Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order Communiqué

 

 

Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order Communiqué

 

Grateful for the gracious guidance of the Holy Spirit, the
Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order held its
first meeting in Canterbury, England from 1 to 8 December 2009.

The Commission has been established by the Lambeth Conference, the
Primates’ Meeting, and the Anglican Consultative Council. It builds on
previous work done by the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal
Commission, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical
Relations, and the Windsor Continuation Group. It reports to the
Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

The Commission devoted this first meeting to developing a vision that
gives expression to its mandate. It sees its role as being a
communicative and connection-making body which models and promotes
communication and connection-making in the Anglican Communion, within a
confident and vibrant expression of our shared faith and life,
participating by God’s grace in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic
Church of Jesus Christ.

In addition to outlining areas of longer-term work, the Commission
committed itself to five immediate tasks:

1.to undertake a reflection on the Instruments of Communion and
relationships among them;
2.to make a study of the definition and recognition of ‘Anglican
Churches’ and develop guidelines for bishops in the Communion;
3.to provide supporting material to assist in promoting the Anglican
Covenant;
4.to draft proposals for guided processes of ‘reception’ (how
developments and agreements are evaluated, and how appropriate insights
are brought into the life of the churches);
5.to consider the question of ‘transitivity’ (how ecumenical agreements
in one region or Province may apply in others).
These tasks, which will be taken forward by working groups consulting
electronically between meetings, aim to strengthen the unity, faith and
order of the Communion.

An Episcopal election in Los Angeles, which remains to be confirmed or
rejected by The Episcopal Church, took place during the meeting and was
discussed by the Commission. It noted the words of the Archbishop of
Canterbury that ‘the bishops of the Communion have collectively
acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions
which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our
bonds of mutual affection are to hold’. The Commission expressed the
fervent hope that ‘gracious restraint’ would be exercised by The
Episcopal Church in this instance.

Members of the Commission were enriched by sharing accounts of the life
of the Anglican Church in each of their own contexts. The Commission
also greatly valued an afternoon spent with the Archbishop of
Canterbury, during which he shared his own vision for the work of the
Commission and his hope that it might act creatively in addressing vital
issues for the Church and the world.

Canterbury Cathedral sustained the Commission throughout the meeting
through its ministry of prayer and hospitality. The Commission was also
strengthened by sharing in daily Eucharist and in Bible study. The
Commission is grateful for the hospitality of the International Study
Centre and the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral; of the Archbishop of
Canterbury and the staff of Lambeth Palace; and of the Nikaean Club
which hosted a dinner at Lambeth.    The Commission also expressed its
gratitude to the staff of the Anglican Communion Office.

The next meeting will take place at the end of November 2010 in Cape
Town, South Africa.

Participants:

The Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of Burundi and Chair of
Commission
The Rt Revd Dr Georges Titre Ande, Congo
The Ven. Professor Dapo Asaju, Nigeria
The Revd Canon Professor Paul Avis, England
The Rt Revd Philip D Baji, Tanzania
The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, World Council of Churches
The Rt Revd Howard Gregory, West Indies
The Revd Dr Katherine Grieb, Episcopal Church (USA)
The Revd Canon Clement Janda, Sudan
The Revd Sarah Rowland Jones, Southern Africa
The Revd Dr Edison Muhindo Kalengyo, Uganda
The Rt Revd Victoria Matthews, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Revd Canon Dr Charlotte Methuen, England
The Revd Dr Simon Oliver, Wales/England
The Rt Revd Professor Stephen Pickard, Australia
Dr Andrew Pierce, Ireland
The Revd Canon Dr Michael Nai Chiu Poon, South East Asia
The Revd Dr Jeremiah Guen Seok Yang, Korea
The Rt Revd Tito Zavala, Bishop of Chile, Southern Cone
The Revd Joanna Udal, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for
Anglican Communion Affairs The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan,
Director for Unity, Faith and Order
Mr Neil Vigers, of the Anglican Communion Office.

Mandate of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and
Order

The Standing Commission shall have responsibility:

*to promote the deepening of Communion between the Churches of the
Anglican Communion, and between those Churches and the other Churches
and traditions of the Christian oikumene
*to advise the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion on all
questions of ecumenical engagement, proposals for national, regional or
international ecumenical agreement or schemes of co-operation and unity,
as well as on questions touching Anglican Faith and Order
*to review developments in the areas of faith, order or unity in the
Anglican Communion and among ecumenical partners, and to give advice to
the Churches of the Anglican Communion or to the Instruments of
Communion upon them, with the intention to promote common understanding,
consistency, and convergence both in Anglican Communion affairs, and in
ecumenical engagement
*to assist any Province with the assessment of new proposals in the
areas of Unity, Faith and Order as requested.

___________________________________________________________________

Anglican Communion News Service, London, (ACNS 4675), December 8, 2009

 

 

 

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