather than God alone. We caught a “ big” vision of the Church from her role as ‘servant of the Lord’ (Is 42: 1-9) to bring God’s justice or ‘right order of living’ to the nations of the world. This established the absolute necessity and priority for the Church to disciple her members under the authority of the inspired Scriptures so that they may transform their societies and reach the nations with the Gospel. The fresh call upon the Church’s leadership, from the Servant of the Lord’s costly obedience (Is 50: 4-9), is to be courageous and fully confident of the Lord’s sustaining grace and final vindication....
...we continue to grieve over the life of The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada and all those churches that have rejected the Way of the Lord as expressed in Holy Scripture. The recent action of TEC in the election and intended consecration of Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as a bishop in Los Angeles, has demonstrated, yet again, a total disregard for the mind of the Communion. These churches continue in their defiance as they set themselves on a course that contradicts the plain teaching of the Holy Scriptures on matters so fundamental that they affect the very salvation of those involved. Such actions violate the integrity of the Gospel, the Communion and our Christian witness to the rest of the world. In the face of this we dare not remain silent and must respond with appropriate action.
For many generations Anglicans have lived together with a shared understanding of our common faith; indeed among our great gifts has been the Book of Common Prayer that has provided a foundation for our common life. In recent years the peace of our Communion has been deeply wounded by those who continue to claim the name Anglican but who pursue an agenda of their own desire in opposition to historic norms of faith, teaching and practice. This has led to a number of developments including the GAFCON meeting that took place in Jerusalem in June 2008....
Global South leaders have been in the forefront of the development of the ‘Anglican Covenant’ that seeks to articulate the essential elements of our faith together with means by which we might exercise meaningful and loving discipline for those who depart from the ‘faith once for all delivered to the saints.’ We are currently reviewing the proposed Covenant to find ways to strengthen it in order for it to fulfill its purpose. For example, we believe that all those who adopt the Covenant must be in compliance with Lambeth 1.10. Meanwhile we recognize that the Primates Meeting, being responsible for Faith and Order, should be the body to oversee the Covenant in its implementation, not the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.
Read it all.
In discussing the papers we propose these questions may help us focus in areas resulting in specific action following this conference. We look forward to the outcome of your deliberations.
Q1--Is it true that within the Church of the Global South there is potential for the economic empowerment to be realised?
Q2--What types of partnerships would you like to have with other Provinces or Diocese within the Church in the Global South and the North?
Q3--Is capacity building necessary in the Church of the Global South, further, in your own context what areas needs capacity building, where do you think we should go from here in order to achieve economic empowerment?
Read it all.
The reflecting and meditating has largely been done; day 4 of the 4th Anglican Global South-to-South Encounter was a time for action.
The day opened with the African delegates leading the Holy Communion Service, with Archbishop Ian Ernest in his homily urging the Global South participants to take up the challenge of the calling while being sensitive to God’s way. Bishop Rennis Ponniah followed with a bible study on Isaiah 50:4-9, calling for a fresh vision of leadership – a leadership that flows from intimate communion, that expresses costly obedience, and which reflects holy confidence. He encouraged us that such leaders, though facing great shame, can overcome because of our God who vindicates us.
Before the start of the final plenary session, Elder Fu Xianwei, Chairman of the TSPM of China Christian Church, gave his farewell greetings to the Global South delegates. He noted a commonality of experience between the China Christian Church and the Anglican Global South. Elder Fu expressed his hope for future chances to work together with the Global South and invited all present to visit the Church in China. Before he left, Elder Fu presented two gifts – one to the Global South and one to the Diocese of Singapore....
Read it all.
(Please note: this is from a blog reader and is based with thanks on the Anglican TV video which may be found at this link or below. This is not an approved transcript and while transcribed carefully any errors it contains are this person's own--KSH).
Global South Structures
Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini was very kind to give me the chance to speak first. I am very grateful to you.
