Anglican Consultative Council Digest: Nov. 6

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Posted Nov 6, 2012

[Episcopal News Service – Auckland, New Zealand] Much happens each day during the Anglican Consultative Council‘s (ACC) 15th meeting. In addition to Episcopal News Service’s other coverage, here’s some of what else went on Nov. 6 (local time), the 11th day of the Oct. 27-Nov. 7 gathering.

Standing Committee members elected
The ACC elected six of its members to fill six of the council’s seven seats on the 14-member Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. They are:

  • Juanildo Barrity, Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
  • Helen Biggin, Church in Wales
  • Bishop Eraste Bigirimana, Anglican Church of Burundi
  • The Rev. Sarah Macneil, Anglican Church of Australia
  • Samuel Mukunya, Anglican Church of Kenya
  • Louisa Mojela, Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Diocese of Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas was elected to the Standing Committee during the previous meeting of the ACC in Jamaica in 2009 and his term continues.

Anglican Communion primates hold five seats on the committee. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is one of those five.

Diocese of Southern Malawi Bishop James Tengatenga and Elizabeth Paver from the Church of England hold seats on the committee by virtue of their status as ACC chair and vice chair.

The archbishop of Canterbury is an ex officio member of the committee.

‘Christian Zionism’ report accepted with revisions, offered as study resource
The council accepted a slightly revised version of “Land of Promise? An Anglican exploration of Christian attitudes to the Holy Land, with special reference to ‘Christian Zionism,’” the 33,000-word report which stirred debate earlier in the meeting.

The members passed another version of Resolution 15.32 expressing appreciation for the report and requesting that it be made available as a resource for the provinces to study.

Christian Zionism is defined in the report as “a belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with biblical prophecy … and thus deserving of political, financial and religious support.”

The report comes from a working group of the communion’s Network for Inter Faith Concerns.

The portions that caused the most concern with some council members come in the final chapter called “Mapping Our Views” in which the original version had a 25-item list labeled “We agree that all Anglicans can and should affirm the following.” That heading has been changed to “We wish to affirm the following.”

Explanatory wording at the beginning of that chapter has also been changed to make it clearer that the opinions expressed are those of the committee and not all Anglicans.

Resolutions passed by council today

  • Resolution 15.20 welcoming “Participating in God’s Communication” and recommending it to the provinces, that they “work to ensure that it is full equipped at all levels to share the good news of God’s kingdom in the 21st century, setting a goal of each province having a “qualified, senior provincial communicator” by ACC-16 and encouraging churches of the communion to celebrate Anglican Communion Sunday.
  • Resolution 15.22 adopting the financial summary reports for the Anglican Communion, approving the 2012-2013 budgets and the projections for 2013 and 2014, and asking each province to meet its requested budget contribution (includes a projected three percent annual increase).
  • Resolution 15.30 commending the Francophone Network, requesting the Anglican Communion Office gather translated key documents on the website to facilitate sharing, welcoming and encouraging provinces in translating documents into local languages and asking those translations to be sent to communion office, requesting the secretary general to report to ACC-16 on progress.
  • Resolution 15.31 requesting the secretary general to explore and, with the approval of the Standing Committee, implement as appropriate, a capital campaign to provide endowment income for the programs of the communion.
  • Resolution 15.35 expressing concern, compassion and prayers for Sudan, Great Lakes Region (including eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia and Mali); thanksgiving for “the growing peace” between Sudan and South Sudan; empathy for African countries emerging from armed conflicts; urging prayer for victims of atrocities; condemning those responsible for violation of human rights; calling upon governments, U.N. and NGOs to support victims; offering support of initiatives for the restoration of peace and improvement of living conditions, asking governments to ensure “free, fair and peaceful” elections and supporting reconciliation processes in African nations.
  • Resolution 15.38 welcoming participation of Anglican women to the next U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting in March 2013 and adopting the text of a written statement to the meeting.

Some, but not all, of these resolutions have been posted here.

– The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.