Skip to comments.AMIA BISHOP OFFERS MODEL FOR ANGLICAN COMMUNION COVENANT
Posted on 01/16/2006 6:08:13 AM PST by Huber
"Primates should take lead in forming new Anglican Communion if no discipline available and no official instrument for reform is forthcoming"
The Lambeth Commission in its Windsor Report "recommended and urged the primates to consider the adoption by the churches of the Communion of a common Anglican Covenant which would make explicit and forceful the loyalty and bonds of affection which govern the relationships between the Churches of the Communion" [Windsor Report, pp. 62-64]. A Covenant for Communion in Mission.
By David W. Virtue www.virtueonlline.org
BIRMINGHAM, AL. (1/14/2006)--There is a race on in the Anglican Communion to produce the first draft of a suitable covenant to bind the churches of the Anglican Communion together as called for by the Windsor Report.
The former Dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA., Dr John H. Rodgers, Jr. has produced a draft which is in conformity to the expressed commitments of the Primates of the Global South, and is in accordance with the constitutions of their churches.
The first draft on the table is often the gold standard by which others respond and from which a final version emerges.
The Dean and now a Bishop of the Anglican Mission in America, believes that a Covenant governing relationships between Churches of the Communion, urged by the Windsor Report, should contain no departure from the Faith and Practice of the whole Christian Church, should be grounded in the Holy Scriptures which are the Word of God written, and be in accord with the teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church.
The Rt. Rev. John H. Rodgers, Jr., told a workshop of bishops, clergy and laity that a covenant should also include doctrine to be found in the Catholic Creeds, the Thirty-Nine Articles of religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal of 1662.
"These formularies affirm that the Church is under the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and state how Anglicans read the Scripture on central matters. Those who teach and preach in the Church are to do so in accordance with the Scripture as interpreted by the formularies."
Rodgers said that Apostolic Mission gives high priority to the risen Lord's "Great Commission" where the church is sent into the world to preach the gospel in order to gather Christ's sheep into the fold; manifest the love of Christ in service to the needy and reflect the truth of Christ into all areas of society and culture.
"No church that lives unto itself is faithful or apostolic," he said.
In the realm of Apostolic fellowship, Anglicans view the local congregations of faithful people, united in Christ by the Word of God and the sacraments rightly administered to be manifestations of the Church of Christ. Anglicans also affirm the association and interdependence of local congregations, united in diocese and provinces within the Anglican Communion to be a global expression of the Church of Christ.
Rodgers said the ministry of the Church and the wider mission of the Church can only be done when all the members of the Body are ministering in love as they are gifted and equipped for service and are taking their place in the governance of the Church. This being the case, the work of the ordained ministry is in no small measure to equip the laity for the work of ministry and mission.
Concerning the ordained ministry of Bishops Priests and Deacons, Anglicans treasure the ministry of the Historic Episcopate as a gift of God. We see in it an instrument called to serve apostolic truth, Christian unity and the mission of the Church. It is to be locally adapted in its methods of administration to the needs of the Church and the peoples among whom the Church lives and ministers.
Bishops in their local dioceses are to see to the faithful teaching of the saints, to oversee them in their congregations, to guide them in their evangelization of the lost and in the planting of new congregations. Bishops are also to see to the exercise of appropriate ecclesiastical discipline in both moral and doctrinal matters.
Since Anglicans are a world-wide Fellowship, the Primates and Bishops in council, respecting the autonomy of the several provinces, are called to give counsel to the Church applying Christian truth to the pressing concerns and needs of the Church.
Anglicans hold the two sacraments of the Gospel ordained by Christ himself, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord, to be of central importance. They are to be administered with unfailing use of Christ's words of institutions and of the elements ordained by him.
Anglicans gladly make use of the other historic sacramental acts that relate the Gospel to different aspects of the Christian life and ministry and also of such ancient practices of the Church, such as the liturgical year, as are in agreement with the Scriptures.
Anglicans believe that the Liturgy of the Church shapes the spiritual ethos of the Church. We therefore, hold the historic Prayer Book tradition to be a remarkable gift of God, given through the godly Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer. While some local diversity in matters of worship is allowed, including alternative service books, such diversity should maintain the substance of the faith entire, and should never supplant the historic Prayer Book tradition (1662) in the worship of the Church.
Bishop Rodgers also urged that someone must be designated to see that the Common Covenant is faithfully observed. He says that the Primates should have an enhanced role in the Communion was done in the Lambeth Conference of 1998.
Each primate would be responsible to assure his fellow Primates, at their annual meetings, that the Province of which he is the Primate is living in accord with the Covenant. Should any doubt arise concerning a given Province then the Primates acting in consort, after giving guidance and due warnings, would have the authority to declare a Province to be outside the Anglican Communion. The Primates would also have the authority, after due consideration, to assist in the formation of a new Province to replace the Province that had been declared outside the Communion. It would further be understood that ay diocese or congregation of the former Province that wished to remain in the Anglican communion in agreement with the Covenant would be allowed to do so and to retain their property as well. Clergy wishing to remain in the Anglican Communion would be welcome to do so and their retirement benefits be protected.
NEW ANGLICAN COMMUNION
If no disciplinary authority in the Anglican communion can be found, and if the Archbishop of Canterbury has declared he will not sue whatever authority is vested in him to discipline the Communion regarding the approval of active homosexual behavior, and if Provinces of the Communion have in numerous places departed from the Apostolic Faith as found in the Anglican formularies, then (it must be admitted) there is no official instrument whereby the Anglican Communion can be reformed.
Lest the health of the orthodox Provinces be lost and they be found in fellowship with and corrupted by invading apostasy there is a need for the orthodox provinces led by their primates to separate themselves from the Communion as presently constituted and to form a new Anglican Communion with a clear common Covenant that marks out, in a binding fashion faithful Anglican Reformed Catholicism. This Covenant must include a mechanism for its discipline in the Communion.
The orthodox Primates have already taken bold steps after the Cairo meeting, by electing a Leadership Team, chaired by Archbishop Akinola, and a Primates Advisory Group, by sending forth a public statement and addressing a strong letter tot eh Archbishop of Canterbury which, unfortunately, Canterbury has said he does not concur. Let them build on this consensus by moving ahead with the inevitable break for the sake of unity of the Church in the Apostolic Faith as Anglicans have received it.
Having thus formed a new Anglican Communion bound by a Common Covenant, all congregations and dioceses and Provinces holding to the Anglican Reformed Catholic Faith be invited to be part of that Communion and should undertake together the mission to reach the world with the Gospel of Christ.
Dr. Rodger's full statement will be posted to VirtueOnline as soon as it becomes available.
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"Primates should take lead in forming new Anglican Communion..."
Sure, no problems, but what type? Orangutangans?
Well it appears that Father Virtue believes that the break is inevitable. So the Anglican Community is to divide for the sake of unity. I guess as we say here in Texas, "Thems fightin words."
Thanks for posting I haven't been keeping up with this for awhile.
The break has already occured. Now folks just need to pick which side they want to be on. The side of Christ, or the side of fallen man.
I'm blessed to serve people that love Jesus more than Real Estate.
Amen. Many of the folks who said we were just interested in the property were shocked when we walked away about 15 years ago. Some folks did put the property first (and some were honestly liberal) so they still have a viable congregation. Our facilities aren't as nice, and we are somewhat cramped, but we get by, and we fix up and build on as we can.
It is a good witness to the community when you walk away rather than fight.
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