This morning’s bible study, the very rich study that was given to us by Archbishop John Chew reminded me of a story, a story which happened in Egypt, and particularly it happened in Alexandria. It happened in the third century. There was a gifted preacher and intelligent priest and his name was Arius. And Arius had many followers, and he wanted to reconcile the Christian faith, and the essentials of faith with the Greek philosophy, so that the Greek philosophers who were living in Alexandria would actually accept the idea of the triune God. But by doing this he made Christ less divine. And because of this there was a division in the church in Alexandria. There were faithful people, and there were heretics. And the faithful people were getting less, and smaller and smaller. But they fought persistently and without ceasing. And the heretics started to increase and increase, and they got the support of the Emperor; one after another, until the Arians became a bigger church.
And the church fathers of the orthodox church, they fought, they stood for the truth, but they also felt that they should spend their time in a more productive way. They took the manuscripts and they went to the desert and they started to disciple many young people, who became later on the leaders of the orthodox church of Egypt and Alexandria. If you asked me: where are the Arians today? I would say, not one, there are no Arians in Egypt. They all died out. By 600 [ad] there were no Arians in Egypt. It is only the faithful, who keep the faith who started to grow, and started to disciple many leaders. And from these, the church fathers came, starting from Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, St Athanasius of Alexandria, St Clement, St Cyril. They all were defenders of faith, but they all were discipled by the desert fathers.
And this story tells us something of the bible study we got today. There are people who [were] hard-hearted, their hearts became very hard. The more they listened to the truth, they get very hard, and they get very difficult, and they grow! Amazingly they grow!
But this is not the end of the story. The end of the story is a light that comes; the truth overcomes, and the Gospel to be proclaimed. Today the Arians disappeared and the Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt is growing very fast in the Middle East and in all the world.
And we thank God for this story because it tells us something as Anglicans. While we stand firm for the truth and speak up, we should not waste our time just reacting, but we should spend our time bringing the Good News to the world: spend our time in discipling and baptizing people for Christ. It’s a good story that the two bible studies actually can tell us today.
There is another thing. I am telling you these stories because we had very heavy meals after Archbishop John [Chew] said this wonderful study about about the covenant, and these stories may be ‘light’ and can help us. This is a holy Korban, or a holy bread that is used in the Orthodox Church; and also we use it in the Anglican Church in Egypt, in all our churches. We don’t use wafers, we use this. But there is a beautiful scene. If you attended the Coptic Orthodox mass, at the beginning of the mass, the celebrant, whether a priest, or a bishop or the Pope himself, and I attended the mass with His Holiness Pope Shenouda several times, when at the beginning of the mass they brought the basket, and in this basket: about ten, twelve of these holy Korban, holy bread. And it is a very exciting, interesting moment when the Pope or the priest or the bishop who is celebrating the Eucharist, takes one after another and looks at it, looks at it very well and leaves it, and takes another one and leaves it and takes another one until he gets the perfectly rounded holy bread, a bread without a fault. And in a way he is telling the story of the selection of the Passover lamb who was sinless and faultless. And even they call it the lamb, the lamb holy bread and it is a symbol of Christ. And you know that Jesus is our lamb, is the lamb of God. And when he broke the bread at the last supper he said: ‘this is my body’, so he himself, the Passover lamb, the faultless, the sinless, who died for us. He was perfect.
But also St Paul told the church to be the body of Christ, so we are the body of Christ. But the problem here is that we are not perfect. But we are called to be perfect, like our Father who is perfect. I think we are on a journey to be perfect, and the only thing that guarantees our perfection is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, as a church.
So what I am going to introduce you to today is not perfect, the structure is not perfect. We will continue to make it perfect. The church is not perfect, but we are on a journey to be perfect, because our Father is perfect.
Archbishop Kolini after I speak, will have his own remarks about the structures, but what I would like to talk about are four points:
- the history of the Global South;
- today’s context and challenges;
- and why do we need a structure; and
- a proposed Global South Structure.
