Katharine Jefferts Schori: The ACC meeting faced challenges

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The last Lambeth Conference proceeded without resolutions, and the result was far deeper and richer because of the focus on conversation, dialogue and building relationships. This ACC meeting conducted some of its business in that way, but a great deal of time and energy was devoted to hearing reports and dealing with resolutions.

The members of the ACC arrive and are inundated with long and complex papers on a great variety of subjects – resolutions from the different networks, the recent draft of an Anglican covenant, the Windsor Continuation Group report, a 256-page book on ecumenical relations and many others – and are expected to make decisions after brief opportunities for small-group discussion.

The details of decision-making would surprise most Episcopalians. A small group develops material ahead of time and then offers it to the group with relatively little opportunity for deliberation or alteration. The resolutions presented for deliberation are vetted and edited by a resolutions committee.

The pace of work is leisurely, with 40 hours of formal work spread over 11 working days. The chair exercises a great deal of discretion in referring or declining to entertain resolutions; elections are not straightforward ballots for a single individual; discussion of any proposed amendment requires the support of 10 members; the president (the Archbishop of Canterbury) steps in fairly frequently to "steer"; and the rules are quite evidently not Robert's!

The contrasts with General Convention are significant....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican Consultative CouncilAnglican CovenantEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

16 Comments
Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:29 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Dan Crawford wrote:

All is well. Everything is surprisingly deeper and richer. The work is leisurely. All is done without regard to proper procedures or rules of order. Inundations on subjects great and small are entertained with relatively little opportunity for deliberation or alteration. All is well. Peace reigns. Everything is surprisingly deeper and richer. Gracious conversation was undertaken, dialogue brought peace, conversation was deeper and richer. Listening took place, hearing was deeper and richer. All is well. There are no rules. All is well. There is passion for transformative participation and deeper and richer conversation. ALL IS WELL, DAMMIT!

May 27, 2:43 pm | [comment link]
2. driver8 wrote:

I find the “our processes are better than your processes” self righteous tone slightly distasteful and particularly risible.

May 27, 3:27 pm | [comment link]
3. Undergroundpewster wrote:

“Because it is done our way, General Convention is soooo much better for you too… Now drink your Kool-Aid, my children….”

May 27, 4:10 pm | [comment link]
4. robroy wrote:

In a moment of frustration, I said recently that the Anglican Communion can go to Hell. Hell is the Anglican Communion with Ms Schori pulling the strings. And with the abysmal failure of the last instrument of “unity” (Hah!), it seems we are approaching that Hell.

May 27, 4:42 pm | [comment link]
5. Cennydd wrote:

Every time Schori says something like this tripe, she just digs her hole deeper and deeper.  I can just imagine the amount of dirt that will fall in on her when she gets stuck in the bottom of that hole, and she can’t get herself out of it.

May 27, 5:13 pm | [comment link]
6. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

The ACC meeting faced challenges

In other news, the earth is flat, and New York has a baseball team called the Yankees.

Film at 11.

May 27, 5:18 pm | [comment link]
7. Steven in Falls Church wrote:

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

May 27, 5:26 pm | [comment link]
8. Rosemary Behan wrote:

I’m puzzled,  who is Robert?  Is that a euphemism of some sort?

May 27, 6:01 pm | [comment link]
9. Ross wrote:

#8: The reference is to Robert’s Rules of Order.

May 27, 6:39 pm | [comment link]
10. Rosemary Behan wrote:

Thank you,  I’ve never heard of that.  No wonder we often have such difficulty communicating,  despite our common language.

May 27, 7:00 pm | [comment link]
11. Chris Taylor wrote:

I liked this passage:
“We come from vastly different cultures, speak different languages and value different things about Anglicanism. For example, the covenant text garnered broad support for its first three sections, but some feel the fourth section is inappropriately focused on discipline, while others see that as essential. We are not well-equipped to make structural decisions, even though we have deeply productive dialogue and partnerships around mission.”
As if different cultures explain the current divisions in the Communion.  How about the 100K members of ACNA?  What about Kendall Harmon and all those faithful Anglicans still in TEC whose understanding of Anglican Christianity would be recognizable to the vast majority of Anglicans around the globe?  How is the vast division in understanding right in this culture to be understood?

May 27, 8:06 pm | [comment link]
12. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

I thought Kate was opposed to global warming.  This little piece is good for a two inch ocean rise in terms of produced CO2 and CH4 from the action of bacteria on the incomplete digestion products.  Not to mention the distortion of the facts of the case in regard to the ACC meeting and its distortions.  Move over potential hamburgers!  There’s a new sheriff in town!

May 27, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
13. Mark Johnson wrote:

#11 - 100K members of ACNA??  Really?

May 27, 10:05 pm | [comment link]
14. Fr. Dale wrote:

As ACC members shared their learnings from these mission conversations

Would that be “learnings” as in my mother learned me the right way to talk. enough of that. How was the weather? Did you take a dip in the ocean like the old days? What about bugs? were there a lot of bugs? Enough about the meetings, lets here about the street encounters as you missioned the natives.

May 27, 10:09 pm | [comment link]
15. David Hein wrote:

No. 7: You make an excellent point. I read this piece thru twice. (I skimmed it the first time and then made myself read every word the second time.)

It’s ironic, isn’t it? No one could read this piece and think that this church leader knew a blessed thing about mission. She never defines mission, but “mission” has to mean, at a minimum, getting people stirred up to do something good, right?

And yet no. 7 has a point: this woman couldn’t stir up a nest of hornets. This isn’t an article; it’s a scientific report.

Notice why it’s so incredibly boring: the declarative sentences, mechanically joined one after the other. The failure to provide transitions between most of the paragraphs. The lack of any dynamism. The whole thing makes its author sound quite tired.

The article, this report, is a historical summary; and it’s history of the worst kind: history as just one dam*ned thing after the next. This is management that reports, not leadership that inspires.

People who are interested in this sort of thing are welcome to it. I suspect that they’re the same sorts of people who read reports from ecumenical commissions with great care.

May 27, 10:42 pm | [comment link]
16. Pb wrote:

I believe she is trying to say her process is better than their process. I did learn that my theological differences with her are because I am from an eastern state and she is from a western state.

May 28, 10:36 am | [comment link]
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