Skip to comments.A Message from the Presiding Officers of the General Convention
Posted on 04/09/2006 5:56:54 PM PDT by sionnsar
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
As your Presiding Officers we appointed the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion late in 2005. The Special Commission was asked to prepare the way for a consideration by the 75th General Convention of recent developments in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion with a view to maintaining the highest degree of communion possible. They have admirably discharged this very weighty task. With our deep thanks to them we commend their report to you.
Here we would like to make three observations. First, though this document is a beginning point for legislative decisions-and indeed includes eleven resolutions-it is first and foremost a theological document. Its primary focus is on our understanding of our participation as members of the Anglican Communion in God's Trinitarian life and God's mission to which we are called.
Second, the report is intended as the beginning point for a conversation that will take place in Columbus under the aegis of the Holy Spirit. That is, it is intended to start the conversation and not conclude it: the Commission has seen itself as preparing the General Convention to respond in the wisest possible ways. Again, we thank the members of the Special Commission who have been servants of this process of discernment.
Third, following up on the careful work done by the Commission, the General Convention is now invited into the Windsor Process and the further unfolding of our common life together in the Anglican Communion. Through your discussion and prayerful consideration, thoughtful speaking and respectful listening, you will move us forward in an ongoing process of mutual understanding of what it means to be limbs and members of Christ's risen body made manifest in a worldwide Communion. We note here that the members of the Commission, who represented a breadth of opinions and convictions, worked in a sprit of incredible generosity and koinonia. It is our prayer that that same spirit will characterize our reception of the report and the further work for which it has prepared us.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Very Reverend George L.W. Werner
President, The House of Deputies
ONE BAPTISM, ONE HOPE IN GOD'S CALL
THE REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMISSION ON THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION
The Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, Co-Chair, New York, II The Rev. Dr. lan T. Douglas, Co-Chair, Massachusetts, I Ms. Sarah Dylan Breuer, Maryland, III The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb, Virginia, III The Rev. Dr. Mark Harris, Delaware, III The Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson Jr., Upper South Carolina, IV The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Nevada, VIII The Rt. Rev. Henry Louttit, Georgia, IV The Rev. Charles E. Osberger, Easton, III The Rev. Canon Rosemari G. Sullivan, Virginia, III Mrs. Katherine Tyier Scott, Indianapolis, V The Rev. Francis H. Wade, Washington, III Mr. Christopher Wells, Northern Indiana, V The Rev. Sandra A. Wilson, Newark, II
November 7,2005 February 13-15, 2006 March 27,2006
December 20,2005 March 6-7,2006
51. The Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion was constituted late in 2005 by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to assist the 75th General Convention in considering recent developments in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion with a view to maintaining the highest degree of communion possible. The primary sources considered by the Special Commission were: The Windsor Report of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, the Communique of the Primates' Meeting in Dromantine, Ireland, in February 2005, and the resolutions ofthe^* Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham, England in June 2005.
52. Our report is divided into six sections plus a brief conclusion, and eleven proposed resolutions for the 75th General Convention are offered. Appended to the report are key documents from the Anglican Communion, the House of Bishops, and the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.
53. Our report opens with an introduction (section I), setting the biblical and theological basis for our understanding of communion. Consistent with the Windsor Report, we draw upon Ephesians and 1 Corinthians in our discussion of the nature of communion. The introduction emphasizes that through Baptism we are sisters and brothers in Christ, brought together in Eucharistic fellowship, and united in service to God's mission in the world.
54. Section II presents a brief history of events in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion since the last General Convention. Aspects of the Windsor Report, the Primates' Meeting in Dromandne, and the 13th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council are reviewed within the context of inter-Anglican developments. Responses by the House of Bishops and the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church are noted.
55. Section III of the report presents a theological and ecclesiological discussion of the nature of interdependence in the Anglican Communion. Consistent with sections A and B of the Windsor Report, this section of our report emphasizes that the unity of the Church and its participation in God's mission are inextricably linked.
56. Section IV discusses expressions of regret and repentance by the Episcopal Church. In keeping with statements made by the House of Bishops, we recommend that the 75th General Convention express regret for the pain caused by our actions at the 74th General Convention and repent of times when we in the Episcopal Church have functioned as if we have no need of the other (1 Corinthians 12:21) in the Anglican Communion.
57. Section V surveys five "invitations" to the Episcopal Church as ways by which we can live more fully into our common life in the Anglican Communion, (i) On elections to the episcopate, we urge that very considerable caution be exercised in the nomination, election, consent to, and consecration of bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion, (ii) While clarifying that the General Convention has not authorized public Rites of Blessing for same-sex unions, we concur with the Windsor Report and suggest that the Episcopal Church not proceed to authorize such rites at this time. At the same time, we acknowledge that it is necessary to maintain "a breadth of private response to situations of individual pastoral care" for gay and lesbian people, (iii) We recognize that there is a need for pastoral care for those who might disagree with their diocesan bishop and thus commend "Caring for All the Churches" (Dele gated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight) to the General Convention, (iv) We note that in the Anglican Communion there is a growing consensus around, and commitment to, the Millennium Development Goals that seek to eradicate extreme poverty and other life-denying realities in the world. We suggest that common service toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals witnesses to our unity in God's mission in the Anglican Communion, (v) Finally, we commend both the "Windsor Process" and the "Listening Process" in the Anglican Communion as ways by which greater mutual responsibility and interdependence may be realized.
58. Section VI traces precedents of covenants in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a response to our unity in God's mission. Three types of covenant possibilities now before the Anglican Communion are described, namely: canonical/structural, doctrinal/confessional, and missional/relational. We recommend that the Episcopal Church participate actively in the process leading up to the development of an Anglican Covenant.
59. In conclusion, our report and recommendations are offered as a witness to our unity in the Body of Christ in the Anglican Communion and in service to our common call to God's mission of reconciliation. The Special Commission's proposed resolutions to the 75th General Convention follow the report, and are tided: Commitment to Interdependence in the Anglican Communion, Expression of Regret, Election of Bishops, Public Rites of Blessing for Same-Sex Unions, Pastoral Care and Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight, Continued Attention to the Millennium Development Goals, Commitment to Windsor and Listening Processes, Anglican Covenant Development Process, "Full and Equal Claim" for All the Baptized, Human Rights for "Homosexual Persons," and Amend III.l: Quadrilateral and Exercise of Ministry.
Visit the website to see the full 61 page document -
Move along folks. Nothing to see here.
Agreed completely. Consider it "read into the record."
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.