The Global South – I know some of the people here do not know the history, although in the book which is a very important book that Archbishop John [Chew] can raise it up, like this, so that you would know – it’s all the history in this book, and it is very important.
It started in 1987, in Brisbane in Australia when the ACC meeting thought that it would be very important for the South provinces to meet together, and that happened. The first meeting was in Limuru in Kenya in 1994. And in Limuru they put two questions in front of them. The first question is: ‘how can we be Anglican, while also true to our cultural contexts in the South?’ And the second question: ‘how can we be more effectively used for God’s mission in the world in the power of the Holy Spirit?’ And part of the Communiqué says this, in Limuru Kenya in 1994:
“the church exists for the sake of God’s mission. God invites us to be His church, people who experience God’s salvation, and bear witness to God’s love, mercy, compassion, justice, peace and forgiveness for all people revealed finally and fully in Jesus Christ.”
Then the next Global South meeting or second Encounter was in Kuala Lumpur, and in Kuala Lumpur they made a statement about human sexuality. And I just quoted some of this statement. It says:
“Scripture bears witness to God’s will regarding human sexuality which is to be expressed only within the life-long union of a man and a woman in holy matrimony.”
The other thing in Kuala Lumpur is:
“The holy scriptures are clear in teaching that all sexual promiscuity is sin. We are convinced that this includes: homosexual practices between men or women as well as heterosexual relationships outside marriage.”
These were two important things from the communiqué of Kuala Lumpur.
The next year after Kuala Lumpur, in the Lambeth Conference 1998, I was not there, but many of the colleagues were there. The Global South bishops’ influence was crucial in the production of Resolution 1:10. Almost 88% of the bishops in the Lambeth Conference 1998 voted for Lambeth 1:10.
In Cairo in 2000, we didn’t know each other, Archbishop Akinola and Archbishop John [Chew], he was the bishop of Singapore then. We didn’t meet each other, we didn’t know each other, but we corresponded with each other and we decided to meet in Cairo in December 2000 and in Oxford in 2002, actually not 2001, we had another meeting where Archbishop Yong Ping Chong joined us in this meeting and we started to plan for the Third Encounter.
The Third Encounter happened at the Red Sea, Egypt, 2005, and we took some very important decisions in this Third Encounter. We reached a common understanding of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. This was a theme of the Encounter. We had a strong warning in regard to the Anglican Communion crisis; produced a big warning about this. And then we decided to make a track for self-reliance where my brother Keith Chua was actually in charge of this.
And then developing a Global South Catechism and the diocese of Singapore helped with others in developing this book and I think if you want to get a copy, perhaps get in touch with Archbishop John Chew and he will give you a copy of this Global South Catechism. And we were committed to advancing Christ’s mission.
Today’s Context and Challenges:
The first challenge is progressive revisions of the faith by TEC and Canada, and other provinces in the following way:
The first is: the ordination and consecration of clergy and bishops in active homosexual relations; blessings of same-sex unions in churches; denying the uniqueness of Christ - rejecting the authority of the Scripture.
And also the second challenge is the ecclesial deficit which was described by the Windsor Continuation Group, the ecclesial deficit. And I think Archbishop John Chew was part of this Windsor Continuation Group. They described the situation within the Anglican Communion as an ecclesial deficit. And this deficit is because the undermining the authority of the Primates and Lambeth Conference bishops - no follow through for the recommendations of the Windsor Report, the Primates Meetings - i.e. failure to take any disciplinary decision against the Episcopal Church and Canada – the broken and impaired communion between provinces.
There are other challenges that we are facing, which is the strained ecumenical relations. Some of the churches, the ecumenical partners, stopped the dialogue with the Anglican Communion. An example of this is the Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, and the Greek Orthodox Church. They all put on hold the dialogue with the Anglican Communion – strained ecumenical relations.
