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«The Vision Before Us Compiled and Edited by Sarah Rowland Jones The Vision Before Us The Kyoto Report of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

The Kyoto Report

of the

Inter-Anglican Standing Commission

on

Ecumenical Relations

2000 - 2008

The Vision

Before Us

Compiled and Edited by

Sarah Rowland Jones

The Vision Before Us

The Kyoto Report

of the

Inter-Anglican Standing Commission

on Ecumenical Relations

2000 - 2008

Compiled and Edited by

Sarah Rowland Jones

Published by

The Anglican Communion Office, London, UK

Acknowledgements

With grateful thanks to the staff of the Anglican Communion Office for their

help in the production of this report; in particular Gregory Cameron, Terrie Robinson, Neil Vigers, and Ian Harvey. Thanks are also due not only to all the members of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations for their work throughout the years of its mandate, but also to all those many others around the world who have supported the Commissionʼs work and assisted in the smooth running of its meetings.

Copyright © 2009 The Anglican Consultative Council A Registered Charity in the United Kingdom, No. 276591 Design & layout by Ian Harvey, Anglican Communion Office Printed in the UK by Apollo Print Generation, London ISBN 978-0-9558261-6-0 …The vision which rises before us is that of a Church, genuinely Catholic, loyal to all Truth, and gathering into its fellowship all ‘who profess and call themselves Christians’, within whose visible unity all the treasures of faith and order, bequeathed as a heritage by the past to the present, shall be possessed in common, and made serviceable to the whole Body of Christ.

Within this unity Christian Communions now separated from one another would retain much that has long been distinctive in their methods of worship and service. It is through a rich diversity of life and devotion that the unity of the whole fellowship will be fulfilled… Lambeth Conference Resolution 1920:9 (iv) An Appeal To All Christian People from the Bishops Assembled in the Lambeth Conference of 1920 Contents Page Acknowledgements

Contents

Foreword

by the Most Revd Drexel Gomez Preface

by the Revd Canon Dr Gregory K Cameron Part One: Introduction

1. The Work of IASCER

The Origins of IASCER

Our Context

Addressing our Ecumenical Life

Themes in Ecumenism

Anglican Identity

Unity, Faith and Order

Drawing Conclusions

Some Lessons Learned

Reflections on the Life of IASCER

2. Anglicans and Ecumenism

Four Principles of Anglican Engagement in Ecumenism

The Goal of the Ecumenical Movement

The Task of the Ecumenical Movement

The Processes of Ecumenism

The Nature of Church Unity

Part Two: Themes

3. Communion

4. Baptism and Eucharist

Baptism

Admission to the Eucharist of the Non-Baptised

Lay and Diaconal Presidency at the Eucharist

‘The Sacraments duly administered’?

5. Holy Order

Ecumenical Participation in Ordinations: Guidelines

Anglican Response by IASCER to the Lutheran paper ‘The Episcopal Ministry within the Apostolicity of the Church’...............77 Holy Order in Ecumenical Dialogues

6. Reception

Reception in the Anglican Communion: Responding Responsibly to Ecumenical and Inter-Anglican Developments

Part Three: Dialogues

7. Churches in Communion

United Churches

The Mar Thoma Syrian Church of India

The Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht

Iglesia Filipina Independiente (the Philippine Independent Church)..........146 Continuing Churches

