From Episcopal News Service:
The world’s 80 million Anglicans are much more aware today than they were 10 years ago that they belong to a global communion, a realization that has led to a flourishing of international relationships between the Episcopal Church and other provinces, dioceses and individuals.
The Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, said that although he did not attend the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, he is “more than heartened” by the passage of Resolution D008 that reaffirms the Episcopal Church’s commitment to building Anglican Communion partnerships.
Kearon said he also is “very impressed” with the extent to which the Episcopal Church has taken seriously the Anglican Covenant, a document that initially had been intended as a way to bind Anglicans globally across cultural and theological differences.
Through Resolution B005, the Episcopal Church declined to take a position on the Anglican Covenant at this time but committed to remaining a part of the process and to continuing to monitor the ongoing developments.
“What is surprising and very heartening is the extent to which even those opposed [to the covenant] are now talking about the communion in a different way,” Kearon said. “This has been a huge learning experience. People have learned in the process a lot about their identity and what the Anglican Communion is. Irrespective of the outcome, the experience of considering has been a very good learning experience for most Anglicans and has deepened their appreciation of what it is to be an Anglican.”
Of course, the election and ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson has been a key factor in shaping TEC’s current role in the Anglican Communion:
“One of the best things that has happened for the Episcopal Church with respect to our engagement in the Anglican Communion has been the election and ordination of Gene Robinson,” Diocese of Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas told ENS in a recent interview.
Douglas said that for decades before 2003, if even two people turned up for a hearing on an Anglican Communion-related resolution at General Convention “we in the world mission committee felt like we were doing well … Then after 2003 and the Windsor Report … the hottest ticket in Columbus [at the 75th General Convention in 2006] was the open hearing on the Anglican Communion. More than 3,000 people attended and 92 witnesses testified. That’s a huge change.”
Douglas said that he also sees this change at the local level, in his own diocese, where every year an Anglican mission consultation draws 200 to 300 people from up to 50 parishes, “all of which enjoy direct partnerships in mission with dioceses, parishes, individuals around the Anglican Communion. That is facilitated by the greater awareness at the local level, which we didn’t have a decade ago, and the flatter, digital communication world … That’s all part of the great communion that God is bringing about and it’s the hallmark of the Episcopal Church’s response to the communion.”