There was no support given from the official Instruments of Communion to the faithful within the Episcopal Church – the groups like the Communion Partners, and also of the ACNA, the Anglican Church in North America. The litigations, and the depositions of bishops, and the threats that comes from TEC, all the time, the Episcopal Church. And the strained relation between some orthodox Anglicans as a result. Also there was some tension between the orthodox Anglicans themselves.
That is the context and these are the challenges in front of us which we need to consider as we consider the structure.
Now I want to answer the question:
Why do we need a Structure?
We need a structure to enhance and sustain Christ’s mission which is entrusted to us by Him; to further activate the partnership in the Gospel; and guarantee our interdependence as provinces within the Global South, not only provinces, but also dioceses.
To compensate for the current ecclesial deficit, the ecclesial deficit resulting from the undermining of the authority of the bishops and the Primates, who at their consecration made vows in front of God to guard the faith, this was completely undermined. We have to compensate for this through our structure, and hold together and support the faithful within the Anglican Communion, and to avoid further division.
We need a structure to face the challenges together of course. We need a structure not to create another communion as we consider ourselves The Anglican Communion. The others have departed the faith. Not us, so we are the faithful Anglican Communion. By a structure we are not creating a new Anglican Communion, because we are the Anglican Communion.
We need a structure not to compete with the current dysfunctional structure of the Anglican Communion, but to move forward away from the distraction of the current crisis. As I told you in the first story, the fathers went to the desert, not just to sit in stillness, but they were preparing, studying, writing, discipling new leaders for the church, and I think we need to do this, as well; not just to be reactive and to be distracted by this crisis.
[A proposed Global South Structure]
Now this is the simple, very simple structure. The Primates’ Council, or primates’ meeting if we would like to call it like this. And coming out of this primates’ council is the General Assembly, like our general assembly now. And from the General Assembly there are two tracks. [(referring to slides presumably)I am sorry they are not… it will be in the paper you will take after this session]:
Mission and evangelism track and economic empowerment track. [I am sorry that it is not appearing here yet but beside mission and evangelism, there is economic empowerment]. The Steering Committee felt that it is very important to put the Theological Commission directly under the Primates’ Meeting, because the Theological Commission and theological education is so important in shaping the future leaders of the Global South Movement and they need to be accountable all the time to the Primates. And in between meetings, of the Primates’ Meeting and the General Assembly, the Standing Committee, which is the steering committee, we call it, would be there, which is composed of Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and we added here Communications Officer, because communication is very very important.
Now the functions of the Primates’ Council are:
- discussing and deciding on matters of faith and order. Remember discussing, and DECIDING on matters of faith and order.
- Giving guidelines on the limit of the Anglican diversity in submission of the authority of the Scriptures.
- Appointing, and this is very important for the structure, appointing an ad hoc design group to work on a Global South Constitution.
- Oversight of the Global South Movement in accordance with its stated aims and principles of faith. This involves accepting new member churches and dioceses, and also taking necessary disciplinary actions.
- Calling the General Assembly to meet every three to five years.
- Discernment of consensus behind proposals from the General Assembly and initiation of projects.
- Taking the initiative in restoring unity among us, but also unity in the church world-wide, like starting dialogue with our ecumenical partners.
- Creation of working groups formed in accordance with the developing vision of the Global South Movement – the Primates’ Council can form new groups.
- Promotion of regional bishops’ councils, like CAPA. The Global South would like to promote CAPA.
- And regional initiatives [for] mission.
Functions of the Standing Committee:
- Act on behalf of the Primates’ Council between its meetings and in harmony with its decisions.
- Follow up of matters decided by the Primates’ Council
The function of the General Assembly is to:
- bring together the vision, the concerns and the intervals [?] of all participants under God seeking a common vision.
- Support the Primates’ Council in formation of working groups.
- Receive for approval the reports of the Secretary, Treasurer and working groups.