8. Bilateral Dialogues

Baptists

Eastern Orthodox Churches

Lutherans

Methodists

Moravians

Oriental Orthodox Churches

Reformed Churches

Roman Catholic Church

9. Schemes of Union and Regional Agreements

Brazil

England

Papua New Guinea

Scotland

Southern Africa

Sri Lanka

United States of America

Wales

10. Multilateral Relations

Christian World Communions

Faith and Order

Global Christian Forum

World Council of Churches

Message to the World Council of Churches

Part Four: Anglican Issues

11. Liaison with other Anglican Bodies

Inter-Anglican Liturgical Consultation

Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission

Theological Education in the Anglican Communion Working Group.........219

12. Developments within the Anglican Communion

The Windsor Process

An Anglican Covenant

The Canon Law Project

13. The Lambeth Conference 2008

Part Five: Looking to the Future 14. The Challenges Ahead

References IASCER Meetings

The Membership of the Commission and Meetings Attended

Index of Acronyms

Endnotes

Useful References and Resources

Foreword by the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, formerly Primate of the Church in the Province of the West Indies Chairman of IASCER, 2000-2008 When George Carey, the 103rd Archbishop of Canterbury, approached me to become the Chairman of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Ecumenical Relations (IASCER) in late 1999, I did not hesitate to accept the challenge. Throughout my ministry I have been inspired and guided by a vision of the catholicity of the Church of God, which calls us all into a common faithful discipleship and into the riches of communion. It has been my conviction that the Churches of the Anglican Communion bear a special witness and a special responsibility to the wider oikumene, the household of faith. Anglicanism has always sought to be faithful to the strictures of the Vincentian canon, that as Anglicans we believe that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all in the Christian revelation. But we view that inheritance through a distinctive prism, that of the Reformed Catholic faith, informed by the spiritual insights of the Reformation of the sixteenth century.





It is a tradition that has benefited from the dynamic spirituality and worship developed across two thousand years, first in the British Isles and then throughout the globe by Anglicans drawn from every continent and background.

IASCER was charged by the Lambeth Conference and by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) with caring for the integrity of Anglican engagement with the ecumenical movement. We were asked to advise on the consistency of our ecumenical conversations and the coherence of our ecumenical agreements. In our annual meetings the agenda seemed ever to grow as we received and reviewed the publication of Agreed Statements from the bilateral conversations, and received reports of ecumenical engagement at regional and national level. We were asked to advise on specific projects and particular aspects of ecumenical co-operation. We were invited to address some of the major developments in the life of the Communion and to advise on their ecumenical impact.

In the nine years of our work, we have managed to do that with good humour, despite differences of perception and conviction, on a whole range of the issues which challenge the Anglican Communion, and indeed, all Christian World Communions. The members of IASCER have prayed and worshipped together; we have been frank in our conversations, and rigorous in our researches. I hope we have been faithful to the task set for us and have

Foreword

produced something of value for the ongoing life of the Communion, and for the ecumenical movement.

I would like to express my own gratitude for all my colleagues on the Commission; for David Hamid and Gregory Cameron, who successively served as Secretary from the Anglican Communion Office, and both of whom were subsequently called to serve the Church as bishops. Thanks are also due to Bishop John Baycroft, who oversaw ecumenical affairs in the period between the two Directors. I am grateful for the wisdom and patience of all the members, and for the other staff of the Anglican Communion Office, who laboured to ensure that our meetings ran smoothly - for Christine Codner, Matthew Davies, Gill Harris-Hogarth, Frances Hillier and Terrie Robinson.

We benefited also from the contribution of our communion partners, the representatives of the Old Catholic Churches and the Mar Thoma Church, who journeyed with us at various times. I am particularly grateful to Sarah Rowland Jones for her work as editor of this current volume.

IASCER now offers the work of nine years to the ACC. However, we hope that there is work here of a wider value to the Communion as we discern the way ahead, and continue that task of living into the unity which is the Lord’s will for his people.

Drexel Gomez The Bahamas March 2009

Preface

When I took up office as Director of Ecumenical Affairs in the Anglican Communion Office in 2003, the first thing I had to do was become acquainted with the vast array of acronyms that orbit in the ecumenical biosphere. There may not have been the ‘Anglican Communion Regional Organisations for New Youth Ministries’ to contend with, but there were ARCIC and IARCCUM, AOOIC and WARC, PCPCU and many others to comprehend. Chief among the acronyms of the Anglican Communion’s ecumenical work was IASCER (I ask ‘er), a graceful acronym for a very important body.

