Posts Tagged ‘The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut’

What’s in a name? On (compass) roses, koinonia, and the gift of communion

Posted on: October 3rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


By The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”? Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare

Would the Anglican Communion—and our Compass Rose—smell as sweet if we were a “Federation” or “Association”? What is in the name “Communion” that shapes who we are, and informs our mission as a global church?

First, it lies deep within the biblical vision of the Church as koinonia, the Greek for communion. Since koinonia is translated by several words, its significance is easy to miss.

When Paul speaks of “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor 13.13), the Greek says koinonia. The sign of reconciliation, the “right hand of fellowship” (Gal 2.7-10) is also koinonia. Paul’s “collection” for the poor in Jerusalem is a koinonia (1 Cor 16.1). The Lord’s Supper as a “sharing” in the body and the blood of Christ (1 Cor 10.16-17) is again koinonia.

Anglicans around the world are studying the World Council of Churches’ report, The Church: Towards a Common Vision, a fresh expression of the Church as koinonia. It begins, “Communion, whose source is the very life of the Holy Trinity, is both the gift by which the Church lives and, at the same time, the gift that God calls the Church to offer to a wounded and divided humanity in hope of reconciliation and healing.”

Overflowing from the communion of love within the Trinity, this communion is irreversibly restored in the paschal mystery of Christ. The sign and the servant of communion is the Church, as we engage together in mission, reconciliation, justice and peace, and mutual accountability, and as we pray for one another, support one another in times of need, and receive Holy Communion together.

Photo Credit: ACO

Most of us are drawn to communities of similar language, culture, politics, or education. In the Church those similarities can be theological conviction, the last word liturgical practice, piety, or moral discernment.

The Church, however, is to be more than a community of similarity; in the New Testament it is a koinonia, a communion in unity, diversity and even disagreement.

Whenever Christians are unable to agree with one another, yet choose communion, refusing to say “I have no need of you” (1 Cor 12.21), we proclaim that what binds us together is unshakeable.

Costly communion witnesses to the One through whom God was pleased to reconcile all things by making peace through the blood of his cross (Col 1.20).


What's in a name? On (compass) roses, koinonia, and the gift of communion

Canon John Gibaut is Director for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion. The Church: Towards a Common Vision is available at ttp://


This reflection first appeared in the August Issue of Anglican World, the Anglican Communion’s quarterly magazine. Subscribe to Anglican World for more reflections and stories from the global Anglican Communion.


Anglican Communion News Service,  ACNS Today’s top stories, October 01, 2015

Communiqué from the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 2015

Posted on: August 12th, 2015 by CEP Administrator 1 Comment
General, Reviews

IALC 2015 in Montreal


International Anglican Liturgical Consultation

A Network of the Anglican Communion

2015 Meeting in Montreal – Communiqué

Rites of Corporate Reconciliation

1. The International Anglican Liturgical Consultation met in Montreal, Canada from the 3rd to 8th August 2015. The Consultation was warmly welcomed and appreciated the facilities placed at its disposal by the Montreal Diocesan Synod Office. The Anglican Communion Office was represented at the meeting by the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, the Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion.

2. Members were present from Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Scotland, the Solomon Islands, Southern Africa, the United States of America, Uruguay and Wales. Unfortunately some members were again unable to attend the consultation because of visa problems.

3. We were able to support the attendance of some members through the bursary fund. Significant bursary donations will be needed to secure this assistance for future meetings.

4. We were pleased to be able to join the congregation of Christ Church Cathedral for morning and evening prayer. The daily Eucharist was led by teams from the various regions of the Communion. The feast of the Transfiguration on 6 August marked the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the first Atomic Bomb at Hiroshima. In the light of the consultation theme of reconciliation, this was a significant service led by members from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.

Provincial Concerns

5. The Provincial reports indicated a significant move in a number of Provinces towards the revision of prayer books, hymnals and liturgical texts, which emphasised the importance of this gathering for the sharing of knowledge, resources and process. Although a number of Provinces are engaging in such revision, often these efforts are hampered by inadequate financial and human resources.

6. Common concerns emerged, such as the inadequate training and liturgical formation of clergy and lay leaders in leading worship, and that liturgical education is no longer seen as a priority in many seminaries and ministerial training schemes.

Work on Reconciliation

7. The Dublin meeting in 2013 focused on rites of healing and reconciliation. The need for conversation around wider social and structural issues of reconciliation emerged from those discussions. The work in Montreal was aided by preparatory material including rites of reconciliation and papers exploring narratives of the process of reconciliation.

8. The Consultation benefited from the input of Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, Bishop Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop of Canada, and Fr. Michael Lapsley SSM, Director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories.

9. Archbishop Fred and Bishop Mark explored the journey toward reconciliation being taken by the Anglican Church of Canada with the Indigenous peoples in the wake of that church’s role in the Canadian Indian Residential Schools. Fr. Michael Lapsley spoke both of his own journey towards healing and reconciliation in South Africa and of the wider work of the Institute and its workshops. The three speakers spoke from their experience and different perspectives, and the common ground was recognition of the power of deep-rooted institutional political oppression, which dehumanised and traumatised peoples. It was clear from all three presentations that the journey towards reconciliation requires space, time and patience and should include ritual moments and symbolic enactments.