- Elect an agreed number of representation from among their members to serve on the Primates’ Council.
I want to end by saying two things:
The movement to go further, and go further - we must have a financial commitment. Meetings like this cost quite a lot of money, and provinces need to subscribe and give an annual subscription that can be accumulated so that meetings like this would be funded - the resources, the financial resources.
Archbishop Peter Akinola, from the Third Encounter, after Kuala Lumpur - he said we must OWN the Global South Movement. The first two encounters were supported financially completely by the Anglican Communion Office. But we as the Global South, we said, we must own the movement. For this reason the Third Encounter, and this Encounter, is completely funded by the Global South. So we need to be financially committed to support the meetings and this commitment.
The other thing I want to say: that we need to focus! If we distributed our efforts, and divided again, this will hinder the progress and the moving forwards of the Global South. We have to really focus.
It is easy in this world to divide into groups, but it is difficult, but Paul is saying to us in his Letter to the Ephesians that we have to strive to keep the unity. So we have to strive, and make every effort to keep the unity within the Global South.
Thank you very much for your listening, and I would like to invite Archbishop Kolini to come.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010
Though it has been struggling with an internal crisis, the worldwide Anglican Communion is still attracting positive attention.
Casting sights on possible ecumenical partnerships with the Communion are the registered Protestant Church in China and Coptic Orthodox Church.
This is mainly due to the rise of the Anglican Global South.
Representatives of both church bodies were invited to the fourth Anglican Global South summit held this week in Singapore.
The church leaders have expressed an interest in deepening their relationship with the Anglican Communion.
Read it all.
The Bible Studies at this Encounter have been beyond extraordinary. For three days, we have studied a portion of three chapters in Isaiah, search for God’s reason for creating Covenants. Tuesday was Isaiah 61:1-13; Wednesday was Isaiah 41:1-9 and today was Isaiah 50:4-9 with 2 Timothy 1:8-14 thrown in for good measure. There is such a feeling of unity here – that’s one of the reasons the Bible Studies are so enjoyable. This is not a state of political unity where we agree on a strategy or a legislative agenda, like General Convention. This is spiritual unity. We have the same understandings of the basic words of Scripture. When one says God, the Father Almighty, or Sovereign Lord, the other knows what you are referring to. You don’t have to redefine the term or question the other person’s understanding of same. So, there is much less tension here. No one is a stranger.
Couple that with the fact that the Global South bishops and archbishops are not creating anything new. Abp. Mouneer Anis reiterated this morning that the Global South has a structure that includes a Primate’s Standing Committee and an administrative team, newly elected at this Encounter. President: Abp. John Chew of Singapore; Vice President Abp. Henry Orombi, Uganda, (who is still stranded in London); Secretary Abp. Mouneer Anis of Egypt/Middle East; Treasurer Abp. Nicholas Okoh, Nigeria; at large Abp. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Myanmar and Bishop Albert Chama, Central Africa. The Global South has a structure for their own development only. They are not leaving the Anglican Communion and they are not forming their own communion.
Read it all.
The Global South-to-South Encounter entered into its third. What does it mean for the Churches in the Global South to be a “Light for the Nations?
The day started with Archbishop Robert Duncan presiding at Holy Communion. In his homily, he reminded us that we, who are “deeply, truly and permanently loved” are truly free. We do not “go our own way” to find freedom, but we come to Jesus, the bread of life. Assistant Bishop Rennis Ponniah, led the Bible Study, sharing from Isaiah 42:1-9. Bp Ponniah emphasized the vital need for a fresh vision of the Church. The scope of the Church’s ministry has to include the bringing forth of God’s justice in society, by modeling covenantal relations and by teaching society the keeping of God’s moral law. The nature of the Church’s presence is as a servant to the world’s needs; Anglican ministers are not celebrities, but celebrants. Finally, Bp Ponniah once again reminded us to look to the Holy Spirit as the source of the Church’s power, to give us an indefatigable constancy to do God’s work every day.
