[Anglican Communion News Service] All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor 5.18)
Gathered in the name of the Triune God, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO), under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi, Archbishop of Burundi, met for daily prayer, Bible Study of 2 Corinthians and celebration of the Eucharist, and to prepare their report for the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, 26 October–8 November 2012 (ACC-15). Members reflected on the Christian calling to work for the visible unity of God’s Church as ambassadors for Christ in the ministry of reconciliation. The Commission received updates from ecumenical dialogues with Lutherans, Methodists, the Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholics. Work relating to the Anglican Communion Covenant, Instruments of Communion, theological anthropology, and reception continued.
The Commission expressed its enormous appreciation for the ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, as he prepares to step down and take up his new responsibilities as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
This, the fourth meeting of IASCUFO was held at the Emmaus Centre, Dublin. Members joined in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, attended evensong at St Patrick’s Cathedral and were hosted at a dinner at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute by the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue. The Commission also met with the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Chair of the Management Group of the Anglican Communion’s Network for Inter Faith Concerns (NIFCON). Opportunities to see the early papyrus fragments of the Gospels and the letters of St Paul at the Chester Beatty Museum and the ninth-century Book of Kells at the Trinity College Library were deeply appreciated, as was a visit to the ancient monastic city of Glendalough.
The Commission reflected on the on-going consideration of the Anglican Communion Covenant within the churches of the Communion. Further reflection on this process will be undertaken at ACC-15. The Instruments of Communion for the Churches of the Anglican Communion (the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the Anglican Consultative Council) are the subject of an interim study offered to ACC-15 for consultation and discussion.
The Commission commends for study the work of the Anglican-Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC), Belonging Together in Europe: a joint statement on ecclesiology and mission, and hopes that ACC-15 will support the renewal of AOCICC’s mandate. IASCUFO also commends the Jerusalem Report of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission, To Love and Serve the Lord: Diakonia in the Life of the Church, and supports proposals for developing that work. Following exploratory talks in 2011 between the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, IASCUFO also hopes that ACC-15 will support the re-establishment of a formal dialogue with the Reformed Churches. IASCUFO commends the text of the WCC Faith and Order Commission, The Church: Towards a Common Vision, to ACC-15 for referral to the churches of the Anglican Communion, and itself intends to undertake further study of this text. Transitivity (the question of the relationship of different ecumenical agreements to one another) is the subject of a further report by IASCUFO to ACC-15.
This meeting of IASCUFO was again superbly supported by the Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan and Mr Neil Vigers of the Anglican Communion Office. The Commission enjoyed a visit from the Revd Canon Dr Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, who assisted with preparing the IASCUFO report to ACC-15.
Present at the Dublin meeting:
The Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi, and Chair of the Commission
The Rt Revd Dr Georges Titre Ande, Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
The Revd Canon Professor Paul Avis, Church of England
The Revd Sonal Christian, Church of North India
The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, World Council of Churches
The Rt Revd Dr Howard Gregory, The Church in the Province of the West Indies
The Revd Dr Katherine Grieb, The Episcopal Church
The Rt Revd Kumara Illangasinghe, Church of Ceylon, Sri Lanka
The Revd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, Anglican Church of Southern Africa
The Rt Revd Victoria Matthews, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia
The Revd Canon Dr Charlotte Methuen, Scottish Episcopal Church/Church of England
The Revd Canon Dr Simon Oliver, Church of England
The Rt Revd Dr Stephen Pickard, Anglican Church of Australia
Dr Andrew Pierce, Church of Ireland
The Revd Canon Dr Michael Nai Chiu Poon, Church of the Province of South East Asia
The Revd Dr Jeremiah Guen Seok Yang, The Anglican Church of Koreao
The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity, Faith and Order
Mr Neil Vigers, Anglican Communion Office
The Revd Canon Joanna Udal, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs
Unable to be present:
The Rt Revd Dr Dapo Asaju, The Church of Nigeria
The Revd Canon Clement Janda, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
The Revd Dr Edison Kalengyo, The Church of the Province of Uganda
The Rt Revd William Mchombo, The Church of the Province of Central Africa
The Rt Revd Hector (Tito) Zavala, Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America (Anglican Communion)