The constitution of the ACC has, within the description of its object, four points with an ecumenical dimension.1 The Secretary General employs a Director of Ecumenical Affairs to carry this work forward. I quickly found that it would be impossible to do this work, however, without the assistance and wisdom of IASCER, which, meeting annually, would review the full extent of the Communion’s engagement with ecumenism and advise upon it.

Between 2000 and 2008, IASCER was composed of an extremely talented body of people drawn from across the Communion. There was a high degree of expertise and experience in ecumenism; there was theological and ecumenical knowledge and skill, reflecting a wide range of engagement and the different perspectives, both from the diverse Provinces of the Communion, and of theological outlook. Two things were exceptionally impressive - the ability of members of the group to get clearly and concisely to the heart of the many matters discussed, and then to formulate a response in polished text, often within a matter of an hour or two.

This volume attempts to distil the wisdom and counsel generated at those meetings. A quick perusal of these pages will indicate the breadth of the discussions at IASCER and the invaluable assistance that they offered me in shaping, guiding and advising on the conduct and content of the Communion’s engagement with ecumenism. There are resolutions which reflect the Commission’s readiness to work with the minutiae of the vast literature generated by the ecumenical movement; there are position papers and reflections which set out a broad and well-founded Anglican response to ecumenical developments elsewhere. My hope is that The Vision Before Us will prove to be more than a report of the work of IASCER to ACC-14; that it will become a handbook for Anglican ecumenical work, setting out both some of the specifics and some of the fundamental principles of the quest of the Anglican Churches to answer the call of God to his people to be one even as the Father and the Son are one.

Preface

Sarah Rowland Jones was one of the very many talented members of IASCER. A former diplomat and priest of the Church in Wales who undertook a remarkable personal journey of faith and commitment which saw her travel from one end of the globe to the other during her own membership of IASCER, Sarah brought a sharp analytical talent and a facility for expressing good common sense to the deliberations of IASCER. She was always one of the first to volunteer when there was hard work to be done, and there was no contest when it came to identifying the member of IASCER who could pull all the material of nine years hard work together and make sense of it. Sarah cheerfully took on the task, combining it with the important research ministry that she offers to successive Archbishops of Cape Town, and all this while completing her own doctoral studies. The Communion owes her a deep debt of gratitude for this work. Thank you, Sarah.

During the six years that I have been Director of Ecumenical Studies, I have seen many transitions in the ecumenical scene: the ending of one pontificate, and the opening of another (John Paul II and Benedict XVI), the Ninth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, and the 14th Lambeth Conference. I have shared in the heart-searching of the Anglican Communion during the tensions sparked off by developments in North America, and tried to understand what Anglicans are doing in conversation with our ecumenical partners. Some speak of an ecumenical winter; that has not been my experience. We have had to admit that the Christian Churches do not yet stand on the threshold of the goal of full visible unity, and even that many intermediate targets seem elusive. However, the convergences are profound, the friendships are intense, the creativity is perennial. In these pages are the celebration of success, the dissection of challenges, the deep searching of the purposes and wisdom of God. Above all else The Vision Before Us is a witness to the fact that the Holy Spirit is not letting Christians rest easy with the divisions of the past, but is calling us into a future in which all Christians discover within the full implications of their own communion with Christ a demand for that communion to be lived and experienced across the Christian traditions.

Gregory K Cameron Director of Ecumenical Affairs Anglican Communion Office 2003-2009

PART ONEIntroduction

1. The Work of IASCER On the night before he died, Jesus prayed that his disciples might ‘all be one’ (John 17.21). The fact that relations between Christians have too often been marked by difficult and painful divisions does not lessen the compulsion upon us to heed our Lord’s prayer – not only for the sake of his people themselves, but for the sake of all humanity, ‘so that the world may believe that you have sent me’.



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