Read it all.
Global South Churches must work together in mutual co-operation in all the aspects for church development. For example:
* Scenario 1 – Mission workers of Diocese B are sent to pioneer new frontiers in Diocese A.
* Scenario 2 – Diocese A raises its own workers and sends to them to Diocese B for training with the support of Diocese B with the view to the trained workers returning to Diocese A for service.
* Scenario 3 – Diocese B sends trainers to Diocese A to train its workers and leaders.
We must avoid a dependency mentality. Even if there is a need for financial support, it should be done in a way consistent with the law of diminishing support.
Links and Companionship perhaps is a better way forward – two or three dioceses linking together or creating a companion relationship for mission and ministry. Today’s world is a global village and the mobility of people is rapid. People do travel frequently. We can capitalize on this and promote mission trips and awareness between dioceses and provinces. It must be a two way parallel affair where both are on the same playing field. We can encourage more East and South links. The same can be promoted for theological training. Instead of sending our students to the North and West for training, we can explore the new adventure of training in the East and South. I can identify a few factors of benefit.
Read it all.
The opportunities for mission are legion. The fields are ripe for harvest. My brothers and sisters, we are the Eleventh Hour Workers. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into the harvest.
I would hope that we could leave this meeting of Global South Provinces having resolved together to make the next ten years a Decade of Mission in the Global South. Where we resolve such things as:
* Every Province will create a mission sending agency. We know how to receive missionaries very well. But, we can’t receive from one another, if we have no way to send them to one another. This means we must also address the issue of supporting missionaries we send, whether through the traditional means of support coming from the sending church, or through non-traditional means of tent-making and Business as Mission.
* We will collaborate together to strengthen our churches, especially those living in strong multi-religious contexts.
* We will commit ourselves to doubling the size of our Provinces and increasing the number of Provinces in the Global South.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Uganda Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010 * Christian Life / Church Life Missions
Now, the Global South believing community has the same ethical challenge before it. We are the descendents of Abraham by faith in Jesus. We too are called to keep the way of the Lord. If we walk in the way of the Lord – by following the instruction of the Lord – in other words God’s word is to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. Scripture has to be our guiding factor in our decision making.
If we pursue justice – that is if we seek course correction – if we act as a plumb line showing where the wall has gone off plumb then we would be acting as the light to the nations. We can only be a light to the nations by doing justice – by this we are calling people to be accountable. Peter proclaims to the Jews in his encounter with Cornelius that he was proclaiming Jesus whom God appointed judge of the living and the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of the final putting-to-rights of all human injustice. In the light of the Resurrection, the Covenant Community must never stop reminding the world's rulers and authorities as well as its own rulers and authorities that they themselves will be held to account, and that they must do justice and bring wise, healing order to God's world ahead of the day of the Lord’s coming.
The Global South of the Anglican Communion is called to be a light to the nations. As the covenant community we need to illumine the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can remove the veil that blinds.
Read it all.
Day 2 of the 4th Anglican Global South-to-South Encounter was a time for all present to listen, meditate and share on the richness of the covenantal idea. As Archbishop John Chew reminded us, to allow the covenant effected by Jesus to “challenge and engage us… to reflect it in our lives.”
The day started off with the Holy Communion, led be participants from Asia, with the Archbishop of Melanesia, David Vanugi serving as the celebrant. Then the morning Bible Study followed, led by the Bishop Rennis Ponniah, the Assistant Bishop of Singapore. Sharing from Isaiah 6: 1-13, he exhorted us to be like the contrite prophet who was “undone by the stunning holiness of God, amazed by the sheer grace of God, and captivated by the salvation purpose of God.” It was a call to repentance and humility, that God cannot use us as His servants unless we are totally broken before Him.
Read it all.
"It is the work of the Spirit that heals the Body of Christ, not the plans or the statements of any group, or any person, or any instrument of communion," Dr. Rowan Williams said in a video address to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter.
