Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 15--Finishing up

This morning we had our second to last Bible Study and Indaba group. We continued to discuss the Covenant and the report of the Windsor Continuation Group. It was a good exchange, although some of our brothers and sisters seem to be unaware of the fact that the American church did respond to the Windsor Report in a way that was acceptable to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council. We will certainly hear more about "moritoria" tomorrow at our last session.

A final report of the Conference is almost done, and there is some concern in our House that it contains things that were not said in the indaba groups and also that it will be perceived by the larger church as policy statement. We have been told repeatedly that this Conference is a consultative meeting and is not deciding anything. Still there are some who are pressing for a definitive judgement on the controversial issues. I think we will hear more about this tomorrow.

On the bright side, this evening we had a plenary session to hear from the "Stewards" a group of about 50 college students from around the world give their impressions of the conference. We had a chance to ask them about what they wanted in a church 30 years from now when they might be sitting in our seats. It was great fun and a real inspiration. I've attached a picture of one young man from Madagascar speaking.

1 comment:

Tim Smith said...

"It is probably easier to say what did NOT come out [of Lambeth]; First, no schism!" –Kirk Smith

Bishop Smith's hopeful characterization is irreconcilable with the Global Anglican Future Conference that transpired in Jerusalem weeks before Lambeth. This conference, which involved 1,200 Anglican Bishops, Archbishops, clergy, and laity, representing 35 million of the world's 55 million Anglicans, produced the following "Jerusalem Declaration."

In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit:

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, have met in the land of Jesus' birth. We express our loyalty as disciples to the King of kings, the Lord Jesus. We joyfully embrace his command to proclaim the reality of his kingdom which he first announced in this land. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of salvation, liberation and transformation for all. In light of the above, we agree to chart a way forward together that promotes and protects the biblical gospel and mission to the world, solemnly declaring the following tenets of orthodoxy which underpin our Anglican identity.

1. We rejoice in the gospel of God through which we have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Because God first loved us, we love him and as believers bring forth fruits of love, ongoing repentance, lively hope and thanksgiving to God in all these things.

2. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God written and to contain all things necessary for salvation. The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading.

3. We uphold the four Ecumenical Councils and the three historic Creeds as expressing the rule of faith of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

4. We uphold the Thirty-nine Articles as containing the true doctrine of the Church agreeing with God’s Word and as authoritative for Anglicans today.
5. We gladly proclaim and submit to the unique and universal Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humanity’s only Savior from sin, judgment and hell, who lived the life we could not live and died the death that we deserve. By his atoning death and glorious resurrection, he secured the redemption of all who come to him in repentance and faith.

6. We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

7. We recognize that God has called and gifted bishops, priests and deacons in historic succession to equip all the people of God for their ministry in the world. We uphold the classic Anglican Ordinal as an authoritative standard of clerical orders.

8. We acknowledge God’s creat5ion of humankind as male and female and the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman as the proper place for sexual intimacy and the basis of the family. We repent of our failures to maintain this standard and call for a renewed commitment to lifelong fidelity in marriage and abstinence for those who are not married.

9. We gladly accept the Great Commission of the risen Lord to make disciples of all nations, to seek those who do not know Christ and to baptize, teach and bring new believers to maturity.

10. We are mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation, to uphold and advocate justice in society, and to seek relief and empowerment of the poor and needy.

11. We are committed to the unity of all those who know and love Christ and to building authentic ecumenical relationships. We recognize the orders and jurisdiction of those Anglicans who uphold orthodox faith and practice, and we encourage them to join us in this declaration.

12. We celebrate the God-given diversity among us which enriches our global fellowship, and we acknowledge freedom in secondary matters. We pledge to work together to seek the mind of Christ on issues that divide us.

13. We reject the authority of those churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

14. We rejoice in the prospect of Jesus’ coming in glory, and while we await this final event in history, we praise him for the way he builds up his church through his Spirit by miraculously changing lives.