10. The issues presented by our three guests were reflected on and translated into a liturgical framework through work in small groups. The outcome of the discussion has been a commitment to produce guidelines and resources for rites to support corporate reconciliation. On-going task groups are exploring the areas of:

  • relevant Biblical texts in contexts;
  • theology of reconciliation and baptismal identity; and
  • frameworks for developing rites of corporate reconciliation.

The meeting took note of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Consultation on Peace and Conflict Prevention and seeks to work in partnership with this initiative.

Relations with the Anglican Communion

11. Considerable time was given to reviewing and strengthening the role of the Consultation as a network of the Anglican Communion. Revised guidelines for governance were adopted articulating the purpose of the Consultation:

  • to promote the deepening of communion between the Churches of the Anglican Communion by renewing its life of liturgy and prayer as integral to the mission of the Church;
  • to advise the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion on questions of liturgy and common prayer and to encourage and support conversation between the Provinces on questions touching on Anglican liturgical theology and practice;
  • to review developments in liturgical formation and practice in the Anglican Communion and among ecumenical partners, and to give advice upon them to the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion, with the intention to promote common understanding, consistency and coherence, both within the Anglican Communion and in ecumenical engagement;
  • to assist any Province with new proposals in the areas of liturgical formation, development and practice; and
  • to report the scope and results of its work to the Anglican Consultative Council.

This process was much assisted by the presence and contribution of the Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut.


Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia ; Tricia Carter; Anglican Church of Australia; Dane Courtney, Elizabeth Smith; Anglican Church of Canada; Terry Brown, John Hill, Jay Koyle, Lizette Larson-Miller, Edward Simonton, Eileen Scully, Gregor Sneddon; Anglican Church of Southern Africa; Cynthia Botha, Keith Griffiths; Anglican Communion in Japan; Shintaro Ichihara, Saya Ojiri; Anglican Church of Korea; Nak-Hyon Joseph Joo; Anglican Church of South America (Uruguay); Enrique Illarze; Anglican Church of Melanesia (Solomon Islands); Anderson Saefoa; Anglican Church in Wales; Catherine Haynes; Church of England; Anne Dawtry, Alec George, Harvey Howlett, Christopher Irvine, Bridget Nichols, Phillip Tovey; Church of Ireland; Gerald Field, Alan Rufli; Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui; Chun-wai Lam; Episcopal Church In The Philippines; Tomas Maddela; Scottish Episcopal Church; Douglas Kornahrens; The Episcopal Church, Barrington Bates, Robert Brooks, Walter Knowles, William H. Petersen; ACC Office; John Gibaut


Anglican Communion News Service, ACNS Today’s top stories, August 12, 2015

Canadian ecumenist heads to Anglican Communion

Posted on: October 14th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments

By Anglican Communion News Service


Canon John Gibaut (left), pictured here with Pope Francis, is well-known in ecumenical circles. Photo: Courtesy of John Gibaut/ACNS

The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut has been appointed to succeed the Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan in March as Director for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion.

Canon Gibaut is currently the Director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order based in Geneva Switzerland. Faith and Order is the theological commission that resolves issues of Christian disunity, and promotes a vision of the Church as a communion of unity in diversty.

A priest and canon theologian of the Diocese of Ottawa, Anglican Church of Canada, Canon Gibaut is currently an assistant priest of Eglise St-Germain, Geneva, église catholique-chrétienne (Old Catholic Diocese of Switzerland). Previously to his appointment to the WCC position, he was a professor at Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa. Here he taught in the areas of ecumenism, liturgy, church history, historical theology, homiletics, and Anglican studies. Canon Gibaut has also served at Toronto’s St James’s Cathedral and St Clement’s Mission Centre in the Diocese of Quebec.

Well known in ecumenical circles, the 55-year-old Canadian has served on several national and international dialogues and commissions including the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order.

Responding to his appointment, Canon Gibaut said, “I am excited to take up the post of Director of Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion, and to continue the fine work undertaken by Alyson Barnett-Cowan and her predecessors in this office. “The Anglican Communion has a robust tradition of ecumenical engagement that has contributed so much to the unity of the Church, including the World Council of Churches. It is a particular privilege for me to bring to the Anglican Communion the experience that I have gained during the past seven years working at the World Council of Churches and its Commission on Faith and Order. “I look forward to accompanying the Anglican Communion, as together we rediscover and proclaim a compelling vision of Communion as the gift by which the Church lives, and at the same time, the gift that God calls the Church to offer to a wounded and divided humanity.”

Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Canon Kenneth Kearon welcomed the appointment, “There are few more important positions in the Anglican Communion than that of Director for Unity, Faith and Order, a role which supports and enables our relationships with other Christian churches and communions, our ecumenical dialogues, and our internal conversations about our faith. “In Canon Gibaut we will have someone of immense experience, ability and wisdom to lead us. I am truly delighted he has accepted this position, and wish him and his wife Terri every blessing as they prepare for this transition to London and the Anglican Communion Office.”


Anglican Journal News, October 10, 2014