Dozens of conservative Anglican leaders opened a five-day conference Monday in Singapore. Participants intend to build on the vision of the "One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ" as they confront the brokenness of the 77 million-member body.
They are there to discuss the Anglican Covenant – a document aimed at preventing a split in the Anglican Communion.
"Initially, it was felt that a comprehensive Anglican covenant would help heal the wounds and restore confidence in our relationships within the Anglican family, as it would provide for accountability," said retired Archbishop of Nigeria the Most Rev. Peter Akinola in his opening address Monday.
"But as things stand today in the Communion, this Encounter gathered here in Singapore needs to assure itself if the proposed covenant offers any such hope."
Read it all.
Why do we need structures?
-To enhance and sustain Christ’s mission.
-To further active partnership in the Gospel and guarantee our interdependence in the Communion
-To compensate for the undermining of bishops and primates who have made proper vows and have determined those vows will not be violated . To our sorrow, they are still deposed.
Let me say this clearly. We do not need another Communion. WE are the Communion. Others may wish to form a new communion. That is not our desire. We are not to compete with the current dysfunctional structure of the Anglican Communion, but find a way forward at the current time. It is time to stop reacting and get on with the important job of Christ’s mission that we have been given.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010
Check them out from Anglican TV.
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Covenant is obviously a very key central biblical concept. Our intent is however specific and limited for our gathering.
My intention is to try digging into the deep core pulse of the covenant reality in the God-Israel relationship and its working out or otherwise of its vocational existence.
While the paper’s focus is not on the challenges and crisis of the Anglican Communion, it is inevitable some reflections and comments would be made to it, with particular reference to the vocation of the Global South as our evolved existence since 1994 has defined it, and now in its fellowship with the wider orthodox family in the Communion....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Anglican Church in South East Asia Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010 * Theology Theology: Scripture
He went on to say that the Anglican Communion had been reflecting on the need for a covenant "in the light of confusion, brokenness and tension within our Anglican family – brokenness and a tension that has been made still more acute by recent decisions in some of our Provinces.?
"In all your minds there will be questions around the election and consecration of Mary Glasspool in Los Angeles. All of us share the concern that in this decision and action the Episcopal Church has deepened the divide between itself and the rest of the Anglican family. And as I speak to you now, I am in discussion with a number of people around the world about what consequences might follow from that decision, and how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind.
"But I hope also in your thinking about this and in your reacting to it, you’ll bear in mind that there are no quick solutions for the wounds of the Body of Christ. It is the work of the Spirit that heals the Body of Christ, not the plans or the statements of any group, or any person, or any instrument of communion. Naturally we seek to minimize the damage, to heal the hurts, to strengthen our mission, to make sure that it goes forward with integrity and conviction.? Naturally, there are decisions that have to be taken.? But at the same time we must all...share in a sense of repentance and willingness to be renewed by the Spirit.
Read it carefully and read it all and note if you desire to you can watch the full address on video there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010 Instruments of Unity Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings
A historic gathering of worldwide Anglican leaders started yesterday at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. But the fourth 'Anglican Global South to South Encounter' (GS4E) was already marked by intense feelings of distress.
The Anglican Global South, grouping 20 provinces in the southern hemisphere, represents three-quarters of the 75 million Anglicans around the world.
“My sisters and brothers from around the world, I am troubled, I am sad; in fact I am confused,” said newly retired Nigerian Archbishop Peter J Akinola.
Speaking at the opening service, Bishop Akinola traced the recent history of the inability of the Anglican Communion to resolve its theological-ethical crisis.
Read it all.
His Grace Bishop Anba Suriel, the representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church, reminded us that the Covenant of Christ involves the shedding of blood. For some, it means martyrdom or death as we will normally understand that word. It is a price still being paid by some today, as did some Egyptian Coptic Christians last Christmas. However, to be faithful in our witness is also one form of martyrdom. It is costly to remain faithful to the truth and teaching of Scriptures. He said his Church is praying that this Encounter will be a faithful witness in the midst of challenges in the Communion.
