The 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council ended this week in Lusaka, Zambia. I could tell you my interpretation of what the council did, which is quite different from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s interpretation. However, I think it would serve you best if I focused on just the facts and let you draw your own conclusion.
- On January 15, 2016, the Primates of the Anglican Communion resolved as follows:"It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.” Addendum A, paras. 7 and 8
- On April 19, at the conclusion of the Anglican Consultative Council, an internal body of the Anglican Communion, the delegates from The Episcopal Church wrote in “A Letter from Lusaka”:“We want to assure you that we participated fully in this meeting and that we were warmly welcomed and included by other ACC members.”
- According to the Anglican Communion Office, Bishop of Connecticut, Ian Douglas proposed or seconded several resolutions for ACC-16. These include but are not limited to resolutions on:
- Anglican inter-faith engagement
- Ensuring both continuity and turnover of the leadership of the Anglican Consultative Council
- An Anglican Congress
- On April 19, Rebecca Wilson, an Episcopal Church communications consultant who traveled to Lusaka, posted the following comment online:
- Among 43 other resolutions, the Anglican Consultative Council assented to the following resolution:
Resolution 16.23: Walking Together
The Anglican Consultative Council1. receives the formal report of the Archbishop of Canterbury to ACC-16 on the Primates’ Gathering and Meeting of January 2016; and
2. affirms the commitment of the Primates of the Anglican Communion to walk together; and3. commits to continue to seek appropriate ways for the provinces of the Anglican Communion to walk together with each other and with the Primates and other Instruments of Communion.
- On April 19, Archbishop Welby said the following regarding the above resolution:“...the resolution clearly supports and accepts all the Primates’ Meeting conclusions.“No member of the Episcopal Church stood for office in the ACC or Standing Committee. The consequences of the Primates meeting have been fully implemented.”
I have my own conclusions and I’ll be glad to share them later. But what about you? What do you make of the facts coming out of this Consultative Council? Did this 2-week long meeting end up affirming what the Communion’s Primates said in January? Are Anglican leaders being honest or disingenuous or something else? Email us or let us know on our facebook page Facebook.com/AmericanAnglican. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I’ve spent the week in Nairobi with the GAFCON Primates and am now off to an American Anglican Council led Clergy Leadership Training Institute in the Midwest. At the same time, our Church ReVitalization Director, Canon Steven Saul, will be working with a church in Wyoming on revitalization. No matter what happens at the highest levels of the Anglican Communion, on-the-ground discipleship, evangelism and church planting must continue.
The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey is President and CEO of the American Anglican Council.