We were reminded of the seeds of the Anglican Church growing in various parts of Asia. Pastor Rinzi Lama and Pastor Shyam from the Anglican Church in Nepal shared on the grace of God in helping the Anglican Church in Nepal, though still in her infancy, to grow to 7,000 worshippers today.
Read it all.
We all know that signing the covenant will not stop TEC from pursuing its own agenda. In fact only recently, it elected and confirmed another openly practicing lesbian priest to the episcopate. The Communion is still unable to exercise discipline. We are God's Covenant to the world, yes, but we are divided. We lack discipline. We lack the courage to call ‘a spade a spade’. Our obedience to God is selective.
My sisters and brothers from around the world, I am troubled, I am sad in fact I am confused. If the churches in the Global South sign up, would they then become a new Communion? Wouldn’t that further polarize the church? On the other hand the Churches in the Global South cannot forever continue to merely react to the actions of the Western churches. If TEC for political reasons chooses to sign, and we can’t stop them, but continues to disregard the mind of the Communion on these matters that have caused us so much grief, it will make nonsense of the whole exercise.
Where do we go from here?
Our desire in the Global South is for a genuine healing of the Church. Our desire is for the restoration of sacramental communion among all the churches in the global Anglican family. Much precious time has been spent, or maybe wasted, on this crisis. The real mission of the church, which is to make Christ known to all is suffering and in some cases neglected. We in the Global South cannot continue in this way. Yet, we see no light at the end of the tunnel. Time is God’s precious gift for which we are accountable to God as His stewards. This Encounter must show us the way forward in all of this.
Read it all,
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Nigeria Global South Churches & Primates Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010 * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Preaching / Homiletics
In concluding, I wish to make two points:
a) The absolute necessity for economic empowerment in the Global South and
b) The treachery of another Gospel which is afraid of and denies the deity of Christ.
The first point: We in the Global South must realise that God has not cheated us in the area of natural and human resources. It is God’s will that we grow economically, to provide for our needs for the work of God and give to those in need. It is not God’s will that we remain perpetually dependent on the handouts from the sacrifice and self-denial offerings of other people. More so, when sometimes these handouts are given with strong strings attached to buy loyalty or compromise on critical issues of faith. We should dig deep wherever we are, and educate our members of the grave danger of living on other people’s resources. We must work together on equal partnership in the fellowship of the gospel with those who are sincere, and who live according to the truth of the Gospel. Grants, donations, gifts and any form of assistance given rather patronizingly should be rejected. We must relate and negotiate from the point of strength rather than a beggarly position.
In Being Faithful13, this idea is captured this way:
“...but there are ways of providing support and showing concern that are ultimately irresponsible, even if well-intended. We think, for instance, of the way that support to the poverty-stricken, both within individual nations and between nations, has sometimes helped create a demeaning culture of dependency and perpetuated problems of vulnerability and indignity rather than solving them”.
The LORD also gave us some talents (Mt. 25:14 – 30). We must not condemn ourselves by sheer lack of enterprise. Secondly, the deity of Christ is increasingly becoming offensive in some quarters in our communion. For others the uniqueness of Christ cannot be taught in our pluralistic society. But pluralism was there, in the first ...[century]. The Jewish religion was there, so were the Greek Philosophies and religions, hence it was said that the cross was foolishness to the Greeks, and a stumbling block to the Jews. The creeds, the 39 articles (see 2, 3, 4) and the Holy Scriptures, all uphold the deity and uniqueness of Jesus, the Christ. To deny these fundamentals is to abandon the way; it is apostasy; it is “another gospel”, which is condemned in scripture.
Read it all.
Check it out and you can find many other resources at Lent & Beyond.
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